Bully for Them
an advertising campaign for Spanish brandy came to represent
something else: an entire country.
The road to the workshop isn't paved. The old Volvo clunks along
the rocks and shards of stone lining the alleyway. When the car
stops, two tiny dogs chase each other in a race to reach it. Their
yapping obscures the sound of a bright blue corrugated metal door
sliding sideways to open. A courtyard is revealed, but there aren't
any beds of flowers or paths of manicured grass, only a gravel lot
and a low-lying cinder-block building. From every vantage point,
you can see the familiar silhouette. Black. Robust.
Here, in a battered workshop rife with tools and tradition, the
heart of the Osborne Group, and some say of Spain itself, resides.
Here, in El Puerto de Santa María, in the sherry triangle of Spain.
Here, on the outskirts of town, miles from where the corporate
offices are. It's the Tejada family workshop, an unassuming place,
where a most imposing figure is forged - the Osborne bull, the
symbol that rose from ad to icon.
What is now the Osborne Group was founded in 1772 as a producer of
fine sherry and brandy. Since then, the company has added numerous
varieties and vintages of wine to their offerings, as well as other
business interests, including bottled water, Iberian pork products,
and the Mesón 5J restaurant chain. The business continues to be
family owned and operated. And despite its other endeavors, wines
and spirits - including sherry, brandy, and port - continue to be
the central focus of the company.