• 2023.06.15
  • A Winery Tour
In my last article I wrote about the Osborne winery in Andalusia, where they converted one of their cellars into a museum space in 2016 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Osborne bull billboards. It's called the Toro Gallery. They say the cellar was built in 1841, so the building itself is a kind of cultural heritage site. The gallery presents various exhibits for visitors to see while you explore the history of the Osborne bull.

Photo 1

Photo 1 shows a cellar currently in use at the same winery. They made the ceiling high to provide plenty of air space, for the floor they used a type of sand from Andalusia called “albero,” which provides an excellent balance of moisture retention and drainage and is even used in bullrings, and they covered the passageways in a type of river gravel that helps lower the temperature in the cellar via vaporization heat when you wet the gravel, so as to provide a stable environment with the best temperature, humidity, and ventilation for making sherry. This is how even today they carefully cultivate the yeasts that have settled in the natural environment of this cellar over many years, without the use of electric air conditioning and the like.

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 2 shows the inside of the gallery, which was converted from the cellar next to the currently in-use cellar described above. Photo 3 shows the entrance to the gallery and what the albero sand and gravel passageways looked like when it was being used as a cellar.

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

Before the bull billboard was born, it was a plain sign that could have been mistaken for a traffic sign, as in photo 4. Photo 5 shows the original bull image designed in 1954 by Manuel Prieto, the local artist who was commissioned by Osborne. The gallery exhibits start with these historical items and present works to do with the bull created by a lot of different artists. Photo 6 shows tennis shoes worn by Rafael Nadal, one of the top tennis players not only in Spain, but also the world.

photo 7

There was a much-anticipated tasting session waiting for us after the tour of the cellars and gallery that we went on (about 1 and a half hours). Photo 7 shows the tasting session, comparing 5 varieties of sherry, the pride of the Osborne winery. The nibbles were a little plain, just peanuts and potato chips. However, Osborne also offers a special deluxe gourmet winery tour for those wishing to try the “perfect marriage,” to use the fashionable term. On that tour you get to taste premium sherries, and for nibbles, they serve things like the finest Iberian dry-cured ham, produced by 5J, an Osborne Group company.
It’s worthwhile visiting if you are visiting Spain or Andalusia, either by high-speed train from Madrid (a little over 4 to 5 hours) or by car from Seville (a fraction over an hour). Particularly if you like your liquor.

Toro Gallery, Bodegas de Mora Osborne
Calle de los Moros, 7, El Puerto de Santa María, 11500 (Cádiz), Spain
* I digress, but the Spanish word for “bull” is “toro” while the word for “cow” is “vaca” (or “baka” in the Japanese pronunciation).


  • Susumu Yamada
  • JobSpanish and Japanese Translation

It’s been almost 37 years since I received a residence permit and work permit from the Spanish government and paid my first tax and social insurance premiums. Now that I’m at that age where I will soon go and register at the senior human resources center, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to introduce you all to this country that has taken care of me these many years.

View a list of Susumu Yamada's

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