The party lasts a week. By the end, everyone seems to have lost something – Gonzalez Byass GB head Martin Skelton lost his voice, John Chapman of The Oxford Wine Company his passport – and me, my Jerez feria virginity. But perhaps it's in pictures that the feria can best be captured. Below are the edited highlights from three intoxicating days under the Spanish sun. Hemingway would be proud...
The sea of lights make the night appear day, illuminating the casetas
Lanterns adorning the ceiling in the Gonzalez Byass caseta
GB's Andrew Sinclair initiating me in the ways of the Rebujito (Tio Pepe & Sprite), and incredibly popular and refreshing feria drink
In the early hours of the morning, a señorita belts out a flamenco tune
A lady in traditional flamenco dress takes time out from dancing
A galleon full of prawns at the Gonzalez Byass winery, where we ate our way around the world
Caviar canapés in engagement ring boxes - a quirky touch during a curious culinary adventure
I got two proposals that night!
Gonzalez Byass GB head honcho Martin Skelton enjoying the puds
Toothpaste tubes filled with chocolate begging to be squeezed...
A señor enjoys a Cuban cigar while awaiting entry into the bullfight
With the sun high in the sky, the seats quickly fill up and the flags come out in anticipation of the matadors
Dressed in their trajes de luz (suits of light) the matadors file out and do a pre-fight glory lap of the ring
A pair of señoritas dressed in opposing orange and green make their way to the feria through the sun drenched streets of Jerez
A besuited caballero takes a break from parading through the feria
At night the feria comes to life, when the lights look almost lace-like
Soaking up the experience: my Shawshank Redemption moment