Sherry is made by adding a special strain of yeast to the wine after pressing. This flor yeast floats on the surface of the juice as it is working and produces the distinctive nutty character that gives sherry its distinctive quality.
Sherry is made in a continual process where one barrel is connected to the next and the wine moves down the line, from barrel to barrel, as the last is drained and the first topped up. Because of mixing the wine can never come from one year and be a vintage sherry. Sherries come in several styles, from bone-dry Fino to the sweeter Amontillado and Oloroso. In South Africa an additional style, Old Brown is extremely popular.
Jerepigo is, in fact, fortified grape juice. The grapes are picked and crushed at full ripeness and spirit is added almost immediately, capturing the full sweetness of the juice.
Muscat grape varieties like Muscat Ottonel and Hanepoot (Muscat d’Alexandrie) are often used to make these delicious dessert wines.
While table wines have an alcohol content of between 9% and 14%, fortified wines have between 14% and 20%.