Bodegas Angel Winery Visit

Where passion and expertise meet – consistently dry wines to the owner’s taste.”

Angel Bodega logo
+ 34 971 621 638
www.vinosangel.com
Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca Spain

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Owner Andreas Gelabert told us from the beginning that he had very specific ideas about how he wanted to make his wine.  He  looked a long time to find the perfect location to build Bodegas Ángel. Having found it here in the island’s most competitive wine region, he boldly decided not to join the local Binissalem Denomination of Origin because of the restrictive guidelines.  Instead, he elected simply to be a member of the island-wide organization Vi de la Terra Mallorca [wines from the soil/terroir of Mallorca], which allows for more freedom of grape choice. All of the wines he produces are dry, to his personal taste. The winery owns 17.5 hectares of vineyards, and the oldest vines were planted in 1960 on land Andreas bought. He planted new vines in 2006 and 2007, and Bodegas Ángel opened in 2008, which is also the year of their 1st vintage. This year they produced almost 200,000 bottles, including two whites, one rosé, and six reds. The lines are: Angel, Sa Bassetta (which is the name of the vineyard with the oldest vines), and Specialty releases.

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Tawnee was working the hands-free phone in the car to find which wineries in our area were open and accepting tasters. She had wanted to go to Ángel for a long time and luckily, they were open. However, when we got there, owner Andreas Gelabert (not related to the Manacor Gelaberts) was exhausted. He had endured a morning of tour buses and there were empty wine glasses all over the counter and tasting room. He said he couldn’t give us the tour, but if we wanted to hang out with him while he loaded the dishwasher, he’d give us a tasting. We love the individuality of all our tasting experiences!

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The winery name ÁNGEL comes from his names ANdreas GELabert, and he said he came up with it in one of the thousands of hours he spent on his tractor preparing the vineyard. Ingenious! And nicely translatable in both English and Spanish: An angel spirit in both languages, as well as a common first name in Spanish. It is a perfect blend of who he is and what he stands for. Tall and solidly built, Andreas is Mallorcan, yet speaks English fluently. We started the tasting in Spanish and when he heard we were conversing in English – he said “Want to do this in English?” in a startlingly perfect American accent! It turns out he went to school in Texas and California and loved it! In California, a distributor friend dropped off a few cases of different wines at his house one weekend, and with an inquisitive mind he started tasting, and comparing; and the rest is history: He began his understanding of wine by self-educating – like us!

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Andreas started the bodega from personal interest and has a lot to show for it; his intent and interest are palpable from architecture to aroma. His passion is for dry wine, so Andreas is very careful with full yeast fermentation, allowing no residual sugars in the finish. He is refining his wine selection to make only what he considers to be very good wine; so whereas in 2014 he had three whites, this year he produced only two. He pays attention to detail and is willing to sacrifice for perfection… and one feels the nice mix of old world and new world in his character and this bodega. About returning here to start his winery, Andreas said simply “Mallorcan’s always come back. There is nowhere better.” Living in California with the wine hype probably added to his passion for wine at a young age, because it was there that he decided to make a real go at wine making; not everyone can do it and be successful! He received his BA degree in Business, not Oncology, which we are sure helps in his business model and the success of Ángel. There are definitely American notes to all that he has done!

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While pouring, Andreas shared a lot. He told us that Manto Negro grapes give raspberry notes. The local red earth, “Call Vermell” is rich in iron oxide, which contributes to the earthy notes. French Oak is used for notes of chocolate and coffee, while American Oak lends vanilla. This year American Oak was harder to get because the bourbon industry changed their regulations and bought all new barrels, thus reducing supplies drastically.  At Ángel they use 50% American Oak and 50% French Oak. However, Andres said he loves American Oak and purposefully uses it for the vanilla flavors it brings. We are guessing his palate was formed on California wines – and we love that he purposefully brings a little American taste to the island! Finishing up his dishes, and pouring our last tasting, he told us that that most of his local clients are German, English, and Swedish expatriates, and most of the tourists are Scandinavian and German. As evidenced by the large, elegant facility, he clearly has a great business mind as well as a very good palate!

Friday afternoon, sun beating down.
Should be going to the beach, but the Wine Trail is calling
A true Friday arrives in the face of the owner
Dry wines on the humid island
Divine.

Leaving with bottles in hand to take home, we noticed a single outdoor table set for lunch – and realized sorrowfully that as late as it was, we had been keeping him from his mid-day meal! What a fine gentleman and vintner. And of course, we are already planning to go back again and get a full tour of the beautiful facilities… and looking forward to another great day on our Mallorcan Wine Trail!

Mallorca Wine Trail

Directions:Bodega Angel Map
When you come off the highway- Palma-Alcudia. Take the Exit for Santa Maria/Santa Eugenia. Go in direction of Santa Eugenia. It is on this main road the right hand side coming from Palma and going in direction Santa Eugenia. You can not miss the sign or the beautiful building.

See Wines Tasted at Bodega Angel: Click Here

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ANA Vins Winery Visit

“Simplicity, four excellent wines give this charming young winery a stable foundation.”

Ana Vins
+34 605.28.36.85
www.ana-vins.com
[In German only at the time of this writing]
Binissalem, Mallorca Spain

Ana Vins Winery

Celebrating the Mallorcan soil and unique local wine culture, Bodega ANA Vins specializes in native grapes, with northern varieties used in lesser percentages for structure and color. ANA is a young winery, started in 2010 with established, twenty year old vines. They now produce 55,000 to 57,000 bottles each year, mainly reds, and place great emphasis on giving the local varietals priority to capture the character of this island. They sell all they produce to their clientele on island, not aiming for an export market.  ANA Vins is not part of the local D.O. Binissalem, but is part of the local organization Vi de la Terra. German owned and financed, they started this winery because of a love for the local wines and island! Surely over many good bottles of local wine, the owners brainstormed with Mallorcan Francisco Pol Arrom who is experienced in the local Hospitality industry, and a young oenologist Tomeo Llabres; and ANA Vins was born.

Ana Vins

Why is it always the end of the day on Friday in this Blog??? It must be when we do our best work! We were driving around in the area late Friday afternoon, on a lovely lane in the middle of the countryside just outside of Binissalem, and we came across the yellow marker of ANA Vins. So we called to see if we could visit, and the answer was SURE!!; and an appointment made for 45 minutes from then. We drove through the vineyards as we approached newly constructed buildings set beautifully against their backing of vineyards and the Southern face of the Tramuntana mountains. Out popped a man’s head! Hello – we are here! It was the affable, knowledgeable, and multilingual Francisco Pol Arrom. He introduced himself as Xisco, and so it was!

Ana Vins tasting room

The three of us were sweating in the relentless heat, so we went straight to the cool tasting room for refreshment. Please see our tasting notes for facts, but of course we chatted while we tasted! Pouring their gorgeous, chilled Rosé, Xisco commented that at ANA Vins they are very particular with their maceration of each wine in order to get the exact color they desire. The display must be as appetizing as the aromas and flavors. Of course Rosé wines have a much shorter time in maceration than reds = sitting with their skins and seeds less time to catch only a flush of pink, and to avoid the level of tannins associated with good red structure. That, combined with the terroir of the limestone soil mixed with the local red earth (Call Vermell), make the unique attributes of a good Mallorcan wine.

Ana Vins Seleccio

We found that their red Selecció wine improved as it opened in our glasses, so we did a little research on why wines like to breathe. Most reds improve with a little aeration, because as the oxygen reaches the freshly opened bottle, the wine naturally settles into its true flavors and the tannins mellow. The wine comes into its own, and shouldn’t be judged until it has breathed sufficiently. Some people just open the bottle and let it sit awhile, others use a wide mouth decanter to speed up the process, or wide mouth glasses and swirling the wine to aerate it quickly.

Talking about their reds, Xisco said knowingly “Manto Negro is the grape of the land and loves cheese.” Warms the heart. Unlike many other wineries, both of the reds at ANA Vins included noticeable percentages of the Tempranillo grape. This is only the second winery we’ve visited on island where they have mentioned Tempranillo. It is such a staple Spanish variety, a signature grape on the mainland, but it seems almost rare on island so far…

Ana Vins thinking

We talked a bit about aroma vs taste consistencies. The ANA Vins Blanc barely had aroma, then tasted full and delicious. The Negre aromas were amazing, and it tasted really good, yet totally different from the scent. When we breathe in a wine and enjoy the aromas, we instinctively want the flavor to match it. It seems we must learn to enjoy the aromas for what they are, then on a separate subject, assess the flavors. Do vintners ever strive for homogeneous scent and flavor as an asset?

Ana Vins Barrels

As he poured, Xisco told us that ANA Vins prefers French oak. They find it rounder and fuller, and he said the American oak affects the tannins too much because the wood is younger – young oak is full of young tannins like young grape seeds. He also told us that they cut their first grapes in August, carefully looking for what is ready before September, the normal harvest season.

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After a very satisfying tasting, Xisco gave us the tour of the Winery. It was a ghost town at that hour on an early Friday evening, and fun to explore in the quiet. All was clean, new, and well organized. All production is done there on premise.

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It is beautifully laid out, from pressing to storage to barrel, bottling and labeling. The interesting thing that we noticed is that they efficiently store their bottles already packaged and boxed for the time that they age. The majority of the other bodegas we’ve seen store their bottles without label, and then clean and label before boxing and selling.

Ana Vins

We learned that Xisco is a man of many hats. He is the legs and heart of the bodega physically. We love to see such happiness in work. He told us the name ANA was chosen by one of the owners who has a daughter or a granddaughter named Ana; love the tradition of naming after the women! Xisco told us they also work with a Swiss chocolatier who combines chocolate with their wines – an experience we would like to try.

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We drove away happy and so enjoying this continued adventure. ANA Vins is a lovely winery with very good wines, and we do recommend it as a tasting destination on our MallorcaWine Trail!

Ana Vins Winery

Directions:Ana Vins Map
From Binissalem you take the road going towards Binali. There is a stop light at this intersection, so it is easier to notice. When you reach the Cami de Muro there will be a small white sign for this- it is the cross street. You will also see a yellow sign for ANA Vins. Take a right and follow for about 300m and there will be the bodega entrance on your right.

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See Wines Tasted at Ana Vins: Click Here