The Tio Pepe Challenge Takes Place in U.S.

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A Virtual Competition from Gonzalez Byass Keeps the Sherry Revolution Alive and U.S. Winners are Announced

Tio Pepe Challenge

Not even a pandemic can prevent the Tío Pepe Challenge from happening in the U.S. González Byass teamed up with Chilled Magazine to hold the Tío Pepe Challenge virtually on Facebook Live on August 17, 2020, resulting in a tie between Ricardo Acevedo from Le Sirenuse Miami in Miami, FL and Damian Langarica from in Philadelphia, PA as the winners of the 2020 U.S. Tío Pepe Challenge.

The Tío Pepe Challenge was created by leading Sherry producer, González Byass, to inspire mixologists from around the world to create original, great tasting cocktails using Sherry as their principle ingredient. Ricardo and Damian competed against four other bartenders from around the U.S. virtually. The six competitors were judged by their use of the venencia (the tool traditionally used to extract Sherry from the barrel) and by their cocktail mixed with a González Byass Sherry.

The judges received the cocktail recipes and ingredients prior to the Facebook Live competition and prepared the drinks in the same order as the competitors. They reviewed each bartender based on the creativity of using Sherry in his or her cocktail and the skill displayed with the venencia. The judges included: Alvaro Plata, Tío Pepe Brand Ambassador; Jeff Greif from Chilled Magazine; Daniele Dalla Pola from Esotico in Miami; and Valentino Longo from La Sirenuse in Miami Beach, FL.

In the past, the winner of the U.S. Final would go on to compete at the International Final in Jerez, Spain. This year, since the event will not take place, all participants receive a cash prize, with the tied winners sharing the first and second prize, each receiving $1,500.

Pioneered by González Byass, one of the world’s leading Sherry producers, the Tío Pepe Challenge allows aspiring Sherry experts to test their knowledge about this wonderful fortified wine. The Challenge is designed to inform, educate and instruct on crucial aspects of Sherry.

In addition to Ricardo and Damian, the other competitors in the 2020 U.S. Tío Pepe Challenge were: Lance Bowman from Monnie Burke’s in Chicago, IL; Abigail Gullo from Ben Paris in Des Moines, WA; Trinh Quan Huy-Philip from The St Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, TX; and Sam Treadway from Backbar in Somerville, MA

For more information about the competitions, please visit:
@tiopepewine @gonzalezbyassusa #tiopepechallenge #tiopepechallengeUSA

When Worlds Collide
Created by Ricardo Acevedo, Le Sirenuse Miami
1 ¾ oz Tío Pepe
¾ oz Coconut vermouth
¾ oz Lemongrass sake
3 drops Ginger olive oil
Stir all ingredients except ginger olive oil. Strain into Nick and Nora the finish with 3 drops of ginger olive oil.

Created by Damian Langarica,, Philadalephia
2 oz González Byass Alfonso Oloroso Sherry
¾ oz spiced demerara syrup
½ oz preserved lemon juice
1 egg white
½ oz González Byass Nectar Pedro Ximenez Sherry infused with cinnamon
Combine and dry shake all the ingredients except the PX Sherry, then add ice and shake again. Double strain into a chilled coupe, and slowly pour the PX through a barspoon to the bottom of the glass to create the layering effect. Garnish with an orange peel and grated cinnamon.

About González Byass USA
González Byass USA is a Chicago based importer for a strategically selected portfolio of fine wine and spirit brands from around the world including Spain, Chile, Italy and Austria.

González Byass USA is the US subsidiary of González Byass headquartered in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. González Byass is a family-owned, collection of wineries founded in 1835 which spans across Spain’s most important wine producing regions. From its foundation, the González family have been dedicated to making fine Sherries and brandies in Jerez, Spain, creating such well-known brands as Tío Pepe Fino Sherry and Lepanto Brandy de Jerez.

Today the fifth generation of the family are the custodians of these exceptional brands having built the company into a family of wineries which produces wine in some of Spain’s most famous regions; Bodegas Beronia (Rioja and Rueda), Dominio Fournier (Ribera del Duero), Cavas Vilarnau (Barcelona), Finca Constancia (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla), Finca Moncloa (Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz), Viñas del Vero (Somontano) and Pazos de Lusco (Rías Baixas). In each of these regions the family strives to make the best possible quality wines respecting the local terroir and the environment. At the same time the company has also expanded its interests further in the premium spirits business and has created pioneering brands such as The London No.1 and Nomad Outland Whisky to complement the Spanish brandies in the portfolio Soberano and Lepanto, as well as their Mexican brandies from Pedro Domecq: Presidente and Don Pedro.

González Byass USA also represents a number of international wineries in the US market including from Austria Domäne Wachau, and from Italy Pranza, Caldora, Cantine Cellaro, Vesevo, Vigneti Del Salento and Tenute Rossetti. In addition, Harveys Bristol Cream and Fundador Brandy de Jerez from Spain.

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Rebekah Polster
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