Valdespino is among few family-owned bodegas in Jerez and also one of the oldest. Alfonso Valdespino was knight who fought for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X, against the Arabs in 1264. As a reward for his efforts he was given land in the Jerez region. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family and they own 750 ha in Jerez. They are one of the only bodegas currently producing single vineyard sherries.
Valdespino’s single vineyard (Pago) Macharnudo Alto is located in the privileged area of High Jerez at 135 m above sea. The white ‘albariza’ soil, typical of Jerez, comes from a layer of earth rich in marine fossils. Thanks to the high content of calcium carbonate, its clayey texture does not split; it is soft when wet and absorbs rain like a sponge. When it dries out it forms a hard layer which prevents evaporation.
Valdespino is the only sherry house to have single vineyard wines. Macharnudo Alto Vineyard is one of the ‘grand cru’ vineyards of Jerez. Arguably the best and most serious fino, Valdespino is unique in that they still naturally ferment their finos in older oak barrels (600-liter American oak butts) using indigenous yeasts. At the moment of bottling, Inocente is a wine of about ten years old while most fino sherries have only three years.