Pedro Ximénez is a white grape variety most commonly found in the Montilla-Moriles region in southern Spain. It is strongly associated with sweet wine from the Jerez region, though the grape itself is not widely planted there. It can be found elsewhere in Andalucía, as well as in Portugal, Australia and South America.
In the vineyards in Montilla-Moriles, Pedro Ximénez is highly susceptible to disease and is relatively low-yielding. The variety is thin-skinned, and the grapes are traditionally dried in the sun, causing them to dehydrate and concentrating their sugar levels. This is done to produce dark and sticky sweet wines. Pedro Ximénez makes up a large majority of the Montilla-Moriles vineyard, and much of the production is sold to producers of fortified wines in Jerez and Málaga. This is a perfectly legal practice, and producers can label the resulting wines according to their own geographical designation.
The most important grape variety in Jerez is Palomino Fino, which accounts for almost the entirety of the vineyards. Pedro Ximénez wines are imported from Montilla-Moriles to sweeten Palomino-based blends, sometimes alongside the Muscat of Alexandria grape.
Jerez producers may also bottle imported Pedro Ximénez wines as a single varietal Sherry, often labelled “PX”. Pedro Ximénez Sherry is the sweetest and darkest of all Jerez wines. High-quality examples of Pedro Ximénez Sherry are some of the finest dessert wines in the world, and aged examples from top producers can routinely fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars. PX Sherry can have as much as 500 grams per liter of residual sugar, capable of exceeding even the sweetest Tokaji Escenzia wines. They are deep brown in color and highly aromatic, with notes of coffee, licorice and dried fruits.
Outside of Spain, Pedro Ximénez can also be found in the Alentejo region of Portugal, where it is known as Perrum. Further afield, a small amount is grown in Australia, where it is known simply as Pedro; and in Chile, where it is known as Pedro Jiménez.
Pedro Ximénez should not be confused with Pedro Giménez, a widely-planted white grape in Argentina. Pedro Giménez is significant in the production of everyday wine intended for the domestic market, and its largest plantings are in Mendoza.
Quality Pedro Ximénez wines aren’t hard to find—especially if you elect to use Wine Enthusiast’s online Buying Guide below. Browse through thousands of reviews and informative articles written by our expert tasters to educate you on this and other varietals.