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The origin of the city of Jerez is diffuse. However, there are remains of human presence since prehistoric times.
But it can’t assure its existence as an urban town until the Middle Ages. Because it was from the invasions of the Almoravids and the Almohads when it was consolidated as a city.
Before the Phoenicians called it: Xera. And the Romans Seret and also the Visigoths.
Between the 12th and 13th centuries under Muslim rule, the city experienced a period of great development. Moreover, with an intense construction of civil and religious buildings. And construction of its defensive system of walls, towers, barbican or antemuro and moat.
Jerez will enter the crown of Castile in 1264. Then the Muslim population had to leave. Afterwards there were several centuries of fighting between Moors and Christians.
Until the 15th century Jerez promoted its agriculture, trade, livestock and wine industry. The city expands, and new neighborhoods are created around the chapels of San Miguel and Santiago.
The splendour that Jerez will have in the next century has its point of reference in the last third of this century which prepares the way for the great century of the Renaissance.
From the 16th century onwards its development would follow the rhythm marked by the previous century. The conquest of Granada and the discovery of America were the beginning of a period of great prosperity for the city.
The political, economic and social decline of Spain in the 17th century affected Jerez greatly. A period of wars, epidemics, bankruptcies and the failure of the monarchy arrived.
Later in the 18th century Jerez experienced a development parallel to the modernization of the country. Then its wine was introduced to half the world.
Then during the 19th century the expansion of wine will continue. In this century in Jerez they built many wineries.
The 20th century
At the beginning of the 20th century Jerez fought hard to combat the plague that destroyed European vines and caused the crisis in the cities that depended almost exclusively on wine.
In Jerez he replanted his vineyards with American vines. It also integrated new agricultural products into its agricultural structure and diversified its industry.
The rest of its history is parallel to that of the country.
The weather in Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera is a municipality in the province of Cadiz, Andalusia. It includes a large extension of the natural park of Los Alcornocales and the Sierra de Gibalbín. Also known as Montes de Propio de Jerez. This affects its climate.
Jerez de la Frontera is in an area with a Mediterranean climate with oceanic influences, because it is only 12 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. Its climate has humid and mild winters and dry and very hot summers.
Furthermore, according to the Koppen climate classification, Jerez de la Frontera has a Mediterranean climate. That’s why its annual average temperature is about 17 °C.
Winters are mild, and January is the coldest month, with less than 16 degrees maximum average and about 5 degrees minimum average.
Summers are very hot, with August having the highest average, with over 33°C maximum and about 18°C minimum average. In addition, every year it exceeds 38°C on several occasions.
The annual average rainfall is 598 mm per year, concentrated in the months of October to April, December is the rainiest month, with 109 mm. There are 54 days of rain per year, 137 clear days, 2,966 hours of sunshine per year, very few days of frost and none of snow.
More than 15 days a year the temperature exceeds 40°C and the climate is oceanic. But also very dry and arid.
The temperature records
Its record high temperature was August 16, 2010 with a maximum of 45 °C. But its record low temperature was -3 °C on 4 February 2011.
Sometimes during the winter there are some frosts for about a fortnight a year.
It was on 5 September 2016 when Jerez registered the highest temperature for a month of September. On that day the maximum was 44.6 °C, just a few tenths of its absolute record of 45.1 °C on 1 August 2003. Since records have been kept.
Jerez Popular Festivals
The Jerez Carnival
As in the whole province of Cadiz, the Carnival is also very popular in Jerez. With its parade of floats, its chirigotas, songs, music and costumes.
The Horse Fair
Which is also called the May Fair or the Jerez Fair. It is a festival with the title of international tourist interest. At the beginning of the 90s the Mayor of the city decided to ban the general public from entering any stand. Except for a single day of the fair which is called the day of the member. This opening led to many visits to the fair and several extensions of the fairgrounds. This is why the Jerez Fair is one of the largest fairs in all of Andalusia.
As in other cities and towns in Andalusia, this festival is celebrated in Jerez. It commemorates the Christian festival of the ascension of the Body of Christ to Heaven.
The Holy Week
Its Holy Week is one of the biggest in Andalusia. Because a total of 42 processions take part in it, with an average of six a day. Here too, the saetas to the images are typical. These are also complemented by other public displays of brotherhood sentiment
The Jerez Flamenco Festival
According to several media, it is the best in the world. Moreover, in 2007 it was attended by more than 30,000 people. And also for The Festival more than 120 media from all over the world come to Jerez every year.
The Grape Harvest Festival has been held since 1948. The first treading of the grapes takes place there, and it is celebrated in the first fortnight of September. In addition, during about two weeks cultural events of the most varied topics are offered.
Patron Saint Festivities
The 24th of September is the day of Our Lady of Mercy, Patron Saint of Jerez. And on 9th October is Saint Dionysus, the patron saint of Jerez.
As in all of Europe, Jerez celebrates Christmas in December. But in Jerez there is also the peculiarity of celebrating with zambombas in the courtyards of neighbours. And there are also peñas (clubs), especially in the more flamenco-like neighbourhoods. These are enlivened by Christmas carols.
Furthermore, the zambomba of Jerez has been declared an Asset of Intangible Cultural Interest. And there is also a long tradition of public nativity scenes.
The most important economic activities in Jerez
Jerez is a very economically stable city. There are several sectors that act as a motor for this city, tourism, the wine industry, the area of logistic activities, construction and agriculture are the most important.
In the past, the livelihood of the area was the wine industry, but the crisis that this city went through at the beginning of the 90s in this sector led to a diversification of efforts.
Today, tourism and wine are the main sources of income for the economy of Jerez.
Because Jerez was traditionally a city focused on the wine industry. At that time it did not have the social structure of a civil service that other cities enjoy. That is why this city has always based its economy on industry.
In addition to the production and marketing of wine, fruit, cereals and vegetables are also grown and cattle and horses are raised. That is why its Central Market of Supplies is a reference.
The Wine Crisis
After the wine crisis in the early 1990s, the city sought to diversify the industry. That is why tourism was promoted and successful. This was mainly due to the strong identity of the city’s landmarks (wine/brandy, flamenco and horses), the attraction of the festivities and the important historical heritage, as well as events such as the World Motorcycle Championships.
On the other hand, other actions have been carried out, which are oriented to the location of the city as a logistic centre in Western Andalusia. And this with large surfaces and distribution warehouses, seeking synergies between the railway, the airport and the nearby ports. That is why the Agro-Industrial Technology Park of Jerez is dedicated to the University of Cadiz through the Jerez Campus. And it also promotes from the Institutions the entrepreneurial and business culture through institutions such as the Chamber of Commerce of Jerez, and various business parks.
Jerez Technology Park
The Agro-Industrial Technology Park of Jerez is a space for agro-industrial companies. But soon it will also house innovative companies from other sectors.
In this park there is a diversity of companies and associations in the sector such as the “Comunidad de Regantes de Guadalcacín”. We can also find them in the Technology Park of Jerez.
Jerez (Sherry) Wine and Wineries
Historically, the whole city has been linked to the culture of wine, from architecture to any work done there.
Because the first seeds of vines were brought by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC.
After the Muslim conquest in the Middle Ages, attempts were made by Muslims to destroy this industry. But the Jerezans convinced the caliph that the raisins gave energy to the soldiers. So finally the vine industry was preserved.
Since the Reconquest in the 13th century, wine consumption has spread. Moreover, since this time, wine was already being exported to England.
From the Modern Age onwards, Sherry wine became a source of wealth for the region. Now it is exported not only to England but also to France and the Netherlands. Moreover, on all the ships that went to America, a third of the cargo was reserved for wine.
International Exploitation of Sherry Wine in Jerez de la Frontera
From the end of the 17th century, after some violent attempts, the British decided to bring the wine peacefully, and English businessmen settled in Jerez.
Moreover, wineries such as Garvey, Duff-Gordon, Wisdom & Warter and Osborne were founded. Also Spanish and French businessmen join this entrepreneurial initiative.
Denomination of Origin of Wines from Jerez
The Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Designation of Origin was created in 1935. It is also the first in Spain. Along with this fact, auxiliary sectors were created in the city, such as the cooperage.
It is also true that at the end of the 1980s there was a crisis. Because there was a decrease in the national demand, in spite of continuing to be a world famous wine.
But with the new millennium there has been a resurgence also as a place of leisure and wine tasting.
Also linked to the production of wine from Jerez have come other products to market, also under the appellation of origin as they are:
- Brandy de Jerez
- Sherry vinegar
Without forgetting the Andalusian breed of dog, Ratonero Bodeguero.
Wineries in Jérez de la Frontera
The main wineries in Jerez are:
- Bodegas Lustau, recognised as the 7th best winery in the world in 2014 by the International Association of Wine and Spirit Writers and Journalists
- Bodegas Maestro Sierra, awarded with the ‘European Gold Medal of Merit at Work’Domecq
- Estévez Group
- Garvey Group
- Williams & Humbert
- Bodegas de Pilar Plá (originals from 1830)
- Wineries Tradition
- Sanchez Romate
Also, lately new wineries have appeared that are developing high quality red wines under the denomination Vinos de la tierra de Cádiz. It must be taken into account that from time immemorial until the 18th century the wine made in the region was of this type