Every time the origins of Pedro Ximénez are discussed in Jerez or even in other areas, an endless debate is opened in which I don't even agree with my own father. It is well known that in 1483, the Cabildo of our city promulgated the Ordinances of the Raisin and Grape Harvest Guild, the first regulation that regulated the grape harvest in our city. The nomenclature "de la Pasa" is raised by some winemakers to ensure that sweet wine was already made in Jerez at that time and that it undoubtedly must be of the Pedro Ximénez variety. But that nobody has been able to demonstrate since nothing is said about this variety. Historically, the opinion is unanimous about its extraordinary quality. García de la Leña affirmed that "it is the noblest of all varieties". The ampelographer Simón de Rojas Clemente in his "Essay on the Varieties of the Common Vine that Vegetable in Andalusia", published in Madrid in 1807, says that "Its must is rightly said to be the best for dry and sweet wines ...". And Esteban Boutelou, in his work "Memory on the Cultivation of the Vine in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Jerez de la Frontera", also published in 1807, assures that "it is one of the most cultivated and appreciated grapes". In any case, Pedro Ximénez is clearly a variety of enormous tradition in the Marco de Jerez, and in other times - as before phylloxera - it occupied almost half of the cultivated area.
Right now throughout the DO Jerez Pedro Ximénez grape, almost does not reach 3% of the total cultivated area.
Logically, for XIMÉNEZ-SPÍNOLA it is an honor to belong exclusively to this tiny percentage . Today the largest production of Pedro Ximénez in Spain is located in Montilla. But the Pedro Ximénez that we make in Jerez has very different characteristics from that of Montilla, as our climate is different. Nor should we forget that this grape also grows in other producing regions, both Spanish and foreign, giving different wines. From Catalonia to Argentina, passing through Australia, the world of wine surprises us with Pedro Ximénez grape farms in full production. However its origin - never its quality - is and will always be debated. The most popular version is that of Peter Siemens, a German soldier of Carlos V, who brought it from the Rhine Valley. In XIMÉNEZ-SPÍNOLA, the classic label of our Pedro Ximénez Muy Viejo, abounds in this version and we sincerely want to leave it thus out of respect for tradition, since that label is for us an icon of identity. But in any case, as viticulturists, we cannot fail to have an objective view of this matter, so controversial and difficult to demonstrate, despite the fact that very serious authors such as the Spanish Valcárcel, who corroborate to some extent the traditional theory when he writes that : "It is originally from the Canary Islands and Madeira, from where it was transplanted to the banks of the Rhine and its tributary the Moselle and from there Pedro Ximénez brought it ...". A bizarre journey wherever there are ... Certainly respecting science and its doctors, many of us wonder who exactly Peter Siemens was, also called Pedro Ximen in other books, and how did he bring here a grape so different from those grown in our zone. No one is able to give an answer to the origin of this grape that has a "name": Pedro and a "surname": Ximénez.
The opinion is unanimous about its extraordinary quality, but its origin is and will always be discussed
Some winegrowers - including myself - recognize that the morphological and ampelographic characteristics of Pedro Ximénez are not at all like the vines grown in the German valleys. It is enough to go through these vineyards and observe the morphology of the varieties that are grown there to understand that it is not the same grape. But it may have suffered an adaptation to the climate of southern Spain, which I particularly believe. Many of us believe that here it has been slowly mutating and adapting to this climate for at least the last 500 years and that is why it is so different. This is just one more opinion. DNA investigations carried out in 2007 showed that it is not technically a 100% descendant variety of Riesling, which surprises many of us who have defended that theory. Science has doctors, with much more knowledge than a handful of modest winegrowers… But I still see aromas of hydrocarbons and absolutely Central European nuances in our 100% Pedro Ximénez white wines. There are many sommeliers who share these postulates in blind tasting. And although no one possibly solves this enigma, there are our Exceptional Harvest bottles with eight consecutive vintages repeating the same nuances.
I keep seeing hydrocarbon aromas and nuances absolutely you are Central European in our 100% Pedro Ximénez white wines
In short, the science of books against the experience of life. We cannot draw conclusions without judgment. The best thing is that everyone tastes and gives their opinion freely. Our obligation is only to make good wines regardless of the way the Pedro Ximénez grape arrived in Jerez.