As my desire to learn more about sherry grows, it can be challenging to find local resources to take me further. I am envious of all the classes and tastings provided in Jerez. When will technology figure out teleportation already?!
However, it is exciting to see more of my favorite sherry makers interacting on social media. Recently, Antonio Flores from González Byass has been posting YouTube videos on a regular basis! If you haven’t seen them yet, you MUST watch the Pillars of Jerez series releasing this month! The introduction video alone made me ache to go back!
I had the privilege to sit and talk in depth with the co-host of the series, Christopher Canale-Parola. Each week I will post the videos here with his commentary. Here’s what he shared about how these videos all came together:
Seana: I’m so excited that you guys have been doing these! How long ago was this?
Christopher: We did this back in September – it’s a beautiful time of year to be filming. The concept was to have a short video – people have really short attention spans. As you’ll notice if you’ve watched the video, the technical information is very light. We’re not actually going into a lot of detail about sherry production really. We’re kind of skimming over the basics. The idea is to just give an impression of what it is and what this wine region is all about.
S – Is the target audience people who are unfamiliar with sherry?
C – Our job would be so easy if we could just pick up everybody and take them to Jerez for the day. Because this is quite difficult to do, the whole point behind this is was to be able to give people just a visual image so they don’t need to read through a whole lot of information just to get the basics. So the idea was to go through and give an overview of sherry to a mixed audience, and to be able to break it down in a very easy format.
We tried not to go over two minutes which was a little bit difficult, so we kept them under 3 minutes for these videos. Quite a lot was edited; we did it all in about four hours, all in an afternoon. We didn’t even have a huge amount of preparation time. We just went out there and tried it as an experiment, and it came off quite well.
This whole concept of the Five Pillars, this is Antonio’s little brain-child. This is something that he’s been referencing in his tastings as long as I’ve been tasting with him.
S – How long have you been?
C – I began in 2011 with González Byass.
S – It’s nice that these are coming at a time as I keep introducing others to sherry. I have something I can point them to that is professionally done, rather than creating my own webcam video.
That’s what we did basically. We have nine videos: one of them is the introduction – do you love that shot of the drone over the vines? I love that shot! Five of them are the five different pillars of sherry – we have the soil, the grapes, biological aging, oxidative aging, solera and criadera.
That leaves us with three more. So, we go into detail about one wine per video. One on Tio Pepe, one on Viña AB Amontillado and one on Leonor Palo Cortado, just those three. Maybe if we had time, we would have done more. Within that range I think those three have a real interesting story to tell: Tio Pepe which is an icon, Viña AB which is one of the few traditional amontillados, and Leonor Palo Cortado which is a dry text book classic Palo Cortado.