Mallorca’s Wines

wines of Mallorca

Today’s post is by Martin Ward from Wine Educators International, our partner in Mallorca Hiking’s walking and wine tours:

So, as we are well into summer and it’s been very hot, dry and sunny… the last few summers have given us record temperatures; spare a thought for Mallorca’s vines as they bake, rather than bask or bathe, in the sun.

We might think that vines, like us, love nothing better than a long hot summer but this is not actually the case as they are fickle, demanding plants.  If you contrast the arid dryness of Mallorca’s Binissalem D.O. with some other, cooler, classic parts of the wine world, for example – Champagne, Germany or New Zealand to mention but a few, we can be perceived as simply too hot.  It’s the same in many places on the peninsula and in Lanzarote, where it regularly exceeds 40ºC.

Thank goodness we are a small island and we have some counterbalancing breezes to cool things down a little!  So, our temperamental vines like summer ‘warmth’, a little rain (at the right times and not torrential), cool winters, just a pocito of frost, breeze (but not high winds)…. you start to get the picture.

Having said this, it’s amazing that we have quite dramatic differences in the microclimates of our vineyard areas.  We have the two official D.O. regions of Binissalem & Pla I Llevant but also vineyards that do not fall into either of the demarcated, geographic areas, like the lovely Son Puig near Puigpunyent (where of course we offer a very special Walking & Wine Excursion – Puigpunyent).wine growing in Mallorca

This means that the harvest for the charming Isabel, her father Raimundo and family at Son Puig can sometimes be several weeks later than that of say, Bodegues Ribas in Consell where Araceli and her family often pick as early as the end of August or beginning of September (and here at Ribas, we can even arrange for you to spend a day helping with the harvest – hard work but a very enjoyable day and a fantastic experience!)

Mallorca’s grapes may sometimes reflect those of the peninsula in terms of style with Tempranillo; quite often they are international in flavour with Merlot, Syrah (Sira), plus Cabernet & Chardonnay BUT we also have the wonderful, indigenous varieties that make the island special.  Why not try some of the wines that showcase these – Mantonegro, Callet plus Fogoneu and Gargollasa for the reds and Premsal for the whites….. My favourite white for this time of the year is Son Puig Planco, which is Chardonnay + Premsal and it just happens to have won a Silver Medal in the prestigious Concours Mundial Bruxelles!

Better still, come and join us on one of our itineraries in the vineyards, taste the wines with us, and maybe even meet the winemaker…

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

Wines of Mallorca

Vineyard tours with Tailor Made holidays from Mallorca HikingFollowing on from our Mallorca Food posts, a superb collection of local wines. Wine making in Mallorca goes back to 1 BC and the Romans, who showed the locals how to grow and cultivate the vines – a skill that is today producing some of the finest wines in a world market. Wine making was prolific on the island between the 14th and 19th century, when a plague of phylloxera attacked the Mallorcan vineyards. The wine industry was decimated by this disease and most of the vineyards were subsequently replaced with almond trees. Although some wine production continued, it was not until the 1990’s that real investment and determination by local vineyards resurrected this great Mallorquin tradition. From this “re-animation” the wine making process of many of the Mallorcan vineyards has advanced significantly over the last few years, giving us an envious selection of red, white and rosé wines to choose from.

The equipment found in most vineyards is now of the latest technology with stainless steel installations and storage tanks; sophisticated refrigeration and temperature control for the fermentation process, and maturing of the wine in oak barrels.

A quality standard was introduced by the Balearic Councillor for Agriculture and Fisheries in 2007, which can only be used by wines grown, produced and bottled in Mallorca. Similar to the French AOC designation, the ‘Denominacio d’Origen’ classification ensures the quality of Mallorcan wines.

A wide range of grape varieties are used including: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, vionier and malvasia. Blending is also becoming popular and creating some excellent variations of what used to be a limited selection. Monastrel is the traditional wine grape used in Mallorca, which alone had not produced very imaginative or distinctive wines. Now, bringing in more grape varieties and blending has seen a dramatic improvement in choice and quality.

There are two key wine producing “districts” in Mallorca:  The first is located around Binissalem and Santa Maria in the centre of the island. Here there are more than 140 different wines produced from vineyards including the now well known Jose Louis Ferrer family and the bodega of Macia Batle. The second is to the east of the island centering around Porreres, Manacor and Felanitx. Here another 130 or so different wines are produced.

The result of all the investment and dedication poured into the vineyards of Mallorca over the last twenty years is now recognition worldwide for many of our wines. This year at the prestigious Mundus Vini awards the bodega Macia Batle won two gold and one silver award at a worldwide blind tasting competition (5800 wines from 42 different countries). At the same awards Bodegas José L. Ferrer received one gold medal and two silver. These are just a few of the long list of awards now pouring in for our fine Mallorcan wines.

The phenomenal success and growth of this gourmet market in Mallorca is now seeing our vineyards opening to the public for tours and tasting activities that are becoming very popular for many tourists visiting the island. Mallorca Hiking for 2011 will be adding tours of bodegas to the Tailor Made holiday activities – why not add this to your holiday itinerary with us. If you would like more information contact us here for details.

With such an irresistible combination of inspiring walks, great gourmet food and wine, plus an incredible range of alternative activities to complement your holiday – don’t waste another minute …. contact us now to make your reservation.