Some 180 years after the foundation of the company, Gonzalez Byass is still run by the family that founded it in 1835. Based in Jerez the company owns more than 500 hectares of vineyards and controls almost as much land owned by other growers.
It was only a matter of months after the foundation of the company that exports to Britain began and the United Kingdom remains the main market for their sherries to this day.
Gonzalez Byass bought their first vineyards in 1844, began bottling in Jerez, rather than shipping all their wines in bulk, in 1846 and in 1849 they established one of the most famous sherry brands of all time – Tio Pepe fino. The name means ‘Uncle Pepe’ and the iconic image of the sombrero-wearing, guitar-playing bottle was born in 1935.
Current winemaker Antonio Flores was born and raised at the winery and has been master blender since 1980. His mastery of his craft led to the company winning the Len Evans trophy at the International Wine Challenge in recognition of the consistent quality of their wines over many years.
The Society has stocked the crisp Tio Pepe Fino for many years and has, in recent years, had the pleasure of offering members the Tio Pepe En Rama version, bottled directly from the cask without fining or filtration. This is as close as sherry gets to tasting it straight from the cask and, though it needs drinking up quickly to retain the vivacity of its youth, has proved extremely popular.