Welcome to Jerez de la Frontera
Stand down, all other claimants. Jerez, as most savvy Hispanophiles know, is Andalucía. It just doesn’t broadcast it in the way that Seville and Granada do. Jerez is the capital of Andalucian horse culture, stop one on the famed Sherry Triangle and – cue protestations from Cádiz and Seville – the cradle of Spanish flamenco. The bulería (flamenco songs), Jerez’ jokey, tongue-in-cheek antidote to Seville’s tragic soleá, was first concocted in the legendary Roma barrios of Santiago and San Miguel. But Jerez is also a vibrant modern Andalucian city, where fashion brands live in old palaces and stylishly outfitted businesspeople sit down to distinctly contemporary cuisine between glasses of fino at bubbly tabancos (simple taverns serving sherry).
If you really want to unveil the eternal riddle that is Andalucía, start with Jerez.