While marching through Medina Street to the beat of our headphones’ music, listening to The Misfits’ “Die, Die my Darling”, we come across the old street Cartuja, completely delighted by the precious Dios Baco winery.
Like other cathedral-style wineries, this one is more ornamental, larger and taller than Mudejar buildings. The interior is covered by a gable roof that divides the façade into two bodies. The refinement of the 19th century wine industry architecture reminds us of the classicism of an Ancient Greek Temple.
The winery was built in 1848 by the family Palomino y Vergara. The statue that dominates the building represents the god Bacchus seated with a rascal smile and getting plastered with Sherry wine, which is served in a bronze cup …not exactly like a poor man! The monument also presents a cornucopia or horn of plenty in the left hand. This sculpture made of limestone, as Juan Luis Sánchez Villanueva states in Monumentos con arte Jerez, 2011, was created originally in 1848 for Domecq wineries, but it was finally installed in Cartuja street for unknown reasons.
Bacchus is the god of wine and Dionysus’ Roman counterpart, whose name is the origin of the term bacchanal, a kind of party celebrated in his honour which was initially held only by women: the Bacchantes… but that’s another story to be told.
Coming back to the façade of the wine cellar, we can see three large windows in the pediment. At both sides, we notice that a wrought-iron representation of god Mercury, Bacchus’ brother and the god of commerce. On the central semicircular window we can appreciate another image of Bacchus. And just to mention another interesting detail: In Muros Street, no. 26, in the wrought-iron grille of the wine cellar located there since 1862, we can see the image of Mercury, or his Greek counterpart Hermes, in a better state of preservation.