Cellar Jaume de Puntiró Visit

“Organic wines with character and artisanal artistry!”

Jaume Puntiro logo

www.vinsjaumedepuntiro.com
+34 971 620 023
Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca Spain

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Cellar Jaume de Puntiró was founded in 1980 by Jaume Calafat i Nadal. Currently, his sons Pere and Bernat Calafat i Vich run the winery and produce classic Mallorcan wines emphasizing local grapes, all harvested from their registered ecologically tended vineyards. It is, in fact, the oldest certified 100% organic winery on the island, and they produce around 40,000 liters annually.

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The family has owned vineyards for decades, always growing and harvesting by traditional methods. All their grapes currently come from the seven vineyards they own in the Santa Maria area; and all production is done on site in their Santa Maria del Cami facility on Plaça Nova. Their clients are mostly Mallorcan, with 20% of their bottled wine exported to Denmark, and 5% to Germany. The name Puntiró comes from an area from which the paternal family came. The winery is distinguished with the Carta de Mestre Artesà, and the Document de Qualificació Artesanal. They belong to the Consell de la Producció Agrícola Ecològica de Balears, and the Consell Regulador de la Denominació d’Origen Binissalem-Mallorca.

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It was a scorching July afternoon when Pere (Peter) Calafat i Vich opened the locked front door for us and we asked if a tour and tasting were possible. He grinned and waved us in “Sure! It’s all here, the whole production; we are only missing the grapes!” He introduced himself, and then said with a big smile that he is both the President of Cellar Jaume de Puntiró, and the sweeper. Pere does not speak any English. No matter, we enjoyed a wonderful tour of the small production facilities, and he told us that come September, all the front area tasting and sales decor leaves, and the grapes come in the door and own the place!

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He told us that his grandparents on both sides of the family grew grapes before and since the Phylloxera blight, and they were always ecological because it was the only option in the past. Today, they do not use herbicides to kill weeds or toxic chemicals, and use only natural products to control molds and fungi. They follow strict ecologic guidelines of what you can or can’t use; he told us that the natural products are much the same today as the family used before chemicals became available. They feel strongly about their vines, wines, and clients, and carefully tend their vineyards accordingly.

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They grow eight varieties of grapes in their five vineyards: Their reds are Manto Negro, Callet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot, which they age 12-24 months in oak barrel; and their whites are Prensal Blanc, Giro Ros, and Muscatel which they generally age 6 months in oak barrel or steel tank. Pere said his grandfathers and father made one red wine, which they sold from the cask and never bottled, whereas now Cellar Jaume de Puntiró makes two full lines and sell both from cask/tank and bottles. All the grapes ferment individually in a tank and then they are blended as desired, except for the JP wine where the varietals are fermented together.

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Pere told us that one has to understand the nature of each grape to make a good wine; for example, in his opinion, the Callet grape make a good 100% Rosado, but Callet 100% red is not as good: it is nicely aromatic, but lacking flavor strength and structure.  On a related note, we learned that technically a Coupage is where you take a trusted wine like Cabernet Sauvignon and cut it into wine made from a grape varietal that needs bolstering for any reason (i.e. color, tannins) like most wineries do with Callet and Manto Negro.  So a coupage is a blend with a specific supportive role.

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The winery has a close link to the arts and music. Not only having artists paint their Crianza line labels, but also they have concerts and poetry readings in the winery. We love the idea of serenading the grapes as they ferment and mature! On their FaceBook page it shows they had a Glosses competition, which is the traditional chants that they sing at the fiestas Sant Antoni. They even have a symbol that represents each bottle- Pere says it is the Puntiro Alphabet. They bring a lot of creative arts into this bodega!

Puntiro Alphabet

We quickly found ourselves chatting with Pere like old friends.   He told us that the family tradition of naming continues:  Jaume the grandfather, then our Pere, and he has named his son Jaume — We are thinking perhaps the future owner?!  Pere happily shared facts about their production, telling us they use only American and French oak barrels, and that the same wine aged in barrel becomes “golos,” or rich, and without barrel is bright and refreshing. He also told us that nowadays, most Mallorcan wine goes to German clientele on island and as export.

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We asked him about how they temperature control their steel tanks in such hot weather, and he told us that the stainless tanks are fine in an above-ground hot room now because they are empty, otherwise they air-condition the room in addition to temperature controlling the tanks. He guesses the tanks we saw outside at Macia Battle and Pere Seda are not filled until the day temperatures are low enough that the solar heat doesn’t affect the temperature-controlled tank interiors. Ah ha! We’d been worrying about that!

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As we were leaving, bottles in hand, Pere showed us the old rust-colored pine bough hanging outside over the front door. He told us that a pine branch in front of an entrance is a centuries old symbol indicating that wine is made there! A new pine bough announces when the new wine is ready each year. This lovely dried one was still here from last November!

All in all we loved our experience at Cellar Jaume de Puntiró: when an owner is this comfortable and passionate about his trade, it comes through in the Tour and the Tastes!  Cellar Jaume de Puntiró is a Must Stop on the authentic Mallorca Wine Trail!

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Please see out Tasting Notes for wines tasted today at Cellar Jaume de Puntiró!

 

Directions:Jaume Puntiro Map.jpg
As you drive into the town of Santa Maria from the highway, you will see a sign for the Urgencias PAC  on your right hand side. Follow this sign and you will come to the main square called Plaça Nova. Jaume de Puntiro is there. You need to drive all the way around the square since it is all one-way roads.

See Wines Tasted at Jaume Puntiró: Click Here

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Miquel Gelabert Winery Visit

“Artisanal techniques and ingenuity create a spectrum for the palate.”

miquel gelebert logo
(+34) 971 821 444
www.vinsmiquelgelabert.com
Manacor, Mallorca, Spain

Miquel Galabert Location

Open sesame – hidden away on a tiny residential street of Manacor, an anonymous door opened, and suddenly we are in a miniature but full-production bodega: Vins Miquel Gelabert. The family story goes that in 1984 Miquel cooked in his own restaurant in Manacor. His father owned land, and they were selling grapes to other wineries for so little money that they decided to try their own hand at wine making. At first, Miquel sold the bottles at his restaurant, but soon the demand was high enough to change careers and create Vins Miquel Gelabert. Today, though still small-scale and family run, Miquel and his team work with more than 30 varieties of grapes, creating blends unparalleled on the island. He is a champion of the local varietals! For the record, Manacor, and Miquel Gelabert wines, are in the Denominació D’Origen of Pla i Llevant, on the southern plains of Mallorca.

Miquel Gelabert Person

For a small island, we drove a long way to get to the old and almost industrial city of Manacor. That day we were searching for the two family-run wineries of brothers Toni and Miquel Gelabert [note that Miquel is spelled with a q, not a g, which is the Mallorcan spelling and pronunciation]. They had both been recommended previously by a favorite winery when we confessed our self-education project, and we were anxious to taste their work and see their bodegas.

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We GPS mapped Vins Miquel Gelabert first, and somehow ended up on some tiny street in a small residential area, so of course we were sure our GPS was wrong. But no, looking closer we found telltale stucco grapes over a wide entrance, and when daughter Maria opened the door she revealed the remarkable antique urban bodega within! Built in 1909, it was originally designed as a winery on the rural outskirts of town, and now lies hidden in its center. We only know it was owned by someone else and was purchased by Miquel in the mid 1980s, when he began to make his own wines in earnest.

Miquel Galabert fermenting tanks

Stepping into the entry, two tall stainless tanks towered to our right and Maria told us that the wine in both was already sold in advance. The small room was wallpapered in a patchwork of awards. Maria told us that 50% of their wines are for Mallorca, and 50% for export to Europe.

Miquel Galabert Awards

She led us down a long and steep spiral staircase to the small room where their wine ages in barrels and bottles. Apparently without exception, all Miquel Gelabert reds are aged 12 months in barrel. She told us that though almost all Mallorcan wineries stick to the Spanish rule of Crianza being 6 months in barrel, in fact in the Mallorca D.O.s there is no specific time or system – it can be months in oak barrel or stainless steel. That’s important if you expect an oaky flavor when you buy your Crianza, and then don’t get it!

Bottles Miquel Gelabert

She led us into the old concrete fermenting tanks, repurposed now as cool storage areas for bottles that are gaining their age, and told us that Vins Miquel Gelabert has three locations right now: Their country vineyard with 9 hectares planted, their small city processing bodega with tasting room, and their distribution hub where the 50,000 bottles are picked up annually for distribution. They make over 25 different labels/types/blends of wine, which is truly astonishing for such a tiny family operation, for ANY operation!

Miquel Galabert bodega

Maria told us her brother is just finishing his Enology degree on the mainland, and will be “training in residence” in New Zealand before coming back and working with their father. Maria was in training as well, but for now she is back home and focusing on family priorities. Mother stopped by briefly, and cheerfully helped us make a reservation at Toni Gelabert’s winery.  A family affair!

Miquel Galabert momma

We were told that Miquel Gelabert works mostly at the vineyard, and when the grapes are crushed and the young wines are ready for aging, they transfer it all to portable stainless tanks, and bring it in multiple trips in their personal vehicles to this urban Bodega; exhausting, but a system in place and wistful intentions of consolidating at some point. At Vins Miquel Gelabert, they hand pick all their grapes for the different quality blends; and also because some, like the Callet grape, mature unevenly and must be gone over by hand.

Vins Miquel Galabert

Next we headed to the room where they bottle, label, cork, and seal. All the machines are very small and partly manual. Maria showed us how they work and explained that as recently as two years ago they didn’t even have these machines, and did it all by hand, down to each individual label adhered with a paintbrush and glue! Artisan industry through-and-through!

Miquel Galabert bottle machine

Another vintner had fondly described Miquel as a mad scientist mixing so many blends. Nice to imagine him that way, but we saw him as the cook working on recipes, exploring the local grapes, and thinking outside the box to great effect. All very labor intensive and commendable, and luckily he enjoys the freedom to experiment without any restrictions on grape percentage requirements by D.O. Pla I Llevant (a luxury his D.O. Binissalem counterparts do not enjoy).

Vins Miquel Gelebert tasting room

Helping make sense of the plethora, Maria told us that the wines all fall into three lines as follows:

  • CAULES – everyday table wines
  • GOLÓS – medium range quality
  • SELECCION PRIVADO – top quality

and then a few Special Releases…

Miquel Galabert artistic labels

For a long time Vins Miquel Gelabert used artists to create different labels every year… (part of his mad scientist thing?)… but recently they have decided to try for bottle/brand recognition and have picked a few labels to stick with! This is another winery combing art and wine  – We are beginning to see a trend!

Finally Maria led us to the small and much awaited tasting room – and suddenly the array of wines astounded us further! Here their wines are all displayed with prices, organized across shelves spanning from white to red. Maria asked us where we would like to begin, so headily we started with the whites as we have learned to do; and goodness, are they good! She explained that their Chardonnay is unique because they have this Northern varietal in a special valley where the grapes get less sun in order to allow them to mature closer to their natural habitat. Otherwise, in Mallorca the land of sun, they often burn. Maria was very generous with her time, kind, since we had not made any reservation or given forewarning other than that last minute call of “Um… we are looking for your bodega… and we think we are on the right street, but…” She gave us a glorious tasting – please see our Vins Miquel Gelabert Tasting Notes.

Vins Miquel Galabert Manacor

Before we knew it, it was lunchtime and we had earned a good meal! Maria gave us a recommendation for cafe in the town (we wished it was at Miquel’s long-gone restaurant!) and we popped back onto the street to meet the grape-friendly sun with smiles on our face!

Directions:Miquel Gelebert Winery Map
Hidden in the city of Manacor…I hope these directins help. Coming from the highway Palma-Manacor when you enter to the town of Manacor at the first round about- continue on the highway that takes you on a loop road around the town, a left or three-quarter turn. On the following round about head into town and pass the hospital, this is a right or one-quarter turn. Go straight through the following round about and at the next, with the road, Passeig del Ferrocarril, go left or three-quarter turn. It is a street with a meridian in the middle. From here you have to keep your eye out for the little sign on the right hand side and/or the street name: Carrer de la Veroninca. It is a one way street. Then it is your fourth street on the right- also a one way street. Carrer d’en Salas. It is difficult and the outside of the building is very discrete, but it is worth the hunt to find it.

See Wines Tasted at Miquel Gelabert: Click Here

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Bodega Macia Batle Visit

“Where Wine meets Art, a perfect pairing.”
Macia batle logo
www.maciabatle.com

Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca Spain

Founded in the 1850s, Bodegas Macià Batle currently produces approximately  1 million bottles per year, the largest producer on the island we are told. Don’t let the size deter you!!  We love this wine; and the tasting and tour are high on our list of “Don’t Miss” wineries! Located in Santa Maria del Cami, they are in the Binissalem Denomination of Origin, (DOB), and currently have 100 hectares of vineyards. They can produce 140,000. bottles at one time. 40% of their wines go for export to the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Denmark, and 60% for the island in grocery stores, wine shops, and restaurants. In 2004 they enlarged to current production levels. Mallorcan Chairman Sebastià Rubí loves art, so every year their Crianza and Reserva wines get special artistic labels, and label-art decorates the winery like a private gallery!

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The grapes they grow include local varietals Manto Negro, Gorgollassa, Giro Ros, Prensal Blanc, Muscatel, and northern grapes including Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Bodegas Macià Batle grows most of its own grapes, but an interesting fact is that in the Binissalem Denomination of Origin (DOB), wineries can buy grapes from other vineyards, as long as they too are in the DOB. It is our understanding that the DOB red wines must be made with a minimum of 30% Manto Negro or Gorgollassa grapes. The Whites must have a 50% minimum of Premsal Blanc (also known as Moll), or from the variety Moscatell.  And the Rosés require a minimum of 30% Manto Negro or Gorgollassa.  Go local grapes!!!

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While the scale at Macià Batle seems enormous compared with our previous Wine Trail Bodegas, this winery is well laid out with pleasing architecture, good light, and we certainly got the feeling of a care for excellence rather than mass production. Our tour was fun and truly informative, led by multilingual Isabel who seemed to be as excited about winemaking as we are. There are scheduled tasting tours at specific times that can be booked in advance. Or, like us, you can gamble and hope to just show up and be a part of one. Either way, we highly recommend it and think this is one of the best winery tours on the island.

Macia Batle guided tour

Arriving at Macià Batle, you first enter via the main showroom.  It has all the glorious certificates and bottles on display, wonderful label art on the walls, and interesting books and deli products for sale. It sounds touristic, but the layout and colors are so good that it is a pleasure to enter and browse.

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Beginning the tour we learned that their entire bottling process is automatic. We walked through high-ceilinged halls past enormous machines that clean bottles, fill them, label, cap, seal, then load them into cases. Their Italian bottling machine is enormous, filling up to 3,000 bottles in an hour! They use real cork from the mainland and Portugal, despite its increasing cost due to global over-harvesting of the slow-growing cork tree bark. [Actually, later on in our self-education Wine Trail we learned that real cork is the norm in Mallorca.  We haven’t come across plastic yet!]

Macia Batle Steel tanks

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Stopping briefly at the back of the Production hall, we were shown a display of all the artistic labels to date. Chairman of Bodegas Macià Batle, Sebastià Rubí, is a true art lover. It is incredible to see the collection on display from the different years and artists. A real collectors’ piece! Believe us, reading their website about these bottles and artists adds a wonderful dimension to enjoying the wines!

Macia Batle Art labels

Next Isabel led us downstairs into the underground cellar, as the cool musky smell of oak rose to greet us. Below, oak barrels filled the long rooms, and arched halls framed expanses of dark gleaming bottles coming of age – the lighting creating the feel that we were in the wine cellar of a beautiful Spanish Castle.  Continuing, we were shown the area where they use the old process of carbonic maceration, fermenting the whole grape 2-3 weeks before pressing.

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Isabel told us that for a wine to be called Crianza, it must be aged at least 6 months in oak ( but you knew that, right?). Some of their wines ferment in oak, some ferment in the tanks then age in oak.  She told us French oak is a thinner wood and creates high quality chocolate and coffee flavors and aromas. German Oak has a similar quality and is less expensive.  They buy barrels new, and sell them after 4 years to Port and Whisky makers. They keep the barrel rooms at 80% humidity and at a temperature of 11-12° Celsius (51-53° F). Walking further along Isabel showed us their Bordeaux French tanks which are steel inside and cement on the outside. The tanks have an egg shape, and fermentation circulates differently within. We can’t wait to taste and compare these!

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Leading us down the halls of resting bottles, Isabel talked about the local grapes.  She said that the wines from this region of Mallorca are so good because of the soil, because there are around 300 days of sun each year, and because the wine country is not far from the cool sea yet sheltered from sea storms.

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Upstairs again and into the tasting salon, more original art adorned the walls surrounding a large raucous group of French tasters who were having a ball! It was great to see that they can accommodate such a big group and still have it feel like a personal party. We would have loved to have snuck in and tasted with them, but Isabel took us to a room near the entry showroom and proceeded with a phenomenal private presentation and wine tasting including Macià Batle “deli” products like spicy marmalade, olive spreads and oils, as well as paté and Mallorcan Sobresada sausage on Mallorcan Quelly biscuits to help open our palates!

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Our advice? Don’t miss this winery. At the time of this posting there is a charge of $10.00 per person for “tour and tasting with delicatessen,” well worth the cost.  We thoroughly enjoyed the extensive and informational experience, and loved these good wines with distinct character and structure.

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How to get there: Macia batle map
Take the Santa Maria exit from the Autopista Palma-Inca and after winding through the town- head in direction  Consell. You can not miss the beautiful architecture of this bodega on your left hand side as you leave Santa Maria del Cami town.

See Wines Tasted at Macia Batle: Click here

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