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Soaring sherry sales prop up Tio Pepe’s 12th release

Published:  19 April, 2021

The latest edition of the “super fresh” Tio Pepe En Rama is being released on the back of a great year for the sherry category in the UK, with exports reported to have climbed by over a quarter in the last 12 months.

González Byass, which has now launched the 12th edition of its unfiltered and unclarified fino Tio Pepe En Rama, is reporting “an extraordinary 12 months” of growth across the sherry category in the UK.

Looking at the off-trade, volumes for the sherry category increased by over a quarter in the UK in the year to 26 December 2020 (Nielsen).

Tio Pepe has played an important role in this. According to sherry’s Consejo Regulador in Jerez, Tio Pepe was the star performing brand in the market in the year to February 2021. Gonzalez Byass UK is also reporting unprecedented demand for this year’s annual En Rama release.

Last year, despite three national UK lockdowns, Gonzalez Byass UK had more allocation requests for the 2020 Tio Pepe En Rama release than in any other year. This year, with the on-trade reopening, Gonzalez Byass UK reports that demand has increased further.

“We are delighted to experience the increased interest in our sherry portfolio,” Gonzalez Byass UK’s managing director Martin Skelton said. “Not only have our leading brands, Croft Original and Tio Pepe seen spectacular growth, but we’ve also seen a surge in sales across all sherry styles and those products with more niche appeal like Tio Pepe En Rama.”

Translated roughly as "raw", this year's En Rama release has been selected from 82 barrels in the Tio Pepe solera. Having seen a "very wet autumn and a cold, humid winter", the unusual periods of frost were “short lived”, Gonzalez Byass UK said. Temperatures in the bodegas rarely fell below 12 or 13 °C which meant that the flor remained healthy and intact.

“The wine is intense yet fragrant and delicate,” master blender Antonio Flores added. “This year, without all the usual visits and tastings, I spent a lot longer than I usually do selecting the finest casks of Fino and I am absolutely certain that people will love this year’s bottling”.

Bottled in the second week of April 2021, the new En Rama release will be available for delivery in the UK from early May.

Gonzalez Byass UK Ltd will be donating all profits from the sale of the 2021 Tio Pepe En Rama release to The Drinks Trust.