The DO area, which only applies to white wines, is located on the Atlantic coast in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, close to the border with Portugal. The vineyards cover around 5,500 hectares of vineyards and, at 25 metres above sea level, are only just above sea level. There is abundant rainfall. With 60% of the total area, the autochthonous white variety Zalema clearly dominates. Other white wine varieties are Listan (Palomino - the most important sherry grape), Garrido Fino, Moscatel (Muscat Blanc) and Pedro Ximénez. Experimentation is increasingly taking place with many red wine varieties, such as Monastrell and also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the 16th century, the area was the main supplier of wines to the newly discovered South American colonies. Allegedly, this was already practised by Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). In the 17th century, wine was then delivered in large quantities for the production of sherry to neighbouring Jerez, to the south-east (now no longer allowed). Today, wines similar to the sherry types Fino and Oloroso called Condao Pálido and Condado Viejo are produced in a solera process. Other products are Jovens (young wines) and Rancios.