Passion for Spanish wine


With a name like Mantúa, one of the 119 grape varieties in the Sherry Triangle before phylloxera, this restaurant’s wine credentials are obvious since the moment one makes a reservation.

Once there, the feeling is that Mantúa is different from many restaurants in Jerez, mostly serving traditional food and tapas. With only six tables covered with quality white table cloths matching the clear tones of the walls, modern crockery and Riedel glasses, Mantúa feels like a fine dining restaurant of understated elegance, a category that was not easily found in Jerez until now.

Heading the restaurant, which opened in september 2017, is chef Israel Ramos, with experience in fine dining establishments like the now defunct Hacienda Benazuza by Ferran Adrià or Zortziko in Bilbao. He also owns Albalá, one of the first gastropubs in the Andalusian city.

Instead of an à la carte option, Ramos prepares two menus, Arcilla (€100) and Caliza (€125), with 12 and 16 dishes respectively, They all feature local ingredients cooked in an innovative way. “My cuisine is free of prejudice and open to the world”, says Ramos, who combines traditional dishes like anemones fritters with Manzanilla alioli or cured tuna belly with moorish cream and codium sorbet with dishes from other countries like wild pig sirloin with cauliflower cream and mojo and tonka bean with chocolate and syrup.

Although the wine list includes sparklings, whites and reds from Cádiz and other regions, Mantúa’s wine list stands out for its wide offer of local white Palomino wines. They are classified by pagos (vineyards) with a short explanation about each of them: Atlantic wines from Sanlúcar, from the river in Sanlúcar, Atlantic wines from Chiclana, Atlantic wines from Jerez and from inland Jerez. Over a dozen wines like Ube, Corta y Raspa, Navazos Niepoort, Mirabrás, Socaire, Ojo de Gallo, El Muelle or Callejuela’s unfortified wines —the much awaited new category of wines in Sherry Country— share the cellar with other traditional wines from the region —Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso etc. Mantúa even stocks some of the new wines from the cooperative in nearby Trebujena bringing the total number of wines to around 200.

Adventurous wine lovers and diners who prefer not to think too much about the wine are recommended to choose any of the two pairing options they have, one with local wines and one with their full range (€45 or €60, depending on the chosen menu). The professionalism and attention at Mantúa are the perfect recipe to have a great time at this restaurant in Sherry country which was awarded its first Michelin star in November 2019. Y.O.A.


From our archive: a sherrylover’s guide to the region and its wines