While exploring the storage cellars at Tío Pepe, one of the most prominent wineries in Jerez de la Frontera, you may come across a mouse or two imbibing a glass of the distiller’s renowned sherry as part of their daily indulgence.
As the story goes, one of the winery workers had a soft spot for the often unwelcome cellar guests. He found it unfair that he could drink all the sherry he wanted while the mice could not. To rectify this, he built a little ladder leading up to a glass full of sherry. This way the mice could have their fill without him having to share his drink with the rodents.
A second, not as fun story suggests the sherry was placed out for the mice to keep them from nibbling away at the Solera (on-the-ground) casks that are kept in the bodega, the area where the alcohol is aged and stored. The tradition continues and everyday a small glass of sherry is placed on the floor. A tiny ladder lets the mice access their boozy treat.
People, too, have been enjoying the local sherry for years. The history of winemaking in the Iberian peninsula dates back to the Phoenicians. Jerez de la Frontera, a small Spanish city steeped in sherry culture, plays host to some of the most prominent sherry-making bodegas in the world.
Know Before You Go
Tours of the bodega can be booked in advance from the winery's website