José Ferrer Winery Visit

“Deep rooted tradition, with modern innovation.”

Jose Ferrer Logowww.vinosferrer.com
Tel. +34 971 51 10 50
Binissalem, Mallorca Spain

The José Ferrer Winery is still family owned and run since its founding in the 1930s, and is one of the largest and most organized wineries on the island. A smaller vintner told us the family is now island aristocracy. So well established, José Ferrer is one of the primary symbols of Mallorca for wine. They have made their name, reinvested their profits, are large and efficient, and have an inviting facility for welcoming people who come tour and taste. They make wines of all grades, from young table wines to select reserves, reasonably priced and available in stores everywhere. Their current production is 800,000-900,000. bottles per year. They are registered in the D.O. Binissalem and Vi de la Terra Mallorca, and have some vineyards registered in the association of Ecological Agricultural Products. Their wines are well known throughout Spain, and as Spanish export wine. At their stylish winery in Binissalem, they offer many levels of tours and tastings.

Jose Ferrer grapes

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We showed up without a reservation, and overheard the tour guide Miguel tell the people in front of us that there was a tour about to leave; but it was a closed tour, pre-booked by a small group and not open to the public. We wandered away, looking at the vast display room, and the tour left without us. A cheerful employee came up and asked if she could help us. We inquired about the next tour, and she immediately lead us to Miguel, they spoke in Mallorquin, and we joined Miguel’s closed tour that had just begun! Another example of the nice way even large island businesses can be personal! We followed bursting with questions, but not wanting to dominate the tour that we were so lucky to get on…

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In fact, the tour was fairly formal. First, we were shown the original bodega area, with lovely old fermentation tanks painted red with a product that seals out oxygen. Next we were taken upstairs to see the contrasting enormous stainless-steel fermenting tanks now in use since the bodega’s 1990s upgrade and remodel. Their size was astonishing; we were on the second story and they still towered above us! We then toured the clean and efficient bottling plant; then on to the gorgeous old original cellars that are still in use. The main cellar is a vast room and beautifully lit. Miguel mentioned that there was a basement with more barrels below, not surprising because of the sheer volume of their production; their website says they have 2000 barrels in use!

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Here we learned that at José Ferrer, if they age a wine in oak, they generally age in bottle the same amount of time. All wines ferment first in the stainless steel tanks. Fermentation stops when they lower the temperatures, which kills the yeasts, after which time the sediments are removed. They stop the fermentation of their red wines as soon as they separate it from the skins. And the local Manto Negro varietal is the red grape they use most, by choice and in keeping with DO Binissalem requirements.

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After seeing the attractive new climate-controlled barrel rooms, we passed to where the wine was aging in bottles. Here we were told that José Ferrer makes one of the only Cavas, on the island.  So you know, Cava is the lovely name for Spanish sparkling wine.

Jose Ferrer Cava

It can’t be called champagne because the name “Champagne” is a Designation of Origin that can’t be used anywhere outside of Champagne, France. Anyway, at José Ferrer, the Cava never goes to oak, it goes straight from stainless to bottle. It is a coupage of Prensal Blanc (aka Moll), Muscat & Parellada grapes. Ok, we learned “Coupage” is a term for the blending of wines to create a new wine that is intended to be better than any of its parts alone.

Jose Ferrer tasting room
The tour moved on to a beautiful tasting room with magnum bottles lining both sides and a gorgeous long wooden table in the middle. We were told that they do private tastings in that room, but for bigger groups. We would have been delighted if we could have stayed and tasted there, the ambiance was that of Spanish Knights meeting around the table in preparation for victory.

Jose Ferrer Magnum Bottles
Gesturing to all the bottles, Miguel told us there are multiple lines of wine at José Ferrer, each include whites, rosés, and reds:

  1. José L Ferrer
    Traditional wines made the same way since their beginning in 1931
  2. Veritas
    Innovations and newer trends
  3. Dues
    Blends of 1 each Mallorcan and foreign grape varietals
  4. Pedra de Binissalem
    certified organic wines
  5. Special Editions

Back upstairs we saw rail tracks around the stairway. We were told that the rail used to come right through José Ferrer to ship their wine across Mallorca and to the island ports destined for Europe. Clearly it is one of the biggest wineries on the island, and rich in local history!

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After the very interesting tour, Miguel stayed with us and we continued our talk and started our personal tasting.  Perhaps our enthusiasm and true interest in wine opens Cellar doors for us!

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Jose Ferrer MapHow to get there:
From the Highway Palma-Inca, take the exit for Alaro/Binissalem and at the roundabout go in direction Binisalem, which is right. José Ferrer Winery is on the main road on the right hand side. There are big signs and a parking lot. You cannot miss it!

See Wines Tasted at José Ferrer: Click Here

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José Ferrer Wine Tasting

Jose Ferrer Logo

Wines Tasted:

◊   3 Reds   ◊

Pedra de Binissalem Negre 2013
Reserva Veritas 2007
Veritas, Vinyes Velles

Jose Ferrer multiple lines

There is no shortage of wines to choose from for tasting! With five different lines of wines produced at José Ferrer, we wanted to taste them all! However, we must have told Miguel we are red-centric, because we only tasted red wines today. In retrospect, of course we should have tried a white and a rose, because it is hard to understand the full spectrum of the winery when you only taste one type. But, one really can’t taste everything as a drop-in; and we were going with the flow – as one does!

Putting our glasses beside a plate of Quelly biscuits and Mahon cheese (great authentic Mallorcan products for our tasting), Miguel poured, and we dove into a sea of red.


#1
Pedra de Binissalem Negre 2013
Grapes: Mantonegro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jose Ferrer Pedra de Binissalem

Comment:
Tawnee: I am so happy to see that a major producer on the island is getting into organic wine! We had to try this red! It was delicate, with ripe berry tones and a distinct finish.

Merie: The first wine was the Pedra de Binissalem, Negre 2013. This deep red wine is organic, from their own Vineyard at Finca Sa Pareteta which is registered Ecological. It is a blend of Manto Negro and Cabernet grapes. They cool the bunches of grapes before squeezing, and maceration and fermentation are done in stainless tanks before following with 6 months in new American and French oak barrels. This wine has aromas of berries and ripe fruit, with the chocolate and coffee notes of French oak.


#2
Reserva Veritas 2007
Grapes: Manto Negro
Callet
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jose Ferrer Veritas

Comment:
Tawnee:  I was happy to be able to try a Reserva on the tasting list, as usually they do not open them. This was a solid wine. The name is perfectly chosen – Veritas in English means “the truth.”  It would be good served with a traditional meal of Mallorcan lamb chops, fried garlic and French fries.

Merie: Next we tried The Reserva Veritas 2007 red. Fermented in stainless, aged one year in French and American oak, then aged in bottle over two years before sale. It is made from 60% Manto Negro, then Callet and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a very rich, almost smoky wine, with aromas and flavor of ripe fruit.


#3
Veritas Vinyes Velles
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon
Syrah
Callet

Jose Ferrer Veritas Vinyes Velles

Comment:
Tawnee: This is my favorite wine of all that we tasted, and I like the label with the big V! V for Veritas (the truth). It is a solid wine with a good rich flavor in mouth. Vinyes Velles means “the old vines” and that is where this wine comes from – José Ferrer’s oldest vines. Knowing this adds to the enjoyment of drinking it, it is deep rooted and full of heritage and wisdom.

Merie: Finally we tried the Veritas red. All the Manto Negro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Callet grapes in this wine are hand chosen from old vines. Held in French and American oak for one year. It is rich, with smoky almost roasted, aromas and flavor.


Here is the rub: There is some quality about these reds that wasn’t to our taste. We are wondering if the grapes are pressed too ripe, or if a short fermentation period leaves some residual sugars, or maybe the tannins are too smooth… we really don’t know. These wines are rich and robust and have a ripe fruit quality; however, there was something different about them that was consistent in all. Further education is needed!


Jose Ferrer Miguel

Thank you Miguel!

See José Ferrer visit: Click here

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