A blog and review on all things Sherry. It is about tasting, enjoyment and learning more about the World’s Finest Wine. "Sherry is a thoroughbred" as Javier Hidalgo rightly puts it. Included are the amazing local Brandies and the remarkably good table wines also produced in the province of Cádiz.
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.