Since 1838, the Gutierrez Colosia sherry farm has been based in the town of Puerto de Santa Maria, in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz. The sea breezes coming from the Atlantic along the Guadalete river enable a microclimate perfect for biological maturation, which makes the house's Fino sherries particularly refined, salty and soft-tasting. Thanks to the moisture brought by the river, there is no need to artificially moisten the floors of the cellars to encourage the growth of the flor yeast, as is the custom in many other sherry houses.
The farm is managed by Juan Carlos, who respects the legacy of his father and grandfather, who started working at the sherry farm at the age of 20. His daughters Carmen and Carlota are also more involved in the operation of the family farm, learning traditional sherry aging methods from their father. The Gutiérrez family was long an almacen, maturing sherries to sell on to houses such as Osborne, Gonzalez Byass, Barbadillo and Williams & Humbert. In 1997, however, everything changed when the house decided to start bottling its own wines. Today, only 42 wineries produce sherry, of which Gutierrez Colosia is a true rarity as it is completely family-owned and makes its sherry by hand.
While in the cellars of the big producers the rows of casks can cover up to 80,000 individual casks, Gutierrez Colosia's cellar contains only 1,500 casks made of American oak, where the sherries mature before being released to the market. The barrels are never renewed, which is why they are up to 70-205 years old. Like other sherry bodegas, they don't have their own cellars at all, but buy their wine from farmers in the Valbuena region, from different cellars depending on the vintage. Only the juice from the first pressing is used for sherry production. Following the traditions of the region, Gutierrez Colosia's sherries are produced following the "criaderas y soleras" method, where the wine is run from barrel to barrel, top to bottom. The wine is poured from barrels piled up in layers in such a way that each bottling contains old wine that has matured for decades. The estate bottles its wines several times throughout the year, but compared to larger operators, each barrel is tasted separately before bottling, which ensures the high quality of the final wine. When the bottles are filled from the barrels of the lower layers, new wine is added to the upper layers. This way, the barrels are never completely empty, but the wine added at different times is always aging.
Although sherry is often known as a sweet wine in the market, only 10% of Gutierrez Colosia's production consists of sweet sherries. Their sweet wines are made from fully dried Pedro Ximénez grapes, and unlike the wines of the big sherry factories, no sugar is added to them. The estate's finest wines from the Solera Familiar series have matured for over 50 years.