The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary

Solera

The real magic in the production of Sherry happens in what's called the solera system - an innovative method of fractional blending in which younger wine is blended with older wine to ensure a consistent product from year to year. The younger wine serves to refresh and awaken the older wine, while the older wine enhances the depth and quality of the younger wine. Thus, with the exception of a handful of single barrels pulled from the solera, there really is no "vintage Sherry": any date appearing on the bottle generally refers to the first year of the oldest barrel in a given solera.
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