A labour of love, MarbeVinos is the product of a true passion for the noble wine.
The Rancho Grill in Las Chapas has built up a loyal following for its ambience, its service and of course the cuisine it offers, but to those in the know it is also one of the finest spots in the region for wine aficionados.
In this they would be joined by owner Ghislain Loix and sommelier Alfonso Rioboo. True connoisseurs of the heavenly nectar, they personify the passion that is at the heart of an important wine collection consisting not just of great names, but also new Spanish virtuosos to offer to diners at sister restaurants Rancho Grill and the Grill del Puerto in Puerto Banús.
“Our desire is not just to impress with our wine list, but to share exciting discoveries of fantastic new wines with our diners,” says Ghislain, whose private collection formed the original basis of the bodega that has earned the Rancho Grill such a reputation among wine lovers. Rather than entrust such a treasure with a sommelier in name only, he searched for a professional with pedigree and the same passion for fine wines as himself.
Galician-born Alfonso Rioboo is that person. Having studied at the hotel school of Santiago de Compostela, he then honed his skills as a sommelier at top restaurants in Spain and London, a process that culminated with three years at El Lago, the venerated establishment of three-star chef Pedro Subijana in the Aragonese Pyrenees.
“After this, I was asked to teach aspiring sommeliers at a hotel school in Aragon,” says Alfonso, “an opportunity I couldn’t refuse at the time, but when Ghislain offered me the chance to become a true sommelier again – and with that the curator of a fine and growing collection – I grabbed it.”
The fact that this ‘posting’ was in Marbella merely sweetened the deal, and so they set out to ensure that the wine collection would be nurtured, expanded and kept in optimal conditions, starting with a custom-built bodega that functions as an impressive display of the wine collection but is also a state-of-the-art wine cellar keeping all the different wines and vintages at exactly the right temperature, angle of repose and humidity…