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The Countryside

Moving inland, we find a land called the Campiña (countryside), where there is significant agricultural activity that has, in turn, given rise to a characteristic bread-related industry. Local companies produce a wealth of different types of bread, namely those made with unrefined flour, known as Pan de Campo (country bread). There is also a wide range of Picos and Regañás , which are basically small and crispy breadstick-type products.

When referring to the countryside of Cadiz, the area known as El Marco de Jerez deserves special mention. A landscape of rolling hills and white albariza soils characterize this area between the Guadalquivir River and the coast of Sanlúcar. These lands are home to the vineyards that provide the Palomino grapes from which the most of the wines of Jerez are made, under the "Jerex-Xérès, Sherry and Manzanilla de Sanlúcar” PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). These exceptional, world famous wines are true gems of the wine industry, produced with the unique and characteristic Solera and Criaderas ageing system. Another variety that enjoys growing prestige these days is the Pedro Ximénez, or PX, a pacified grape that renders elegant sweet wines and vinegars, also under the PDO. Sherry Vinegar and Brandy de Jerez will be discussed in different sections of this site as well.

At present there is also an emerging activity around the creation of new wines, particularly whites and reds, using grapes other than the Palomino variety, associated primarily with the so-called "designer wines" movement.

The countryside also produces oranges, high quality rice and chick-peas, along with important cattle raising activity, namely beef cattle. In this sense, it is important to highlight the growing importance of Carne de Retinto beef, obtained from calves with organic and extensive rearing.

The inlands of the province of Cadiz are also generous in providing various wild products, among which land snails (caracoles, small, or cabrillas, large), tagarninas (Spanish Oyster Thistle), asparagus, and large or small game, such as partridges and deer, would be the most characteristic.

And lastly, especially related to the countryside area is a major artisan industry involved with sweets and confectionary products. The most characteristic is the Alfajor of Medina, with a specific designation that protects against imitation. But we should also draw attention to the Turrón de Cádiz (fruit nougat), so characteristic of this city, or the Tocino de Cielo (caramelized egg yolks) of Jerez or Tarifa, as well as some of the specialties from the Sierra de Cadiz mountain area.

The Mountains...

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