✨ The good weather begins and Mallorca becomes the destination of choice for tourists from all over the world. But Mallorca is much more than sun, beach, hiking, and thousands of routes to discover by bicycle or trekking.
It is also a land that thanks to its Mediterranean climate, the wind in its favor in the cultivation of vines, and the continuous eagerness of study and improvement of Mallorcan oenologists, have achieved that in recent years, Mallorca is highly appreciated and valued by experts in the wine sector, considered a place with an excellent level of wine production ranging from the most classic white or red wine, to the riskiest and innovative natural wine of the moment. Surprising wines, with character, sometimes even risky and clear aromas.
Galileo Galilei said that “Wine is the light of the sun kept in water”, a statement that fits the Balearic reality perfectly. With 90% sunshine during the year and located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it achieves the ideal conditions for growing vines.
The Origin 🍷
Grape growing on Mallorca dates back to the beginning of 123 BC when the Phoenician and Greek sailors arrived and docked their large ships in ports.
Under the rule of the Roman Empire, consumption grew and became one of the most important areas of production, even exporting wine to other territories of the Empire. A success story that continued for two thousand years, even managing to overcome the prohibitionist stage during Arab rule, until the terrible phylloxera attacked the vast majority of vineyards on the island, in the nineteenth century. The effects and consequences of this mosquito were devastating. It took approximately 100 years to produce wine again and to be able to trade.
Wine “Made in Mallorca” returned in the 1980s, gradually acquiring the deserved popularity it had harboured centuries ago. On its return to the market and situation on the Spanish and world wine map, it did so this time hand in hand with the help of new technologies in grape harvesting, winemaking and wine distribution. This return would not have been possible without the passion, the enthusiasm, and the great work and union of the young producers of the island.
Denominations of Origin
2 Denominations of Origin (DO), Binissalem, Pla i Llevant and 2 Geographical Identifications (IG), Vi de la Terra de Mallorca and Vi de la Terra de la Serra de Tramuntana-Costa Nord.
DO Binissalem, is characterized by the cultivation of grapes of native variety: MANTO NEGRO, CALLET AND MOLL.
The well-known wineries such as Antonio Nadal, José Luis Ferrer, Jaume de Puntiró, Celler Albaflors and Vins Nadal belong to this DO.
It is one of the areas of the island of Majorca with more wine tradition. In this area, the cultivation of the vine dates back to Roman domination. Since 1993, when it was recognised as a territorial area dedicated to viticulture, there has been a significant increase in the activity of the entire sector (planting of new vineyards, the inclusion of new varieties, improvements in cultivation techniques, etc.). The increase in the number of wineries producing wine, as well as the improvement of the existing ones, and the important technological investments gave rise to an increase in production and, especially, in the quality of the wines.
Black grapes: Manto Negro, Callet, Fogoneu, Tempranillo, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Gorgollassa. White grapes: Prensal Blanco, Parellada, Macabeo, Moscatel, Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier and Giró Ros.
Training and pruning can be carried out by shoots or espaliers.
Harvesting is carried out with the utmost care since for the processing of protected wines only healthy grapes with the appropriate degree of ripeness are used, as well as a minimum natural volumetric alcohol content of 10 per cent by volume for white grape varieties and 10.5 per cent by volume for black grape varieties.
DO PLA I LLEVANT
D.O. Pla i LLevant was born in 1988 when a group of viticulturists and owners of wineries in this area with a high winemaking tradition applied for the concession of the denomination of origin.
It groups around 18 municipalities and more than 60 registered wine producers, which means that it groups together more than 445 hectares of vineyards. The most outstanding and well-known wineries are Miquel Gelabert, Finca Es Fangar and Bodegas Bordoy.
This D.O. is located in the centre of the island of Mallorca and it is the Sierra de Alfabia and Tramuntana that protect them from the cold north winds, giving rise to a very favourable microclimate.
Its soil corresponds to continental sediments rich in quaternary calcium, from which the reddish-brown or reddish-brown soils are derived, which at certain points have horizons of calcareous bark. The vineyards are located at an altitude of between 75 and 200 metres above sea level.
The vineyards located in the south of the island are less than 100 metres above sea level, while those located in the north reach a maximum of 200 metres above sea level.
Majorca, its natural and organic face
BIODYNAMIC Wines: Wines produced from grapes that have followed the biodynamic process, formulated in the 1920s by the Austrian Rudolf Steiner, founder of anthroposophy.
The principles of biodynamics are:
Maintain soil fertility by releasing nutrients into the soil.
Make plants healthy so they can resist diseases and pests. Produce food of the highest possible quality.
Biodynamics, although not certified at an institutional level but by private bodies, follows a precise agricultural discipline inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s principles and based on homeopathic preparations and lunar calendars. Many natural producers have biodynamic certification, others follow only a few biodynamic principles. In the winery, even the biodynamic protocol is more permissive than the natural one.
For example, Bodegas Mesquida, born after the fourth generation of a family of winemakers, by the hand of Barbara Mesquida and her brother under the brand name Mesquida Mora. Its characteristic is the commitment to biodynamic agriculture to care for and maintain the health of the land. They make great red, white and rosé wines under the geographical denomination of Vinos de la Tierra de Mallorca.
In this D.O. only the following grape varieties can be cultivated: (black grape) Manto Negro, Callet, Tempranillo, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Gorgollassa. And for white grapes, Moll or Prensal Blanc, Parellada, Macabeo, Moscatel deAlejandría, Moscatel de grano menudo, Chardonnay and Giró Ros. The varieties Manto Negro, Moll and Moscatel are considered the main ones.
The minimum alcohol content of the wines produced in this D.O. are for white wine 10.5%, rosé wine 11.0o, red wine 11.5% and for sparkling wines 10.5o.
That is why, as Galileo Galilei said, we can say that “the Balearic wine is a wine of sun and water”.
A NATURAL WINE is born from a viticulture that excludes all synthetic chemical substances (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers), is treated only with copper and sulphur and is oriented to low yields. A natural vineyard is easily recognized by the varied vegetation that lives in the environment: flowers, plants, wild herbs.
Harvesting is done by hand when the grapes have reached perfect maturity. If it is not mechanised, it is possible to select the bunches better and reduce the risk of damaging them. In the winery phase, the grape is accompanied in its spontaneous evolution without intervening with additives or oenological treatments to correct the appearance, aroma or taste of the wine.
A clear example of this type of production is Bodega 4Kilos, in the hands of the oenologist Francesc Grimalt, who was responsible for the recovery of the Callet grape in Mallorca. Together with his partner, he started and created this winery, which saw its beginnings in a friend’s garage, until it reached the winery that is today, a large, refurbished and reformed stable that formerly belonged to the Grimalt family. Its vineyards are located in different municipalities on the island of Mallorca, which is why it does not belong to a DO but is certified BIO for its philosophy of minimum intervention and with a geographical denomination: wine from the land of Mallorca.
What additives are allowed in winemaking?
Yeasts, acidity correctors, egg albumin, gum arabic, tartar cream, singlas, vegetable proteins, enzymes, and colorants.
The only additive allowed in natural vinification, in low quantities, is sulphur: a preservative that stabilises the wine. But the quantity makes a big difference: in the natural can reach a maximum of 30-40 mg / liter, in the so-called “conventional” up to 200 mg / liter. There are many oenologists who do not add it and affirm that a wine can be called natural only without the addition of sulphur. Note that the alcoholic fermentation process naturally produces small amounts of sulfites, without the need to add them.
So it’s an organic wine? No. Or rather, at the agricultural level, yes, but in the winery there is a lot of difference because the organic discipline admits almost all the additives and processes granted for conventional wine. So much so that there are natural producers who, despite having organic certification, do not expose it in the bottle, because they risk being deceitful..
Natural oenologists in many cases recover and protect local varieties, with great benefits for the general biodiversity and our palates.
The soils are formed by calcareous rocks (marl and dolomitic substrates) that give rise to calcic and clay soils that give the earth reddish and whitish tones with a slightly alkaline pH. These characteristics of the soil allow excellent drainage and this, together with the low presence of organic matter and the ease of penetration of the root, means that the cultivation of the vine is carried out under optimum conditions.
What do NATURAL WINES taste like? How to recognize them?
First of all. Wine tastes like wine. It only changes the intensity and variety, which is probably not the taste we are used to. The colors vary, being able to find wines of orange color that in reality are white that make a few days of maceration and extract color and complexity. And it is also possible to find wines that are slightly cloudy or with a little storage because natural wines often don’t filter (why filter if everything in the wine is good?). Filtration almost always has a mere aesthetic function). In fact, turbidity and storage can be a good indication that what you are about to drink is just a natural wine, a whole wine.
It is possible to feel a more pronounced acidity, a slight oxidation, more “wild” aromas and, certainly, it is also possible to find faults, because there are good natural wines and others less good, just like conventional wines.
Natural wine will make you TRAVEL out of the noble and famous territories of wine and allows you to DISCOVER many others, less famous but no less adequate. And along with the territories you will discover many small wineries, because the natural method is not adapted to large companies.
Be curious and prepare yourself for a great diversity, in aromas and flavours. Because each wine is an expression of the territory and of the vintage without any mediations or corrections that make it seem and recognize the already known taste, to the one prescribed by the denominations or the canon of sommeliers. And also because in any case it will be a living wine, which is constantly evolving, sometimes even in unpredictable ways.
Mallorca, an island, many vineyards, wineries and excellent wines to discover
A pleasant and advisable discovery for all those who, arrive on the island, and decide with confidence, to trust in the real local production and enter into the Mallorcan authenticity.
An island that little by little produces convincing wines and not only excellent and acclaimed biodynamic and natural wines.
A hidden place is committed to LEARN, DISCOVER, TRAVEL AND INNOVATE respecting the genuineness of each place. That’s why we bet on the importance of caring for the land with a philosophy of minimal intervention and we appreciate both NATURAL WINES.