Question: What is the Origin of the Black Bull and Red & Black Bottle Sign?
Everyone who has driven around Spain, particularly Andalusia, will have seen the black bull and perhaps also the red and black bottle sign. But what are their origins?
The black bull sign and (to a lesser extent) the red and black bottle sign are, to many people, the embodiment of what Spain is. Unfortunately, the origins of the these symbols of Spain are a lot more mundane than you might think.
The black bull and the red and black bottle are advertisements for sherry. Nothing more. The black sign belongs to the Osborne sherry company and the red and black bottle belongs to Tio Pepe.
The signs were more traditional advertising boards in the past, but a 1994 law banning meant that the signs were supposed to be removed... until local protests forced the compromise that you see today: blank signs with no reference to the product for sale.
Sherry is made in Jerez. Interested in learning more about sherry from Jerez? Read about visiting a sherry bodega in Jerez.
Ready to have some of your favorite ideas of Spain ruined? Then read these Myths and Misconceptions About Spain.