Fino sherry is the palest of the traditional variaties of sherry. The wine is aged in barrels under a cap of flor yeast to prevent contact with the air. It is light, dry, with a hint of zesty bitterness towards the finish. This wine is delicious as an aperitif but will pair with shellfish or even full-flavored fish dishes.
What is now Emilio Lustau SA was founded in 1896 by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo. It was a modest beginning: Don José cultivated the vines of his estate of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera, stored the wines in his vineyard house and later sold them to one of the big exporting bodegas. He was, in fact, an Almacenista. In the 1940s, his son-in-law Don Emilio Lustau Ortega moved the bodega to the ancient Santiago district in the heart of the old city. There, in buildings which formed part of the historic Moorish walls of the city, he expanded the business slowly, still retaining his role as an Almacenista. From the 1950s onwards the firm became Emilio Lustau SA, and its size enabled it to join the prestigious ranks of the select group of exporters of Sherry. In the 1970s, the company expanded. First there were new cellars constructed at the old family estate of Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza. Later, from the early 1980s, Emilio Lustau SA, now under the management of the late Rafael Balao, became one of the most creative companies in Jerez.