Among the cities that make up the Regulatory Council for the "Jerez-Xérès-Sherry", "Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda" and "Vinagre de Jerez" Designations of Origin, Sanlúcar is the only one where the Manzanilla is made. The official age of this Designation of Origin dates back to September 8, 1932.
But Sanlúcar is not only known for being the birthplace of the Manzanilla. There are also other wines that no less important. Some that are noteworthy are the Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Cream, Moscatel, Pedro Ximénez and also the Brandies and Ponches.
The food of Sanlúcar boasts a wide variety of exquisite dishes that characterize the city with a great culinary richness. Since it has a surrounding seaside, fish provides the large basis of its cuisine, although its fresh produce is also very high in quality. The cooked seafood is most noteworthy, especially the famous king prawn. Its success is due to its own qualities of flavour and texture, and the way in which it is prepared.
“Raya a la Naranja Agria” (ray in sour orange sauce), “Sopa de Galeras” (squilla soup), “Lenguado a la Vendimia” (sole in wine sauce) and the “Ajo”, which is a customary country dish that is prepared with bread, tomato, green pepper, garlic and oil, and goes great with must, are just some of the more famous Sanlúcar dishes.
Finally, we cannot forget its pastries, among which are its Arab pastries, mantecados (traditional Christmas sweet made mainly from lard), turrones (type of traditional candy), torrijas (similar to French toasts), buñuelos (fritters), preserves and tocinos de cielo (sweets made with egg yolk and sugar).
Sanlúcar is famous for having numerous festivities and celebrations that are spread out over the entire year. The following are some festivities in chronological order:
February: the par excellence festivities are the CARNIVALS, a grand tradition where several popular activities take place, such as group competitions, costume competitions, the Gran Cabalgata (carnival parade) and the Baile de Carnaval (carnival ball).
March: Holy Week is celebrated, in which fourteen“cofradias” (lay brotherhoods) perform processions that are fervently popular.
May: in this month the Romería del Rocío (annual pilgrimage) is enjoyed, where a large number of brotherhoods of the Virgin of El Rocío of the province of Cádiz cross the mouth of the Guadalquivir River by Sanlúcar de Barrameda in their pilgrimage to the Hermitage of El Rocío. While the brotherhoods wait to embark on their trip to Doñana, a great environment of festivity is created in the district of Bajo de Guía.
June: in June the festivity of two great evenings can be enjoyed: that of San Antonio (Saint Anthony) and Ntra. Sra. del Rocío (Our Lady of El Rocío). It is also the month when the famous “Feria de la Manzanilla” (Manzanilla Fair) is celebrated, dedicated to the exquisite wine of Sanlúcar.
July: the following evening events are noteworthy in this month: Ntra. Sra. del Carmen (Our Lady of Carmen), Bonanza and Bajo de Guía (two districts of Sanlúcar).
August: two great events stand out most of all: the celebration of the Patron Saint’s Day, where carpets are made with coloured salt on the main streets of the city, and there is a procession for Ntra. Sra. de la Caridad (Our Lady of Charity), the Patron Saint of the City and the well known horse races on the beach. This is a tourist/sports activity that has been declared as an International Tourist Interest. The oldest horse races in Europe are held at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. The International Music Festival is also held on the banks of the Guadalquivir.
October: those who visit Sanlúcar in October may enjoy the Romería de Algaida (pilgrimage), the festivity for the Patron Saint St. Lukes and the Feria de la Tapa (food fair).
November: in the first week of the month, the Feast of All Saints is celebrated.
December: coinciding with the festivity of the Day of the Spanish Constitution and the Day of the Inmaculada (Blessed Virgin), the Equestrian Week takes place, organized by the Horseracing Society. Endurance riding, racing and jumping events are held.