González Byass international sales director Diego Talavera said he hopes the Sherry recovery will spread to other price segments

González Byass international sales director Diego Talavera said he hopes the Sherry recovery will spread to other price segments

Cocktail culture is bringing hope back to the Sherry category as it drives growth at the premium end, a González Byass executive has said.

Diego Talavera, international sales director for the Spanish wine and spirits group, said long-held optimism for a Sherry revival is starting to be realised as bartenders increasingly warm to the fortified wine. However, he warned that growth so far was confined to the higher price levels.

"Sherry is coming back for sure in the higher categories," Talavera told just-drinks this week. "The luxury Sherry, or the old and more premium Sherries, are really trendy now. In the world of mixology and cocktail bars, people are really getting back into Sherry."

In London, Talavera said, all the leading bars have a Sherry on their drinks menus. "And, it's nice growth at the top-end," he added. "Up by triple digits."

González Byass is one of Spain's most well-known Sherry houses and has brands at all price points. Talavera said he hopes the Sherry recovery will spread outside of the top-end, but added that "if it stays like that then we are happy also".

Sherry sales have dropped in the past few years as consumers have turned more to wines and spirits. The UK is one of the world's biggest Sherry markets but, according to Wine & Spirit Trade Association data released in December, volumes have fallen to less than half the level of ten years ago. 

Talavera was speaking at the Tax Free World Association exhibition in Cannes, where González Byass is showcasing its London No.1 Gin brand. The company has also recently ramped up its Global Travel Retail force, poaching an executive from Miguel Torres to head up a new GTR unit.

Talavera is also a relatively new face at González Byass, having only joined the company from J. Chivite Family Estates in July.

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