By Peter McLaren-Kennedy •
Published: 02 Nov 2022 • 20:11
Coque Winery - Credit Kike For
The theft announced by partner Rafael Sandoval on Wednesday, November 2 occurred after thieves burrowed through an adjoining property.
They are said to have then entered the courtyard shared by the restaurant and the neighbouring pharmacy, before breaking the glass window to enter the premises.
132 bottles were taken by the thieves, assuming that’s what they could carry, leaving behind another 30,000 bottles.
The police have told El Pais they are investigating the theft, which they say targeted the wine collection. There is they say no evidence that anything else was taken or touched.
They add that the people involved knew what they were looking for as the bottles they took were of a very high value. The theft was, however, not noticed until a day later as the restaurant and pharmacy were closed for the public holiday.
No alarms were set off during the robbery which suggests that these are professionals who were carrying out a “on request” theft. The robbery Sandoval said: “was carried out with great precision.”
The number of people involved is unknown or exactly when the robbery occurred. Sandoval confirmed that there is a huge black market in expensive wines and a robbery such as this would be to order.
He added that they are one of the most important wineries in Spain and that they have many security measures in place, including images that have been shared with the Police.
The Sandovals are upset by the robbery, not only because their security has been violated, with some of the bottles taken having been in the family for three generations. There exact value is unknown but is likely to exceed €200,000.
The Police are believed to have taken fingerprints and other evidence with the wife of chef Mario Sandoval saying: “We hope they find them, they are very unique bottles, we hope to recover some.”
Each year a bottle is added to the collection from the winery of the same name, with one of the bottles taken being a 1925 vintage.
Sandoval said: “It’s a life’s work. Economically, no doubt, it is money, but you have to see all the work behind it.”
The Coque is internationally renowned for its wine collection, which has also won awards. To lose 132 bottles of wine worth €200,000 through theft is for the owners far more personal than any ordinary break in.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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