Almacenista is a Spanish term (from almacén = camp), which in turn is derived from Arabic . It means something like storekeeper . Today the term is mainly used for special sherries ( Almacenista sherries ) and their winemakers .
An Almacenista (winemaker) keeps unblended sherries in stock for 30 years or more. Almacenista sherries are wines that are traditionally produced by small private winemakers and mostly sold directly by them. These sherries are not blended and are made from the best quality white wines . An Almacenista mostly produces sherry as a sideline or hobby . The term Almacenista is legally protected for sherries from the region around Jerez de la Frontera (cat .: Xerez).
Based on an idea by Rafael Balao, the large Bodega Emilio Lustau started buying these sherries from the Almacenistas and marketing them internationally under the names of these winemakers. The house founded by José Ruiz-Berdejo in 1896 still belonged to the Almacenistas until the 1970s.
See also: sherry