Bodega Manuel Aragón is a historic bodega and family winery founded in 1795, firmly rooted in the traditional, working-class Sherry culture of Chiclana de la Frontera. Chiclana is an ancient, whitewashed village located in the Bay of Cádiz, 12 miles southeast of the city of Cádiz. Chiclana’s vineyards are the southernmost in the Marco de Jerez. Chano Aragón, the current winery head and oenologist is a direct descendant of its founder, Pedro Aragón Morales. The story of Manuel Aragón is that of a fierce defender of the historical culture of the region and its quality, handcrafted wines.
The bodega lies just 800m from the ocean, separated only by pine trees. It also benefits from the Levante wind, a warm current that flows west through the Strait of Gibraltar. Palomino vineyards are planted in chalky albariza barajuela soils in the same direction as the Levante wind.
The secret to quality that sets Manuel Aragón apart from most of the wineries in the Sherry region begins with the unique fact that they own 9ha of their own vineyards, which viticulturist Juan Manuel Tocino farms organically. Utilizing a traditional method to fertilize their vineyards, they recycle the pomace produced from winemaking back into the soil after the grapes have been pressed. Manuel Aragón has vineyards located in the Pagos Campano, Cañadillas, and Marquesado.
Oloroso Tio Alejandro is produced from estate-grown, organic palomino grapes grown in Pago Marquesado in chalky albariza barajuela soils. It is an exceptionally complex and powerful Oloroso with a long finish. “Tio Alejandro” was not part of the Aragón family, but he was an important, long-time friend, customer, and neighbor of the winery, and this Oloroso was dedicated to him, as it was his favorite wine.
Vinification – During harvest, grapes are hand-picked in small baskets, directly pressed, and then fermented spontaneously with native yeasts in stainless steel at low temperature. After fortification to 17% ABV with neutral grape spirits, Oloroso Tio Alejandro spends 17 to 20 years aging oxidatively in barrels that are not topped up. The slow loss of water through the walls of the wooden casks facilitates the continuous process of concentration, which makes the wine gain in structure, smoothness, and complexity while bringing the final wine to 18% ABV. Manuel Aragón runs the scales in the traditional way, moving the wine through the solera manually, without mechanical pumps, utilizing gravity and the traditional tools of the canoa, jarra, sifón, and rocíador. It is cold stabilized and very lightly fined with bentonite before bottling.