Pere Seda Winery Visit

“Industrious winery emphasizes local grapes at peoples’ prices.”

Pere Seda Logo
+34 971 55.02.19
http://www.pereseda.com

Manacor, Mallorca Spain

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Over a century ago, Señor Pere Seda (Pedro Reus Morro 1886-1942) had vineyards in the Manacor area of Mallorca. This winery was founded by, and named after him. The Winery Pere Seda is a family run business (the same family since the beginning), and now produces 600,000 bottles per year. Yes, that’s right, a huge enterprise. And all production is done at their site in Manacor – from grape crates to shipping boxes. With over 100 hectares of local vineyards, they are in the D.O. Pla i Llevant, and are the biggest winery there. They use all natural cork, and sell young white, rosé and reds, Crianza and Reserva reds, and Cava (sparkling wine). Their grapes are Callet, Manto Negro and Prensal, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Parellada, Macabeo, Muscatel and Chardonnay.

A little about the name: Pere is Mallorcan for Peter, and Seda means silk. Seda was perhaps his ‘mal nombre’ or ‘apodo’,  something similar to a family nickname. These ‘nicknames’ are very common here, and often a person is only known by that. The tradition here is to name children after the grandparents’ first names (and wines too we’ve learned!), so a big family could have many Peres, which gets confusing. Hence the “mal nombre.”

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Massive steel tanks greeted us as we entered the gate, and instantly it was like we were in an Industrial Revolution era bottling plant.  Big time operations call for big-time production. With no sign of tourism or classic Mallorcan architectural detail, this winery was all business. Hearing and seeing activity, we walked into the bottling area and watched the production line of gorgeously backlit rosé being bottled and boxed. The workers looked at us, but nobody approached us… Not their job. We wandered around alone for a while, and finally stopped a man on a loader who went and found our man Tofol (short for Christobal, or Christopher in English). Greeting us quizzically, it felt like we caught him off guard, and we guessed they don’t have many drop-ins! He was very gracious and thorough during our tour and tasting, yet we kept feeling like he needed to be somewhere else, and didn’t quite understand why we were there… Self-education!

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Getting the tour, everything was vast and well organized for maximum production value. The bottling, sealing, and labeling machines were gigantic and loud, the fermenting tanks towering and many: Row upon row, steel and wooden…but enormous wooden like from the past…and still in use. We haven’t seen anything like these at other wineries, big or small. Writing this, we are curious how long these permanent tanks have been in use, and what the wine tastes like that is fermented in these instead of steel… must go back and ask!

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Tofol explained that the Pere Seda Winery has become so big that they don’t fit into the buildings any longer; with newer and multi-story tanks outside and behind the place just to keep up with demand. This was by far the most industrial bodega that we have been to, and it was fascinating to see such industry all for our delicate friend – wine! Funny how you see a bottle of wine on the shelf at a store, and never wonder what its childhood was like.  Now we know!

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Then Tofol took us downstairs to the aging area and suddenly we were in another world. The wonderfully cool barrel rooms, long halls and endless dim tunnels, felt like vast catacombs. Room after cistern-like room of old fermentation chambers now housed bottles resting and coming to age. We had seen this before at Ribas and even Miquel Gelabert, but not on this scale!

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It was incredible that hidden under the loud, big industry above, lay this labyrinth of small cellars and secret passages. Walking through these Tofol described their lines of wine:

  • L’Arxiduc – Blends from local and foreign grapes.
  • Mossèn Alcover and GVIVM – 2 variety blends from old growth vines and oak fermented
  • Crianza and Reserva – American oak fermented
  • Novell – That year’s vintage
  • Chardonnay – 100%: one label aged in French oak and one straight to bottle.
  • Sparkling – Cava with 2nd fermentation in the bottle

Pere Seda is one of the few Mallorcan wineries to make a Cava, Jose Ferrer being another.  We look forward to trying it!

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Ending the tour we were rewarded with a tasting in their reception salon. Standing in the baking summer sun, Tofol opened the anonymous door – and we were greeted by cool air and a beautiful ambiance of high ceilings, oak barrels, and glass tabletops. Here was the Mallorcan style we’d been missing! A small group with a distributor were there in a meeting, but we were granted a tasting anyways – lucky us!

Bottles clanking in line
Serene catacombs below
Ambiance-rich tasting room
Industrious, yet local

We’re sure a reservation was a courtesy we owed Tofol, but he rose to the occasion and gave us a great tasting. Please see our Pere Seda Tasting Notes for wines tasted.

Directions:Pere Seda Map
When you arrive to Manacor on the highway from Palma- you go straight through the round-about and follow the signs to Felanitx/Cales de Mallorca and when you get to the next round-about take the left (or first exit) direction Felanitx/Cales de Mallorca. Go through the next roundabout and under the tunnel and at the following round about- go all the way around and head back in, but to the right of the tunnel- there is a Yellow sign that says- Bodega Pere Seda. From there follow the yellow signs to the entrance!

See Wines Tasted at Pere Seda: Click Here

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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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