AN OLD winery near Sayalonga is slowly but surely securing a strong reputation as one of Spain’s very best and an upcoming favourite of Spanish Michelin-starred chefs. Lurking in the shadow of La Maroma, Bodegas Bentomiz now produces 55,000 bottles of six different wine varieties a year after a storied journey of hard work and graft.
Also run as a high class restaurant, with the refurnished winery downstairs, Bodegas Bentomiz is owned by Dutch couple Clara Verheij and Andre Both who arrived in Axarquia in the mid 1990’s. They moved to Sayalonga and Competa in order to take advantage of some of the world’s finest Muscatel grapes and to give their wine-making project a shot.
Spending roughly €1.5 million on renovating their newly found property, the gamble appears to have paid off. Their success has paid dividends for the local community, with up to 100 people now employed in supplying the grapes alone, while one of their wines, Ariyanas, can now be found on the tables of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, frequently voted the world’s best restaurant.