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.

Ana Vins

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.

Ana Vins_7-18-15_#13

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.

Ana Vins

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.

### BODEGA ANA VINS ###
See Wines Tasted at Ana Vins: Click Here

Advertisements

Ribas Winery Visit

“Passion and dedication in a coupage of creativity and unforgettable wines.”

Ribas logo
www.bodegaribas.com
+34  971 62 26 73
Consell, Mallorca, Spain

Established in 1711, Bodega Ribas is one of the oldest wineries on the island and has been in the same family for 13 generations; thus it is the oldest one-family winery in Mallorca. After the Phylloxera plague, the family went to olive products, almonds, and carob until they replanted local grapes with American rootstock around the turn of the last century. The current generation, a sister and brother in their late thirties, have completed their oenological degree on the mainland and are the new and highly regarded Ribas winemakers.

Ribas Bodega

Designated organic, Ribas has 40 hectares of vineyards (98 acres) with 160,000 vines planted approximately 2 kilometers from the estate, direction Santa María. Ribas produces 130-150,000 bottles per year. That’s almost 1 bottle per plant, which is generally considered a low yield. However, Ribas’ focus is on quality, and the oldest vines produce less volume, but great flavor. Their local grapes include Manto Negro, Callet, Gorgollassa, and Prensal Blanc. All production is done here at this beautiful historic estate winery.

Ribas_7-9-15_#4

Experiencing Ribas was like falling in love. Practically in the industrial district of Consell, we followed discreet signs along anonymous inland streets until we turned into the estate, or finca, of Bodega Ribas. We have driven through this town for years, and never realized that there was a bodega here. It is a diamond in the rough. It has been the family home as long as it has been their winery, and it is rare that you get to see one of these inland empires. Clearly, it was once a magnificent country estate – until the town swallowed it up. Our French born tour guide, Sylvia, told us that – incredibly – the family still lived here up until this last decade, and all generations still meet here daily for the family lunch.

Ribas_7-9-15_#5

We had booked in advance and paid for the full tour and tasting – exciting! Starting the facility and production tour, Sylvia told us that this winery is certified organic, using only natural copper and sulphur dusts to eliminate fungus and pests. August through October they go over every vine by hand as it is less aggressive than machines, includes no branches or snails, allows first selection of early bunches and elimination of weak ones. After that, the grapes are brought in 15kg boxes so no grape is crushed by the weight of others, and then spread onto a table and hand culled before they are put into the de-stemming and maceration machine. It sounded incredibly labor intensive, and yet fantastic that they want to ensure that each wine comes from the best grapes.

They use a pneumatic press, selecting the pressing pressure by grape variety. For red wines they use skin and seed during fermentation/maceration, and then press the grapes after. Rosés are pink (rather than red) because of less time with red-grape skin. Ribas wines are not sold in super markets and are mostly available in restaurants and vinotecas (wine stores). 40% of their product stays here in Mallorca, 10% goes to the mainland, and 50% goes to Switzerland and Germany. Their fermentation area is flanked with stainless tanks, and they add yeast as necessary to complete the processing of sugars in order to achieve the desired flavors and dryness.

Ribas_7-9-15_#8

During fermentation, skins and seeds rise, so they use a delicate pump to remix. Otherwise those float, known as “the sombrero,” and can mold and the ingredients aren’t available for fermentation. When ready, they lower the temperature to slow or stop fermentation, extract the wine without pressure, press if not already pressed, and go to oak barrel.

Ribas Wine

Sylvia told us that historically, Mallorcan wineries produced inexpensive wines with no oak barrel aging, no structure, to be ready in three months for the December and January village festivals. Mallorcans in the towns would come to buy “a granel” which is “in bulk,” bringing their own bottles. This is the young wine that towns still provide for the island Saints’ festivals like San Sebastian and San Antoni.

Bodega Ribas

Ribas_7-9-15_#10

Then we were taken across the estate to the bodega, where they have all the barrels. This is a beautiful, peaceful place. It is an original building and has the thick 1m walls, which helps with the acclimatization. On to the tank room, Sylvia also showed us the 60-year-old cement tanks lined with red non-toxic sealant, historically lined with tile.

Ribas_7-9-15_#6 Ribas_7-9-15_#7

These tanks are still used for certain wines and kept at 25-27° Celsius, a temperature slightly higher than the steel tanks can handle without their releasing a steel flavor and aroma. She told us that the Ribas routine is to ferment individual grape types first, and then blend wines as desired (coupage), and age in oak barrels. Over time they taste and sometimes mix further, and finally move the desired wine to bottles for final aging.

Ribas_7-9-15_#11

Over all, Ribas uses 85% French oak, and 15% American oak barrels, and have them elegantly placed one on top of the other. It is beautiful to see how at Ribas, the modern mixes with the traditional; here the doors are glass and the building centuries old. They are experimenting with different sizes of barrels to see how they affect the wines. We asked Sylvia to explain to us why Ribas and other wineries choose to ferment in oak barrels from multiple countries. She told us that generally speaking, French oak comes from older trees and imparts milder flavors of chocolate and tobacco.  American oak barrels come from younger trees (they are dried artificially for timely use), are more porous, and impart robust flavor of coco and vanilla, and they allow more oxygen transference.  Who knew???? The year of the barrel is listed on its face (not the year of the wine as we had thought), so the vintners know how long it has been in use, and thus what amount of flavor it is imparting. While still in barrel, they sample the wines to check their evolution, and then top up the barrels as needed; wine evaporates (particularly in porous American oak) and a barrel must stay full to avoid oxidation. [Remember the technique used at Ca’n Pico where the oxygenation was purposeful?] A barrel’s use is a maximum of 12 years (often less). They re-use the barrels 3-4 times then sell them as decorations. They also give them to artists who paint or sculpt them in a project called BotArt that Ribas started. They feel that both winemaking and artistry are creative processes, and this is where they bring the two worlds together in a coupage

Ribas_7-9-15_#13

Before we went to the tasting room, we were asked if we wanted to see the original house of the familia Ribas.   Oh, you bet.   We were shown through the home’s “entrada” (or entrance salon), which was set with tables for an event that night; and then into the home’s 1776 kitchen, still intact and fully functional. The Grandparents are the last generation to have lived here, and they still eat here every day with the family in that wonderful Mallorcan tradition.  This kitchen is a glimpse back in time to when the island was still largely unchanged for centuries, and we were in awe of its grand and traditional beauty!

Ribas_7-9-15_#15

Excitingly, the “Cata,” or Wine Tasting came next. The tasting room is beside a courtyard off the fermenting rooms and offices, and we felt like we’d been taken into a secret garden! Here we saw the old barrels that have been transformed into pieces of art, the BotArt Sylvia was telling us about. We always love to see things recycled and repurposed, and creating art out of unneeded wine making ‘equipment’ is an incredible initiative. Eagerly, we sat down amid modern interiors, beside the antique patio with ArtBarrels, and the tasting began.

Ribas_7-9-15_#18

We are starting to understand that many wineries have lines of wine, and within these lines are selections, generally including white, rosé, and red wines (for example the José Ferrer Winery’s organic line Pedra de Binissalem).

At Ribas their lines are:

  • Ribas – 2 whites, 1 red
  • Sio – white, rosé, red

Special releases including

  • Soma — White, 100% Viognier
  • Ribas de Cabrera – Their signature Red Coupage
  • Desconfio de la Gente que No Bebe – Red

Ribas_7-9-15_#22

We were in a heat wave and Sylvia politely pointed out that to keep a chilled white wine cool as long as possible, you hold the glass by the stem to keep the heat of your hand away from it; whereas in the winter you might cup your hand around the glass to help warm and open a red.

Ribas_7-9-15_#20

As we sipped the marvelous Ribas wines, Sylvia said their red Ribas Negre is very representative of the Mallorcan terroir. School in session: Terroir is the unique flavors and aromas of a wine that come from the growing environment, including soil and climate: In this case from the red Mallorcan earth, rich in salts and limestone. As example, it makes sense that 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines would present differently (taste and aroma) if produced in the exact same way but with grapes from different terroir.

Ribas_7-9-15_#19c

On the tasting table were six glasses – one for each wine to taste, and crackers, cheese, and Ribas olive oil. Sylvia started by explaining a little bit about each wine, then poured and left the bottle on the table as we are given time to enjoy the surroundings and talk as she came and went.

Ribas tastingRibas_7-9-15_#25

We were very inquisitive that day and asking lots of questions. Our enthusiasm, we guess, was noted so much that we were introduced to one of the family members: daughter enologist Araceli Servera Ribas. The first thing Tawnee noticed was her shirt! It was a Pink Floyd copy, but with a wine glass instead of a prism, and their web address on the back. Ingenious!  Tawnee proceeded to ask her a question that had been bothering her forever: “I always see people sticking their noses in the wine…and I wanted to know what they were really looking for… exactly how does a person smell a wine? ”

Truth be told, as self-educators, so far we have been stabbing wildly to describe aromas. Here we confided in Araceli that there was nothing consistently, logically, obvious to us like “I detect notes of immature lowland moss and gummy bears;” and yet “experts” are confident, direct and concise. Smiling with beautiful wide eyelids like Shelley Duvall, Araceli slowed us down. She said there is a platform to start from, and in enology education they teach the first detections:  Fruity or mineral? If fruity, tropical or forest berries like strawberry, blackberry, or stone fruit like plum? If mineral, which one? Maybe iron, old vine, rain on earth? And do you detect barrel aromas? American vanilla or coconut? French cacao, licorice or tobacco? Many barrel-makers burn the barrels to eliminate resin, the scorch lends sometimes-desirable flavor, so wineries clean and choose according to objective:  Do you detect a hint of smoke = new barrel? The function of the barrel is to mature the flavors – like when pasta sauce is better the next day because the flavors have bloomed and mingled. Did we detect the balsamics of a young vine? Menthols? Etc. It isn’t a free-for-all as it seemed to us, it is a narrowing, a detection, and recognition. Tawnee made a simple aroma chart:

how to smell wine ribas

Soon the conversation took off excitingly on the subjects of grape selection, her winery recommendations, and island wine history. Somewhere in all of this she told us that many red wines in Mallorca are 14% alcohol like a sweet white; because of the amount of sun the island gets, the red grapes get very sweet, and thus it takes a long fermentation period as the yeasts consume the strong sugars before achieving a dry red. We also learned that the Ribas winery is also partly responsible for recovering other indigenous grape varieties of the island, as Gorgollassa and Escursac, which were practically non-existent after Phylloxera. Voracious and exuberant, we moved on to the topic of tannins, which before Araceli had pretty much eluded us as well. Tannins are astringent:  they are color stabilizers in wine just as in the leather industry, and lend structure or balance to flavorful wines. Young grape skins and seeds are more astringent, as is new oak; they have bitter macro tannins. Flabby structure in a wine means no tannins, or overly soft tannins (hmmm, we’ve had those wines…). Old vines, like old wood barrels, impart smoother tannins, mellower perhaps, but not considered weak.

Ribas_7-9-15_#23

Everything was coming clearer. Sylvia poured, we breathed in aromas and washed flavors around our mouths… and we continued to converse with Araceli about her family, the bodega, and why she decided to become an enologist. We could see the passion she holds about wine and doing things right – she has been all over the world in her studies learning about how different wineries make their wine. What we enjoyed the most was that she took the time to hang out with us and help us learn. She was willing and positive, offering ideas and answering questions with patience. We didn’t feel stupid asking the silly things we had always wanted to know. To top things off – she then told us that the shirt she was wearing was for sale there! We both bought one!

IMG_5221 IMG_4506sm

A diamond in the rough,
overflowing glasses of good
wine and knowledge.

We sipped on as we talked, so please see our Ribas Tasting Notes for descriptions of the truly gratifying wines we enjoyed here at Bodega Ribas.

Directions:
Bodega Ribas MapOn the Highway Palma-Inca take off the exit for Binisalem, Alaro, Consell and at the round about take the ‘left’ or three quarter around turn. That will bring you into the town of Consell. Here you must  look for the signs for Bodega Ribas. Follow them (curving through the town) until you reach an estate with an entrance with sign Ribas.

See Wines Tasted at Ribas: Click Here

###   BODEGA RIBAS   ###

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!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#14 sm

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#12

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!!!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#9

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.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#13

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

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#30Macia Batle_7-9-15_#29

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.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#34

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#21

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!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#37

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.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#18

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!

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#45 Macia Batle Cover Image

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.

Macia Batle_7-9-15_#16

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

### Bodega Macià Batle ###