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Pedro Ximénez

The sweet, full-bodied variety Pedro Ximénez is best known as a grape for sherry production. It is grown in Spain and in other countries for wines vinified in different ways. The sherry grape Pedro Ximénez, also known as PX, is grown throughout Spain. It dominates in the wines of the Montilla-Moriles region and is used to make either simple dry table wines or sweet, mouth-filling fortified wines.
The sherry grape variety Pedro Ximénez is grown throughout Spain.

Wine made from Pedro Ximénez – sherry and other sweet specialities

Without Pedro Ximénez, Andalusian cellar masters would not be able to create such lusciously fruity, sweet sherries from the must of the base wine. With several styles of sherry, therefore, they add some Pedro Ximénez wine before bottling. This produces a much sweeter, creamier and more aromatic sherry.
Winemakers appreciate this white grape’s very high must weight and concentrated sugars. It is even possible to boost the natural sugar content of Pedro Ximénez. For this the berries are laid out and dried on mats before being vinified. The concentrated aroma and the sweetness of the raisined grapes give the sherry different personalities. The Pedro Ximénez grape imbues the dry and rather fresher sherry styles Oloroso and Amontillado with new expression. Thanks to the high sweetness level, more creamy and therefore more appealing Medium and Cream styles are produced.
Sherries blended with Pedro Ximénez wines come solely from the region around the city of Jerez de la Frontera which is officially approved for sherry production. But other Spanish wine regions also capitalize on the characteristics of Pedro Ximénez and make wonderful sweet wines with the grape. Sweet wines from Malaga and Montilla-Moriles also enjoy wide popularity among wine aficionados. They go extremely well with desserts and are a real pleasure simply to drink on their own too.

Cultivation of the Pedro Ximénez grape variety

The white grape Pedro Ximénez very probably originates in Spain. Although it has some morphological similarities with Elbling and Riesling, it also has additional distinctive traits. A seedless table grape called Corinto blanco is also related to it. Several new cultivars have been bred from this grape variety as well. For instance, the grapes Pajolera, Caballete and Valvin Muscat were created from a crossing with Pedro Ximénez.Pedro Ximénez is a mid-ripening grape variety. Winegrowers need to take into account that, although the vines are resistant to powdery mildew, they are more susceptible to grey mould and downy mildew.

Pedro Ximénez wines from Spain

Spain is the most important growing region for Pedro Ximénez. Many vineyards in the sunny south of the country especially are planted with this grape. Andalusia therefore ranks number one in the world for the cultivation of these sweet berries. The grapes flourish in the hot Andalusian climate and their fruit becomes very concentrated. The sandy and gravelly soils found in the south of Spain are also favourable.In the “Sherry Triangle” bounded by the cities of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, El Puerto de Santa María and Jerez de la Frontera, it is frequently used as a blending grape for adding to base sherry wine. It is also grown outside the Sherry region, where it is used to produce sweet Pedro Ximénez wines. For instance, there are several vineyards planted with the grape in the regions of Valencia, Extremadura and the Canary Islands.

Pedro Ximénez wines in other countries

Pedro Ximénez is also cultivated beyond Spain’s borders, although in much smaller quantities. The climate and soil type must be exactly right. There are only a handful of wine regions in Portugal, Chile, Australia and California that provide the right conditions. Sweet wines are also made from Pedro Ximénez in these regions. For instance, Portugal produces creamy dessert wines, and in Chile the grape is an essential part of its brandy and national drink Pisco.Discover sweet Pedro Ximénez specialities – a wide choice of fine wines awaits you at Mondovino and in Coop stores.

Pedro Ximénez wines