Bodegas San Francisco Javier
VISIT IMPORTER'S WEBSITE
Country of Origin: Spain
Location: Jerez, Andalucia
People: Peter Sisseck & Carlos del Río, Owners
Viticulture: Practicing Biodynamic
There are very few Spanish wines that can be mentioned in the same breath with Coche-Dury’s Corton-Charlemagne, Chave’s Cuvée Cathelin, or Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo Monfortino. Peter Sisseck’s Pingus heads the list of those that can. In fact, Pingus is so profound that many of Peter’s followers have asked him over the years to make a white counterpart. In 2017, he decided to do just that. But instead of getting his inspiration from France, he stayed within Spain, choosing to focus on the white wine region he considers the country’s greatest and most unique: Jerez. His aim was nothing less than Anselme Selosse’s when he first began working in Champagne, to bring a focus on place and viticulture to a region dominated by brands.
When Peter first visited Jerez in 1993, he was impressed less by the ancient palo cortados and olorosos, than by the complexity and elegance of the great finos. He saw that fino could be far more than the light, young wines made to meet the demands of Spain’s tapas bars. In fact, he came to believe that Fino had the potential to stand with the world’s great white wines.
Working with Jerez’s Del Rio family, Peter was able to purchase 10 hectares of prime vineyards of Palomino within two of Sherry’s most esteemed pagos. The first vineyard purchase was 8 hectares in Viña Corrales, part of the famed Balbaína pago in El Puerto de Santa Maria. With its proximity to the sea, and relatively high 90m elevation, Balbaína was perfect for the archetypal fino that Peter was seeking.
The other purchase was 2 hectares in Jerez’s renowned Macharnudo pago, long made famous by Domecq and Valdespino. Macharnudo is located further inland than Balbaína and the parcel, Viña La Cruz, yielded Palomino grapes with higher ripeness and body, perfect for a richer, old-school fino amontillado style. As at Pingus, Peter immediately adopted organic farming, and started the long process of biodynamic conversion.
Wineanorak: Sisseck’s Sherry: the Pingus winemaker invests in Jerez
Wine Advocate 9/2020
"Bodegas San Francisco Javier is the new joint venture in Jerez between Peter "Pingus" Sisseck and the Del Río family, owners of Hacienda Monasterio in Ribera del Duero where Sisseck works. The Del Ríos are from the family that owns González-Byass, so they have strong links with Jerez. They bought an impressive solera with the idea to produce Fino wines, plus eight hectares of vines in Pago Balbaína and a further two in Pago Macharnudo. This is the first bottling, a small saca from Balbaína, but in the future, the idea is to produce two wines, one each from one of the pagos, the other one being Viña La Cruz from Pago Macharnudo."