Situated on the left of the mouth of the River Guadalquivir and opposite Doñana, the origins of the first settlement came about because of the building of a Phoenician temple dedicated to Astarté.
This stately town - declared a Historic Ensemble- has an urban design characterised by being divided into two great nuclei: the Barrio Alto and the Barrio Bajo. The Barrio Alto is the historic centre with the town’s monuments, narrow streets, white house fronts and aristocratic palaces such as the Palace of Orleáns y Borbón or the Renaissance Palacio Ducal de Medina Sidonia.
After the discovery of the New World, this town became a port of reference and the point of departure for Christopher Columbus on his third voyage, Magallanes and Juan Sebastián Elcano on the first round-the-world voyage. The greatest economic peak in its history comes thanks to the development of trade between America and the Port of Seville, under the protection of the Duques de Medina Sidonia.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE DUQUES DE MONTPENSIER, ALONG WITH THE WINERIES, BROUGHT ABOUT AN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL REVIVAL IN THE 19TH CENTURY.
The genuine microclimate of the town is essential to the ageing of manzanilla –the most representative of the local wines – which is included in the Designation of Origin Jerez-Xeres-Sherry. It is a dry wine, suitable as an aperitif, with a beautiful pale golden colour, which is aged in white oak barrels in the wineries in the town centre known as the ‘cathedrals of wine’. These blend perfectly with the urban design of Sanlúcar, primarily in the Barrio Alto, where the Barbadillo Manzanilla Museum is also to be found.