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.