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Roberto López, Star wines

Roberto López, Star wines

Roberto López, head sommelier at La Gaia and Ibiza Gran Hotel, was born in Estepona (Malaga) and arrived in Ibiza this season. He has extensive experience as a sommelier in luxury establishments such as Hotel Puente Romano in Marbella, among others, and has brought his bold passion and innovative approach to the wine world to La Gaia. His aim: to take the gourmet experience enjoyed by diners at La Gaia to the next level.


How did you develop your passion for the wine world?
About eight years ago I decided to continue advancing in my professional career and started to teach myself about the world of wine. I seized the moment by suggesting that I take charge of the wine cellar at my then place of work, so I could apply what I was learning and get some experience.

It’s funny because I’ve always done lots of sport, and at that time I met a judo group from France, from the Champagne region. We organised a judo trip to explore the area, the wineries... And that experience was what convinced me that I really wanted to focus my career on the wine world. I carried on studying independently until I trained at WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust). I finished Level 3 last year while I was working at the Hotel Puente Romano and I’m now working towards the diploma, which is a further two years of study. 

What does your job involve?
There are two sides to my job. One that I find rather tedious, which is the administrative side, and that involves looking at consumption, price and supply data each day to ensure the business is profitable. And the other is more fun, from my point of view. Talking to customers, making suggestions, showing them a world of possibilities through different bottles, telling them stories and giving them the greatest wine experience possible.

Roberto López, La Gaia sumiller, Ibiza Gran Hotel
What is the wine list like at La Gaia?
Wine at La Gaia is at a turning point because we’re finishing the summer season in Ibiza and our hotel opens from April to October. If I had to describe our wine list, I’d say that it fits a Michelin star restaurant. But right now, I’m starting to focus my attention on how we’ve going to evolve next year at the restaurant and, of course, the La Gaia wine list too. In the 2024 season I’d like us to have a list of almost 800 different wines, with virtually all the different styles of winemaking from around the world, with wines from the five continents, featuring examples from the local area, of course, and making sure to include the finest selection of wineries in Ibiza.

What pairing options are there at La Gaia?
We have three pairing options: local, international and the most sophisticated option, great wines of the world (Bourdeaux, Tuscany, California, etc.) 

What do you think about Balearic wine? Have you had the chance to try some?
I really admire how committed they are to using environmentally friendly farming and wine-production techniques, and supporting ecology, history, and protecting the land. I’ve had the chance to try wine from the Balearics, production is still very modest at the moment because most of the wineries are young, but they’re definitely flavours that have surprised me. 

Which are your favourite wines?
My wine lists always have room for an amontillado. It’s the wine where all of us sommeliers end up because it goes through around five different wine-making processes and is aged for at least 16 years. They’re exciting wines that everyone should try at least once.

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