Wines From Manacor

Wine lovers in Mallorca will normally turn to vinos from Binnissalem, or possibly Santa Maria del Camí or Consell. Some aficionados may seek their pleasures from bodegas in Petra or Porreres or Felanitx. But wine from Manacor? Most people don’t even know that wine is being made in Manacor.

Well, let me tell you that you are missing out if you continue to ignore Manacor and its bodegas. Vins Toni Gelabert offer some excellent wines, including a Pinot Noir and some other first class tintos. Vinyes Son Sureda Ric produce a hand full of quality red wines applying ecological standards. Bodegues Pere Seda have successfully been in the business of making wines in Manacor for five generations by now. Vins Miquel Gelabert produce carefully elaborated wines including a multiple award-winning Chardonnay. And finally, the German owned Ses Talaioles is a relative newcomer producing only two red wines but of exquisite flavour and full body. Last Saturday, these bodegas participated in the 1er Tast comentat de Vins de Manacor, organised by the Confraria de Tastavins. You could wait until next year and go to the Segon Tast comentat, or go to a wine merchant any time soon and taste a drop or two of nectar from Manacor. You won’t be disappointed, that I can promise.

The photo was taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 29th, 2010. The time was 17:29:50.

Wines From Manacor

The Festes de Primavera in Manacor

The town of Manacor is busy celebrating its Fires i Festes de Primavera. The fair is scheduled to continue until June 6th, but this weekend already offers some of the highlights of the festivities.

Yesterday, the 1er Tast comentat de Vins de Manacor took place, a sit-down wine tasting of 13 wines from the Manacor area, expertly explained by a sommelier. The Castellers associations of Al·lots de Llevant and Castellers de Mallorca were meeting to present some human tower building. Sadly, one of the human castles presented by the Al·lots de Llevant group (see photo), first started to wobble during the descent and then collapsed. Four or five of the top tiers’ performers fell onto the pinya, the man-made base of the castell. One of the participants hit the hard ground, though, and had to be rushed into Manacor hospital. Let’s wish the victim, a male in his thirties, a full and speedy recovery.

Today, there will be a sheep shearing demonstration, an agricultural show with exhibitions of cattle, sheep, pure breed horses, trotting horses, mules and donkeys, Ca de Bestiar and Ca Mè dog competitions, falconry presentations, a furniture exhibit, an automobile show and a demonstration of Mallorcan arts and crafts. There is also a fairground with bumper cars and merry-go-rounds.

The full programme of events can be downloaded here as a pdf document.

The photo was taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 29th, 2010. The time was 18:48:42.

The Festes de Primavera in Manacor

The Fira del Llibre

The 2010 Fira del Llibre (Book Fair) opened in Palma de Mallorca yesterday in the Passeig des Born. The fair will be open daily from 10h00 to 14h00 and from 16h00 to 21h00, until June 6th. The Fair is organized by Fires i Congressos de Balears and the Gremi de Llibreters de Mallorca, under the patronage of the Consell de Mallorca.

I went there yesterday but found all 27 exhibitors’ stands closed. I was either too late for the morning session or too early for the afternoon hours, whichever way you might want to look at it. I was annoyed, really, because I thought an event like that should be open during the lunch break as well. After all, that is when office people or mortals with a job might have time to pass by and have a browse in one book or other. Anyway, the good news is that there will be a 5 % discount on any book that you might buy during the next nine days, here in Palma’s Passeig des Born.

This year’s XII Festival de Poesía de la Mediterrània is not really a part of the book fair. But it will take place from May 31st to June 2nd, also in Palma. Biel Mesquida’s festival will this year be accompanied by an artists’ activity at the Centre de Recursos para la Creació Contemporánea Quarter de Intendencia in Carrer Mar, the former Gabella de la Sal. The festival’s highlight, the Gran Nit de la Poesía will be held at the Teatre Principal de Palma on June 2nd at 21h00, when admission will be free and franc. Fifteen poets will present aural samples of their work: Saleh Abdalahi Hamudi, Nicole Brossard, Nevena Budimir, Antoni Canu, Jacques Dupin, Mustafa Köz, Joseph Pedrals, Jaime C. Pons, Arnau Pons, Peru Saizprez, Remi Raji, Carles Santos, Christian Uetz, Jose Viale Moutinho and Blanca Llum Vidal, in English, German, Spanish, Catalan, Arabic, Turkish and Portuguese.

The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 28th, 2010. The time was 14:52:51.

The Fira del Llibre

Sensuous Ice Cream Pleasures

No-one has ever claimed that the pleasures of ice cream were invented on the island of Mallorca. But ice-making and subsequently, the making of ice-creams have been a Mallorcan tradition for well over 300 years.

With the beginning of Summer the availability of ice creams is everpresent. In Palma de Mallorca, for instance, the friendly people of Heladería Can Miquel will offer you a choice of 24 different chocolate ice creams, out of a total of more than 90 ice cream varieties. Can Miquel is situated in Avinguda Jaume III, between C&A and El Corte Inglés. Try the Rosa de Alejandría variety for a sense of paradise without having to go to heaven first.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 10th, 2010. The time was 16:01:44.

Sensuous Ice Cream Pleasures

The Casa De La Senyora

Towards the end of the 16th century, the Castell de Capdepera was used as a fortified refuge and sanctuary for the region’s population, when there was a serious threat of attacks by Saracen invaders. Initially some 50 houses were built within the precinct of the fortress but, under the peril of pirate attacks this number was soon increased to a total of 150 dwellings, allowing the entire community to live within the walled boundaries.

Not much is left of those buildings but, one can find the remnants of a so-called Casa de la Senyora, a small abode which does not strike one as having had much significance. However, on one of the walls of this little ruin, a tiny fragment of a wall painting of a female figure has recently been uncovered and preserved. No-one seems to know much about this depiction or its momentousness but, nevertheless, it is an image that gives me immense pleasure every time I look at it.

The Capdepera castle was abandoned in 1854 when the military left the stronghold for good. If you want to visit, the site can be visited from March to October daily from 09h00 to 20h00 and the rest of the year from 09h00 to 17h00. Admission is levied at a modest charge of 2 €. For more information, telephone 971.818.746.

The photo was taken in Capdepera, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 16th, 2010. The time was 12:58:15.

The Casa De La Senyora

Moondials

Mallorca is big on gnomonics, the art of using dials and sundials. There are plenty of sundials in Mallorca and especially, in Palma, some of which are pretty ancient. But there is more to it than meets the eye. There are moondials as well, did you know? Have you ever seen one? Moondials are time pieces similar to a sundial. An ordinary moondial is identical to a sundial but, is only accurate on the night of the full moon as there is a considerable time-lapse between the full moon dates and times, and the other days of the month.

Still, I think gnomonics and especially lunar dials are most fascinating. Farmers in Mallorca were guided by the lunar cycles in the old days and to some extent, still are to this day. And what is good for agriculture is also relevant for gardening and horticulture. You will find that some comprehensive gardening books will mention lunar cycles.

The moondial shown above is located in the Parc de la Feixina in Palma de Mallorca.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 11th, 2009. The time was 08:45:46.

Moondials

A Delicate Balance

The scales shown here are tools that were used in Mallorca and in agriculture before the digital age. The photo (above) was taken at the Museo de Mallorca, Sección Etnológica, in Muro. The museum is well worth a visit, as is the town of Muro itself. Opening hours at the museum are from Tuesday to Saturday (10h00-14h30) and Sunday (10h00-13h30). On Thursday, the museum is also open in the afternoon (17h00-19h30). Admission is free. Should you want to pay a visit, you ought to go sooner rather than later, as the museum will be closed any time soon for major renovations.

The photos were taken in Muro, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 15th, 2009. The time was 13:23:14 and 13:25:09, respectively.

A Delicate Balance