This is the start of the Wine Tourism Route of the Region in El Puerto de Santa María. By touring the rural surroundings of its vineyards, it aims to recover, highlight the importance of and make known the heritage, which this city has been accumulating in the world of wine, paying attention to its historical, patrimonial, environmental and human values.
El Puerto de Santa María has been a city linked to wine since its origins. This is confirmed by its archaeological site in the “Sierra de Cristobál”. There, probably the first settlement that gave rise to today's city, what is now the oldest complete wine cellar in the West, has been discovered and documented, and it is where wine was being made as early as the 3rd century BC.
The characteristics of the soil, the climate and the privileged geographical location have made it a particularly favourable area for the cultivation of vines, the production of wine and its expansion throughout the world ever since.
Those qualities are common to practically the entire neighbouring territory. El Puerto de Santa María is surrounded by towns which, to a greater or lesser extent, (Chiclana, Chipiona, Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto Real, Rota, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Trebujena...) are dedicated to the production of various types of wine, among which the Jerez-Xérès-Sherry denomination of origin (DO) and the protected geographical identification (PGI) Vinos de la Tierra de Cádiz (Wines of the province of Cádiz) now stand out.
Over the course of these 2,300 years, its wines have evolved in terms of cultivation, grape varieties and ageing and winemaking methods. At many times, as now, they have coexisted, yielding to each other as tastes or circumstances changed, but always maintaining their own distinctive identity for which they have been recognised throughout history all over the world.
For all these reasons, the presence of wine and its culture in the city has left a tangible and intangible legacy that is very noticeable in the city´s surroundings. But it is in the countryside with the combination of the land, water, air, sun and the dedication and effort of the people who produce the grape, where the process of making wine starts.
It is this legacy, that of its vineyards, which is intended to be made visible and shared with on this tour, which begins through this gateway.