Mallorca has had its ups and downs with wine production. In 1891, there were almost 75,000 acres of land cultivated with vines, that’s just over 30,000 hectares. Now, this land area is down to about 2,500 acres (just over 1,000 hectares). Luckily, the quality of Mallorcan wine is more important now than sheer mass production. Most Mallorcan wines are grown in two DOs, or denominations of origin: Binissalem and Pla i Llevant. Binissalem is in the centre of the island, to the east of the Tramuntana mountains, while Pla i Llevant occupies the eastern side, to the north, west and south of Manacor. Some of today’s best wines, however, opt out of the DO system and are simply designated as Vi de la Terra.
When we first came to Mallorca, we bought wine by the gallon. Wine was sold in large glass flasks, then, holding 4 litres of the cheapest plonk you can imagine. I think it amounted to something like 65 pesetes per litre, or thereabouts. We preferred white or rosé wine from the Felanitx area; the tinto (red) gave us headaches. Luckily, since then, our tastes have improved. We now buy wine by the bottle and almost always, of the tinto variety.
I’m telling you all that because the Fira del Vi 2011 is coming up this weekend. The location, again, will be the Claustre de Sant Domingo in Pollença. The cloisters are well worth a visit at any time of the year. You may have been there for a concert during the annual Festival de Pollença but, the wine fair would be as good an excuse as any. The Fira is on this Saturday from 10h00 to 20h30, and on Sunday from 10h00 to 14h00. Admission is now a hefty 10 €, including a good quality glass for the wine, for you to keep. The wine tastings are frank and free but, please remember to drink with moderation. If you come by car, do not drink and drive. Perhaps you can come with friends and one of you can refrain from the temptations of Bacchus (the god of the grape harvest).
The following Bodegas will offer their wares in Pollença:
Son Artigues (Porreres), Ca’n Vidalet (Pollença), Armero i Adrover (Felanitx), Toni Gelabert (Manacor), Castell Miquel (Alaró), Galmés i Ribot (Santa Margalida), Taujana (Santa Eugènia), Mortitx (Escorca), Sa Malvasia de Banyalbufar (Banyalbufar), Es Verger (Esporles), Can Majoral (Algaida), Son Sureda Ric (Manacor), Son Vives (Banyalbufar), Binigrau (Biniali), Vi d’Auba (Felanitx), Butxet (Muro), Galmes i Ferrer (Petra), Miquel Gelabert (Manacor), Son Prim (Sencelles), Son Ramon (Llubí), Sebastià Pastor (Santa Maria del Camí), Angel Bodegas (Santa Maria del Camí), Miquel Oliver (Petra), Son Puig (Puigpunyent), Pere Seda (Manacor), Can Feliu (Porreres), José Ferrer (Binissalem), Bordoy Bodegas (Llucmajor), Can Coleto (Petra), Vinyes d’Alaró (Alaró), Son Bordils (Inca), Ca Sa Padrina (Sencelles), Antonio Nadal (Binissalem), Xaloc (Pollença), Jaume Bennassar Valcaneras (Biniali), Ca’n Picó (Banyalbufar), Divins (Selva) and Jaume de Puntiró (Santa Maria del Camí). There will also be three wine growers from Menorca and Ibiza.
You may have noticed that eminent Mallorcan wine makers such as ÀN Negra, 4 Kilos, Son Vell or Macià Batle are absent from the above list. Your guess is as good as mine.
The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 12th, 2011. The time was 14:37:24.
The cloisters really is a great venue for the fira, and I hope it is as good as last years. We really enjoyed being delayed by an Icelandic volcano which delayed our going home (enabling us to go) but what a gem of an event this proved to be. We particularly enjoyed sampling the dessert wines which were of good quality and bought some to bring home, as they are impossible to find in the UK. Not too sure how I feel about some of the absentees, but it is nice that the “small” estates get the limelight, the quality of Mallorcan wines have made tremendous progress in quality over the years and this is a great chance to sample the majority under one roof. Ten euros is still very good value for this event. As my family and I are unable to attend this year we are going to open our last bottle of dessert wine on Sunday and toast the fira. Hope anyone reading this and attending can video the fira and post it on Youtube please. I will be offering no excuses for missing next year’s.
I just want to say that your photoblog is really good, and surprising for me, because I am a “mallorquí de Porreres”, and you show and describe all the things that we have in Mallorca in a really fantastic manner, but for us, the ones who were born in the island, those things are “normal” things, we never stop thinking about how “special” or “different” can be our landscape, our arquitecture, our gastronomy, etc.
I see in your blog and in your descriptions the same that I was doing when I was living in Germany, where I was taking photos of every detail and collecting information about all of it. And our photos are so similar… without people if it’s possible 🙂 But I don’t have any photoblog, sorry 🙂
And I am so glad and proud to see that you are an inmigrant here but you are so interested in our culture and maybe a little in our languaje, despite it is so difficult to learn 🙂 Mallorca needs more foreing people like you!
Finally I just want to comment something about your entry: the “gallon wine” in Mallorca, usually it’s called “vi de potada”, what it means something like “very strong wine” (potada means… very hard steps, with sound), and it makes always headhache!! For me it’s impossible to drink more than one glass, but the old Mallorcan men really like this wines. My grandfather used to made some of this wine from our own grapes, but it was about 20 years ago… when every family was making their own wine.
Ahm, maybe we are some sort of neighbours… I spend some weekends in Felanitx, in “Son Valls”, between Felanitx and Porreres, and I have seen some photos coming from places that are not so far away from there. If you never go there… try to go into the church, it’s so different, so new, my grandfather worked building it about 60 years ago. This church has some very coloured paintures on the top and on the walls.
Greetings from Porreres 🙂
many thanks for your kind comments. much appreciated your input regarding “vi de potada”.
i do happen to know the small church in son valls, also its interior and the lovely wall paintings. i know someone else, biel from porreres, who also worked on the construction of that church. it’s a small world.
Thank you for posting this list of wines and wine makers. There is a dwindling amount of Mallorcan wine imported to California. In fact, other than a random smattering of 2007 AN/2, there is none! And I happen to love the callet-derived varieties we have enjoyed on Holiday in Mallorca. So I was inspired to read your post.
I was able to find a case of callet (NEGRE DE SA COLONIA) imported from Toni Gelabert (Manacor) online on the East coast. It was delivered today, and I look forward to every drop.
Again, thank you for sharing a comprehensive list. Without this list, I would have never located such a splendid wine.
thanks for your comment. i’m glad you like mallorcan wine and, especially, the callet grape-variety. you’ve made a good choice with toni gelabert’s tinto. the negre de sa colonia 2008 won the gold medal in the 2010 rotary club palma bellver wine competition. toni gelabert also does a rather good pinot noir vi negre.
if you ever have a chance, try the 4 kilos, the son vells or the obac de binigrau.