OT: The Sherry Triangle

the-sherry-triangle1Jerez de la Frontera is the largest city in the area and capital of the wine region to which it lends its name. Located upon one of many hills which dominate a wide open landscape of albariza soil, mid-way between the nearby mountains of the sierra and the shining white towns and villages of the coast, Jerez is forceful and dynamic, a place where sherry wines share the stage with other age-old symbols of the city, such as flamenco and horse breeding. A modern city of around 200,000 inhabitants but one which is well aware and proud of its past heritage in which the wine-growing industry has had an essential role to play, helping to mould both the cultural and architectural characteristics of the city itself.

Where the River Guadalete flows out into the Bay of Cádiz, just a few kilometres from Jerez, stands the historic town of El Puerto de Santa María, part wine producer and part fishing port, these days a first class tourist resort thanks to the exceptional quality of its beaches and its privileged location right in the heart of the Bay.

Further to the north, standing opposite the impressive Coto Doñana reserve at the mouth of the most symbolic river in all Andalucia, the Guadalquivir, we find the remaining vertex of the mythical Sherry Triangle: Sanlúcar de Barrameda. City of noble lineage and origin of Manzanilla, a wine of special characteristics fruit of this proximity to the sea and which reaches the summit of excellence when accompanied by the wonderful local dishes. (Source: Sherry Wine)

See also my previous post OT: Sherry & The Mystery of Palo Cortado

That’s all for today folks!

OT: Almadraba

The word almadraba comes from Arabic and means the place to strike or fight. It is a fishing art used by the Phoenicians along the coasts of Cádiz and then later by the Romans. It consists of setting a maze of nets along tuna routes, normally located near the coast from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean from April to June. This fishing art is not aggressive and respectful of the species and the environment. Traditionally there were almadrabas everywhere along the provincial coast, but nowadays they are concentrated in coastal towns such as Conil, Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes and Tarifa. (Source: Cadiz Tourism)

The passage of Bluefin and other tuna through the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar on their migration from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea (May to June) and the return (July to September), has favored offshore fishing on these coasts since very ancient times. A complex system of nets to capture these precious tuna was already used in Phoenician times. Activity in the Almadraba fishing networks was actively developed in the Roman period, coupled with their trading of derived products, and remained active during the Muslim era. There was great expansion between the 13th and 18th centuries, a period in which their operation was subject to the monopoly of the Ducal House of Medina Sidonia. Indisputably, the almadraba has been used as a fishing art for some 30 centuries, yet the species has only become endangered by excess capture in recent years, and not because of the almadraba fishing itself, but rather the contrary; the danger came with the use of modern capture techniques. It can be said that the almadraba is a sustainable form of fishing. On one hand, it is used only during a specific time of year, a period that does not interfere in the life cycles of the species. On the other, it is selective; of all the tuna circulating in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, only a small number are diverted towards the coast, where they enter the almadraba networks that trap them. In addition, the almadraba is respectful with the environment, and it is clean. As in ancient times, it is still a modus vivendi for many families in the populations of the Cadiz coast: Conil, Barbate, Zahara de los Atunes, Tarifa… It is their traditional way of life and, together with the processing and auxiliary industries, represents one of the backbones of local economy. (Source: Gourmet from Cadiz)

 

OT: The Constitution of 1812 Bridge

IMG-20160802-WA0002The Constitution of 1812 Bridge, also known as La Pepa Bridge (El puente de la Constitución de 1812 or Puente de La Pepa in Spanish), is a new bridge across the Bay of Cadiz, linking Cadiz with Puerto Real in mainland Spain.

Cadiz’s first bridge, the Carranza bridge, was inaugurated in 1969, and is now crossed by some 40,000 vehicles per day. In 1982 the Spanish government accepted the need for a second bridge.

It will have two 180 m pylons, one in the sea and the other in Cabezuelas Harbour, a 540 meter span and 69 meters of vertical clearance. The bridge also includes a 150 meter removal span. The bridge is actually in service.

It is the second bridge that crosses over to Cádiz from the mainland, after Carranza bridge, and one of the highest bridges in Europe, with a gauge of 69 meters and 5 kilometres in total length. It will be a suspension bridge with large towers: 187 meters of the sea and 181 meters of earth. It is the third access to the city, along with the isthmus San Fernando and the Carranza bridge. Given the large width of the board, it will be a high capacity bridge: a motorway with two lanes in each direction and two lanes reserved for metropolitan public transport such as the new tram system.

The bill was drafted by the engineer of roads, canals and ports, Javier Manterola. The works were scheduled for completion in 2012, coinciding with the bicentenary of the Spanish Constitution of 1812, which was written in Cádiz. However, due to cuts in public works required by the current economic crisis, the work is more than three years late.

In summer 2013 the work had progressed but at a slower pace. Since early 2014 the work has progressed at a good pace, highlighting the installation of its cable-stayed span and hiring more staff working every day (including night shifts). As of the first half of 2015, the bridge structure was completed, providing full completion in September of the same year.

As data highlights:

  • The earlier draft described a arch bridge whose total length was 2.355 km.
  • The total length of the current project, viaducts and links is 5 kilometres: 3096 meters on the bridge of which 1655 meters will be over the sea, with a main span of 540 meters record of Spain, with one hundred meters more than the bridge engineer Carlos Fernández Casado, famous engineer of roads, canals and ports, the reservoir Barrios de Luna. Besides the vain is the third largest in Europe suspended class, after Rio-Antirio Bridge and Normandy bridge.
  • The maximum height above the sea level is 69 meters, with two pylons of 187 meters, making it one of the tallest bridges in Europe.
  • They are 30 meters higher than the pylons between both sides of the bay.

The bridge connects the neighbourhood of San Pedro River to Puerto Real with the neighbourhood of La Paz of Cadiz. (Source: Wikipedia)

The picture was taken by MJCA.

OT: José Menese In Memoriam

José Menese, one of Spain’s finest flamenco singers passed away Friday, July 29, 2016 at his home in La Puebla de Cazalla (Sevilla). José Menese Scott was born in La Puebla de Cazalla (Sevilla), but it was in Madrid where he started his professional career as a  flamenco artist. After going through some difficulties, he debuted at Tablao Zambra, the most prestigious flamenco nightclub in Madrid. There, he performed every night for more than three years, and had the opportunity to meet artists such as Perico el del Lunar, Rafael Romero, Pericón de Cádiz, Juan Varea, Rosa Durán, among others, all of them great professionals. José Menese’s first record was released in 1963, in collaboration with the incomparable guitarist Melchor de Marchena. Two years later, in 1965, he reached fame after competing at the famous Flamenco Art National Contest, in Cordoba. He was awarded the Honor Prize “Tomás El Nitri”. He performed throughout the world. In November 1974 he gave a concert at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, where he recorded an album for RCA. He also performed at Madrid’s Royal Theatre (Teatro Real)  with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española conducted by maestro Odón Alonso. (Source: World Music Central).

OT: Payoyo Cheese

Quesos-payoyos-de-Villaluenga-cdcThe Payoyo cheese is a brand, not a Designation of Origin DO. It is an artisan cheese produced mainly in Villaluenga del Rosario and other areas of the Sierra de Grazalema (Cádiz, Spain). The Payoyo cheese comes from a type of goat that is indigenous to the Sierra de Cadiz, known as the “payoya” goat, from whose milk a totally organic and delicious cheese is obtained. Sometimes it’s also produced with sheep milk of a merina breed, known locally as “grazalemeña”, or with a mixture of both types of milk. Within each type, we can find different varieties: fresh, semi-cured, cured, etc … Its production began in 1997 and it has helped to develop a small industry, sustainable and environment-friendly, in the Sierra de Cádiz.

Read more here.