Ibiza restaurants: Vino & Co – Wine selling and storytelling
When it comes to families, it’s rare that everyone gets along. More often than not there’s bickering and nit-picking and quibbling, and the likelihood of sharing the same interest as a sibling is slim to none. But that’s not the case for the Hamersma family, because they’re resolutely bound by an immersive love of one very special thing: that bountiful, beautiful liquid we call wine. For Jeroen Hamersma and his daughter Rosa, wine is at the centre of the universe, and they revolve around it accordingly. This means running and stocking their store, Vino & Co, with newly sourced treasures, six days a week.
Located on the stretch of road from Ibiza town towards San Jose, Vino & Co is the stuff wine lovers’ dreams are made of. Row upon row of high quality wines, each serendipitously discovered and chosen for their unique properties and rich, agricultural history – this isn’t the place to come if you’re looking for the stock-standard bottle of Moët. “We are a different kind of wine shop,” explains Rosa earnestly. “We work with boutique wines made by small producers who focus on organic, ecological produce. Essentially, all the brands you might know, we don’t have,” she laughs. “Just because it’s famous doesn’t mean it’s better.”
This ethos very much forms part of the mission statement at Vino & Co. Their aim is to make wine accessible to everyone – to remove the stigma attached to not being a ‘wine expert’. “We have a very friendly approach here,” says Rosa. “We know each wine like the back of our hand so we try and impart that knowledge to our customers.” Jeroen adds: “There’s so much more to Spanish wine than Rioja, for example.” Take a wander round the shop and you’ll be met with sections entitled ‘elegant and smooth’, ‘juicy and fruity’, ‘powerful and intense’.
“Our primary aim is to make wine more approachable,” explains Jeroen. “We want people to dare to try new things in a comfortable environment, so we encourage people to have a snoop around the shelves. Ultimately it’s about having fun and enjoying life.” This spirited joie de vivre shared by both Rosa and Jeroen is a fundamental element of what they offer at Vino & Co – something they dedicatedly aim to share with customers. “They say wine sellers are storytellers,” notes Rosa. “And that’s great because we want people to come here for an experience.”
Moving into winter, there are plenty of opportunities to share a yarn over a hearty, deep-bodied red as the Vino & Co bar opens every Friday night. “At the end of October people can stop by and choose from 30 wines by the glass or any bottle from the shop plus corkage,” explains Rosa. “That means we have the biggest wine list on the island because there are over 350 bottles to choose from!” In addition, cheese, meat and Jeroen’s homemade paté is served up, and on occasion presentations about chosen vineyards and pop-up dinners. “It’s a great mix of all ages and nationaities,” smiles Rosa. “It’s all about drinking, eating and being merry,” adds Jeroen.
Of course, that’s not the only way you can secure some Vino & Co expertise. They supply a great variety of the island’s beach clubs and restaurants with wine, and are well versed in advising exactly the tipple you need to complement your wedding, party or boat trip. “For sure the shop keeps us on our toes,” says Rosa. “But wine brings lots of happy people with it; a happy mentality. And for us, food and wine is a lifestyle – it runs in our family!”
This is the key to Vino & Co’s success. The entire Hamersma family works in hospitality, and lives and breathes wine. In fact, Jeroen’s brother is one of the most acclaimed wine writers in Holland. Rosa too, is a Certified Sake Sommelier, while Jeroen excels at hunting down small wineries to find the perfect drop. Between them all is a wealth of knowledge and unwavering passion for what they do. And who can ask for more than that?