César Florido was founded in 1887 and is currently maintained by César Florido, a fifth-generation descendant of the founder. The winery is the oldest bodega in the town of Chipiona, located five miles from Sanlúcar de Barrameda along the road which continues to Rota. César Florido is one of only two bodegas in Chipiona that are still operating outside of the cooperative.
Chipiona, famous for its lighthouse which is the tallest in Spain, is an area dedicated to growing the moscatel grape, but most of the wine produced here is sold in bulk to the Sherry Houses of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. César Florido, by contrast, is one of the few bodegas that is estate bottling and who presses his own mosto, or base wine, from family vineyards planted to palomino fino, as well as purchased grapes from long-time growers. Utilizing native yeast fermentation, César crafts wines of incredible personality.
A longtime almacenista, César began estate bottling in 1988, and recently has emerged from obscurity to cult-status for his enthralling range of wines which are uniquely Chipiona and have become among the best in the zone. Although technically Chipiona lies outside the Zona de Crianza for the D.O., he makes some of the most singular wines in the area, sought out by true believers in César.
He owns three separate bodegas in the town of Chipiona, with the bodega which houses his iconic Cruz del Mar fino solera just 50 meters from the ocean. With the closest proximity to the sea of any bodega in the region, his wines are imbued with the very spirit of this maritime climate through year-round, thick, luxurious flor. His fino is made from estate-grown palomino from Balbaína and Miraflores. Paired with fresh oysters or tiburon frito, Cruz del Mar is a guaranteed gastronomic supernova. His amontillado and oloroso bottlings are some of the best in class and as with the fino, everything here leads you back to the ocean and that incredible flor. The rare palo cortado aged in solera for forty years, Peña del Aguila, is César Florido's Sacristía wine: a very rare, private wine now bottled in tiny quantities.
But of course to add to the many strengths of the bodega, César Florido is famous throughout the world for his Moscatel wines, naturally sweet and produced with the ancient grape variety moscatel de alejandria, which makes up just 2% of current plantings in the Jerez Zona. The musts are so thick and sugary they hardly ferment and fermentation is stopped by fortification to retain the sugars.
His Moscatel Dorado is the reference point for classic, balanced sweet wines of the zone, characterized by notes of orange blossom, jasmine, and a honeyed, raisiny palate. César’s Moscatel Especial is produced with the ancient method of adding arrope (must reduced through cooking) after fermentation to add another layer of flavor and texture. This method can be traced back at least as far as ancient Greece. A moscatel pasas called Fundacional 1873 is made in special vintages in limited quantities from grapes that were dried in the sun for up to three weeks, a process called asoleo. These raisin wines have a sweeter, darker profile with a meditative finish.