VINOBLE takes place in an absolutely unique setting: a fortress complex built between the XII and XVIII centuries, whose beauty and historic value are in complete harmony with the nobility of the wines being exhibited at the fair.
The Alcázar de Jerez is one of the most emblematic monuments of the city, and the oldest, and its beauty dazzles all who visit it. The word “alcázar” derives from the Arabic “al-qasr” which defines a group of buildings surrounded by walls forming a defensive complex, and it is situated at the highest point of Jerez.
It is self-contained a fortress-palace, a little city on its own, and the seat of power which ruled the city and its territory.
This is the original entrance to the Alcázar and the only access from the city. It is a typical entrance to an Islamic fortification with a dogleg gateway. One enters through a monumental horseshoe arch into a space covered by a pendentive dome.
This is a small private oratory and the only surviving mosque of the 18 which existed in Muslim Jerez. Its construction dates from the XII century and it has all the typical elements of these religious buildings including a minaret, the tower whence the call to prayer was made; the patio for ablutions with a central fountain for the ritual of cleansing and purification with water prior to entering the prayer hall. The prayer hall, presided over by its mihrab which shows Muslims the direction of Mecca.
King Alfonso X “The Wise” who conquered the city in 1264, re-consecrated the mosque to the Christian faith, dedicating it to Saint Mary, to whom he also dedicated two canticles, summaries of which appear on two marble slabs above the altar.
Among the reforms carried out by Don Lorenzo Fernández de Villavicencio in the XVIII century was the construction of the oil mill. The cultivation of olives was very important to the economy of Jerez and its countryside until the mid XIX century, proof of which is this old device for milling and pressing oil. One can see the old mill with adjacent massive wooden beam press for extracting the oil.
This patio dates from Christian times and was used for training and exercise of the garrison, inspection of the troops and important ceremonies.
More than 50 exhibitors from the old and new world will showcase their wines at this years Vinoble.