Pedro Ximénez is a green grape from Spain, known for its role in Sherry wines.

Characteristics
Given the right con­di­tions, the grape eas­i­ly ar­rives at high su­gar lev­els. As it at the same time tends be low in aci­di­ty, its des­tiny was to pro­duce sweet wines.

It is used to make Sherry in Jerez but also other fortified wines in Spain’s Andalusia. Aromas are citrus, but also toffee, chocolate and dried fruit.

Wines
Sherry from Andalusia’s Jerez comes in many fashions. They are well-known and they are nice in their own way. Pedro Ximénez is used for the same kind of production also in Argentina, with the addition of VDN wines, another kind of fortified wine.

When produced as a varietal, also called PX wines, the grapes are left to dry in the sun, thus concentrating the grape’s naturally sweet aromas even more. The process then continues with fortification as when producing Sherry.

Food pairing
If you’re having a Sherry, for example a Fino or a Manzanilla a good suggestion is to try it with Tapas, especially if they are a bit seasoned – the sweetness of the Sherry will blend wonderfully with the spiciness. Serve the Sherry at 7-9°C/45-48°F.

PX can be served with for example tapas, if you avoid the light ones. It will also work as a dessert wine, and will be a wonderful companion to a chocolate cake or a Coupe Hélène. The wine is best served at 11-12C°/52-54°F.

Where is it grown?
Pedro Ximénez is a grape found predominantly in Spanish speaking countries. There are however only two countries, Argentina and Spain, where we find plantings of a substantial level. The variety is however clearly decreasing in both countries.

  • Argentina 12.132 ha/29,979 ac, MPG 7 (a 20% decrease)
  • Spain 9.036 ha/22,328 ac, MPG 15 (a 39% decrease)

In Argentina, it is grown in all regions, with a focus on the Mendoza wine region’s districts San Martin, Lavalle, and Rivadavia. The three districts together account for 42% of the country’s plantings.

In Spain, it is mainly found in Andalusia (in the area of Cordoba, which holds 83% of the country’s acreage) and in Extremadura’s Badajoz province.

There are reports of smaller acreage from several countries: Chile (118 ha/291 ac) where almost all plantings – a staggering 95% or 2.261 ha/5.588 ac – have been uprooted since 2000. In Portugal, reports state an acreage of 197 ha/487 ac.

Very small plantings are reported from Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay. Plantings in Australia in 2000 (89 ha/220 ac) are no longer reported in 2010.

History
Pedro Ximènez is recognised as being of Andalusian origin, and it has been documented more than four-hundred years ago.