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Tio Pepe sherry sign returns to Madrid skyline

Published:  15 May, 2014

Following a three year absence, the iconic Tio Pepe sign that dominated Madrid's Puerta del Sol skyline has been returned to its rooftop home.

 González ByassTio PepeGonzález Byass’s Tio Pepe sign was re-illuminated over the Madrid skyline on May 8, after a three-year absence.

On May 8 the González Byass sign was re-lit at number 11 Puerta del Sol, a few doors away from its former location atop numer 1, where it had been since 1936.

The sign was taken down in 2011 when the original building was being refurbished. The 'luminoso' sign was granted a pardon in 2009 to remain above the Puerta del Sol in perpetuity, when many other signs were removed.

The new sign is 40 tonnes lighter than its predecessor, coming in at 23,960 kg and measuring 23.9 x 8.2m.

Mauricio González Gordon, fifth generation family member and current company chairman, said: "It is a joy for us to see the Tio Pepe sign back, shining over the Madrid skyline. The amount of affection that has been demonstrated by the residents of Madrid over the past three years has been quite amazing, we did not fully appreciate how much this neon sign meant to people here in Spain and abroad until it was taken down.

"We are delighted however to have had the chance to refurbish the sign which now boasts a much lighter structure and will  certainly shine out as a beacon for Sherry lovers worldwide in the heart of our capital."

 González Byass controls 10% of the total vineyard area within the Denomination of Origin Jerez. All of the vineyards are within the Jerez Superior classification and the grapes that go into Tio Pepe come from two demarcated, single estates, "Carrascal" and "Marcharnudo". The famous Tio Pepe logo is 78 years old this year. It made its first appearance at the Bull Ring in Valencia at the first fight of Venturita, now a legendary name in bull fighting circles in Spain.

González Byass is a family winery, founded in 1835. In the past 30 years it has extended beyond the family sherry-making tradition to produce wine at Bodegas Beronia (Rioja), Cavas Vilarnau (Barcelona), Finca Constancia (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla), Finca Moncloa (Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz), Viñas del Vero ( Somontano).