González Byass

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Barrel cellar in the González Byass winery

González Byass is one of Spain's most well-known sherry bodega. Its origins can be traced to 1835 when the business was started by Manuel María González Angel, who was subsequently joined by his English agent, Robert Blake Byass. The business was further expanded by the second generation of the González family, amongst them Manuel Críspulo González y Soto.[1] The González family assumed sole control of the business in 1988. The firm produces the fino sherry Tío Pepe.[2]

Not only was the Gonzalez family at the forefront of sherry winemaking, they’ve also participated in the introduction of the polo game in Spain, the first grass tennis court, the installation of the first electric lighting and running water in the plant, the first train project in Spain as well as numerous other industrial and cultural innovations. In 1862, when Queen Isabel II visited the firm, the construction of a new bodega called La Concha was commissioned from the engineer Gustav Eiffel.

In 1963 they constructed the great Tío Pepe bodega, holding 28,000 butts and built on 3 floors. Another bodega was built in 1972, Las Copas, with a capacity of around 80,000 butts. In 1998 the Byass family withdrew from the company. The company is now owned and run by the 4th and 5th generation of the Gonzalez family, such as Mauricio González-Gordon y Díez.[1] In 2004, Gonzalez Byass joined forces with Grupo Vips and opened 8 Tio Pepe restaurants in Madrid, but they were closed in 2011 due to the crisis.[which?] In 2008 the company acquired the well-known Viñas del Vero wineries.

The famous sombrero-wearing, guitar-toting bottle became the classic image of the Tio Pepe brand in 1935. The famous neon sign in Puerta del Sol in Madrid caused a bit of a stir when Apple bought the building and decided that the sign should be removed from the roof (probably to replace it with the Apple logo). The bodega has found another rooftop in the same Puerta del Sol once again and the sign should be reinstalled after renovations.

Awards[edit]

In 2010, Gonzalez Byass was awarded as Winemaker of the year in the International Wine and Spirit Competition.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Juan Pedro Simó (5 July 2010). "175 años de constancia" (in Spanish). El Diario de Jerez. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Kissack, Chris. "Gonzalez Byass". Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  3. ^ González Byass gana el galardón a la mejor bodega del mundo en Diario de Jerez (Spanish)

External links[edit]