Herman Gijsbert Keppel Hesselink (1811-1888) was a wine merchant in Zutphen, Holland, who later moved to Arnhem. The firm was then known as Hoffmann Hesselink & Co and traded particularly in Sherry and Port. Herman opened a bodega in Jerez under the trading name Kappel Hesselink in Calle Bizcocheros. One of the few Dutch owned bodegas, It was taken over and expanded in 1872 by his sons Cornelius (1852-1917) and Willem (1846-1927) who renamed the firm Hesselink Hermanos. The family were already established wine traders in Holland, now under the name Wijngroothandel Gebruder Hesselink & Co and moved to bodegas in the nearby Calle Cerrón, expanding later into Calle Medina. The firm was often referred to as the Compañía Holandesa.
Their connections with their homeland were naturally strong, and Holland was the destination of the vast majority of their wines, exported in bulk and distributed to bars, hotels and restaurants from their premises in Marktstraat in Arnhem. Until his death Willem was Spanish vice consul there, followed after his death by his son Herman who also worked in the business. Many medals were awarded to the firm’s wines at exhibitions throughout Europe. The two Dutch brothers married two Dutch sisters, Egberta and Hendrila Engberts, daughters of a rich cloth merchant.
|Hesselink premises in Arnhem|
Nothing has been heard of the firm in Jerez after 1908, and it was probably absorbed into another company. The Dutch end ceased trading in 1916. While Holland remained neutral in the First World War, it is likely that importing wines from Spain and Portugal became all but impossible.