You are here

Ibiza winter days out - Sa Cova Vineyard, San Mateu

Sa Cova, Ibiza's pioneering vineyard offers 'We make wine more from the heart than from the pocket' - and we don't doubt it, enjoying our day far more than we could have possibly predicted.

For a truly authentic Ibiza experience this winter, a visit to Sa Cova vineyard in San Mateu takes some beating.

Although it is located in the sheltered area of Es Amunts, deep in the heart of the beautiful Ibiza countryside and surrounded by pine-clad hills, Sa Cova is extremely well signposted and my companions and I had no difficulty finding it.

Juan, the owner, was waiting to meet us as we arrived and right from the offset, his passion and pride in his winery was clear to see. His excellent English, warmth and willingness to share his considerable knowledge had us all riveted as he took us on a 30 minute or so tour of the premises.



Since the Phoenicians first arrived on Ibiza back in the seventh century, wine has always been made here, but when Sa Cova (which means The Cave in Catalan) started producing wine in 1993, it became the first commercial winery on the island.

Juan explained that wine-making began as a hobby for him as, indeed, it is for many Ibicenco families who take advantage of Ibiza's perfect climate, soil and grapes to make wine for their own consumption. Realising that he would also need to learn about chemical reaction and equipment, Juan visited vineyards in Italy and on mainland Spain, and today Sa Cova combine modern methods with traditional ways which have changed little since the time of the Phoenicians.



Very much a family business, run by Juan together with his daughter and son-in-law, Sa Cova employs two workers and seasonal staff to help with harvesting and pruning. They have a distributor in Germany and also sell a little to some restaurants in Catalunya, but apart from that, Sa Cova wines can only be found on Ibiza which is exactly how Juan likes it. In his words, "we make wine more from the heart than from the pocket."

The tour complete, Juan took us into the restaurant for wine-tasting and food. Being more accustomed to "supermarket wine" the Sa Cova wines were nothing short of an absolute delight and surprisingly very reasonably priced, even the boxed limited editions which come complete with ownership certificate.



With a wood-burning stove keeping us nice and warm in the beautifully rustic, homely restaurant, top quality wine, locally-produced food and glorious views of the vineyards and Ibiza's lush green hills, we all agreed that this was, in fact, the perfect way to spend a winter afternoon. We were served with plenty of freshly baked bread with Brie and Manchego cheese, followed by pulpa (or octopus) with onions, potatoes, peppers and parsley, then a delicious sweet potato dish with either oxtail or boquerones, and a delicate sponge cake to finish.

Sa Cova offers tours every day during winter, but you must book in advance. A tour of the winery, plus wine tasting and three tapas costs just €15 per head, whilst a tour followed by wine tasting and a meal costs €30 per head. Alternatively, you can choose from the extensive and reasonably priced a la carte menu.

There is no way to convey in this article just how much we learnt that day about wine and the process of making it, nor do we want to…we can only hope that you will take our advice and head out to San Mateu to experience it for yourself. But Juan's explanation of things like where corks come from, the life-span of the French oak barrels, why we should never keep wine close to electrical equipment, which grapes are used for which wines, why some wines will give you a hangover, and how the natural fermenting process works, to name just a few, had us all fascinated and viewing wine in a new, and perhaps more respectful light.

There are many more exciting projects and developments planned for Sa Cova very soon which we are not yet at liberty to disclose but don't worry, dear readers, Ibiza Spotlight will keep you all up to date at the appropriate time!

In the meanwhile, do make sure you don't miss out on this wonderfully enriching experience offered by Ibiza's first ever vineyard.

Quick Facts

What Sa Cova Vineyard.

Where San Mateu.

When All winter.

Why Learn all about this noble tradition whilst wining and dining in style!

Average Spend Per Head €15 or €30 per head depending on choice of food after the tour.

Veggie Options Yes.

Disabled Access To the winery yes, but unfortunately not to the restaurant.

Room for Improvement Not that we can think of.

Top Tips Go with a group of friends and family and find out why we are raving so much about Sa Cova!

Related content