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Ban Lifted on Gorgollassa, Giró and Viognier Grapes

The 2012 wine harvest has started. It is always the white grape that gets harvested first, from August 15th onwards, roughly speaking. That is grapes of the Chardonnay, Macabeu, Malvasia and Giró varieties, amongst others. Some vintners swear by the moon and may have started harvesting this year’s grapes on August 17th, the August New Moon. Others consider that a lot of humbug and call it an unproven folk tale with no background in science.

Be that as it may, the Conselleria d’Agricultura, Medi Ambient i Territori recently authorized the use of three indigenous Mallorcan grape varieties for wine making under the label Vi de la Terra de Mallorca: Gorgollassa, Giró Ros and Viognier. The island’s wine makers have campaigned for legalization of these grape varieties for quite some time, up to ten years if I am not mistaken. Approval had to first be gained from the European Commission in Brussels, then from the Spanish Government bodies in Madrid, then from Industria, the Mallorcan regulatory body, until finally, six weeks ago, the Island Council Agricultural Department approved the amendment, recognizing and regulating the geographical criteria for wines made in Mallorca.

Wine had been produced from these grape varieties in recent years, but its sale was so far prohibited. Now, any supposed illegality has been lifted. You should try some wine made from Gorgollassa or Giró grapes; they are quite impressive. The Viognier variety I do not know myself; I can not vouch for this one.

The grape shown in today’s photo is probably a Manto Negro. This variety is distinctive, but is hard to grow and it oxidizes easily.

Manto Negro is difficult. It takes to the character of the land very well, but it’s like a wild animal, savage, and you have to educate it.” (Maria Antonía Oliver, Bodegues Ribas).

The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: August 26th, 2012. The time was 19:58:41.

2 replies »

  1. Can Majoral does an organic wine with 100% Giro, called “Capgiro”. 14% and quite “resiny”, look for the scariest painting on any wine! Ribas has produced their “Sio Contrast” with Gorgollassa – (Sio named after the grandmother) – which is a beautful, subtle wine much more like a Pinot Noir than the typical “Cab Sav/Merlot/Tempranillo” holy trinity prevalent in Binissalem DO. Lovely stuff.

  2. Hi,
    Slightly strange request…
    I’m messaging from the British TV show “The Only Way is Essex”.
    We are coming to film in Mallorca from the 1st to the 12th July. We are trying to find a typical Spanish farmer to feature in one of our scenes.
    Do you know anyone who might fit the description?
    Also we are trying to find a goat!
    or my number is 0000 000 0000000

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