MWT = Mallorca Wine Tasting has returned!

Tawnee and Merie reunited in November, more than ready for our next tasting! We also convened enthusiastically about taking our website to the next level of informational excellence:

Standby for our new Mallorca Wine Trail website launching this Spring 2022!

AND, we have launched our Instagram account to celebrate our return to our Mallorca Wine Tasting blog!  Follow us @mallorcawinetrail

In honor of the reunion and to help launch the new site, we wanted to visit a winery that would be inspiring!  We faced the difficulty that this Fall most Mallorcan wineries have reduced their tasting hours – both because peak season tourism is over, and also because, yes, COVID restrictions have made things more challenging. So Tawnee got on the phone and started calling to see who was actually open for tastings.  With our great luck, we found a rising star winery that has recently been reimagined, and is trailblazing a new Mallorcan wine standard!  We had a wonderful tour and tasting!

Stand by for our next MWT post!

MWT has returned!

Follow us on FaceBook at Mallorca Wine Tasting

& on Instagram @mallorcawinetrail

Vins Toni Gelabert Visit

“Following the moon’s cycles, superb organic wine from Manacor.”

Toni Gelabert Logo
+34 971 55 24 09
Manacor, Mallorca, Spain


Toni of Vins Toni Gelabert is a 1st generation winemaker. Registered with D.O. Pla i Llevant the Consell de la Producció Agrícola Ecològica de Balears, Vins Toni Gelabert produces 30,000 bottles per year from biodynamically and ecologically cultivated vines and grapes. In August 1996 he planted his first vines. In 1997 they built their bodega and processing facility according to Feng Shui. In 1979 they sold their first red, and in 1981 they sold their first white. They have seven hectares of grapes planted. The red varietals they grow are Manto Negro, Callet, Syrah, Prensal Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. Their white grapes are Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, and Macabeo (Macabeu in Mallorquin, and on the label) for their Cava. They are a progressive winery with a style of the traditional Mallorca we love!


This was our second try at Tasting here, the first time was the same day as we went to Vins Miquel Gelabert = his brother’s winery (Please see our visit to Vins Miquel Gelabert!). That time Toni had to cancel for real life reasons, so this time he kindly allowed us to tag along with a group of six fun German women who were visiting Mallorca. They had booked in advance a €20 ‘cata de vins’ = wine tasting, of six different wines paired with Toni’s homemade Sopresada sausage on rustic Pan Moreno (brown bread) with Menorcan Cheese – we thought, why not?!


Vins Toni Gelabert is a gem of a bodega because they follow the moon’s cycles. Biodynamics is a method of organic farming involving observation of lunar phases and planetary cycles which correspond to the plants cycles, and it is very time consuming. You have to be very observant and aware. During our visit we commented about how the summer has been extremely hot with very little rain. He pulled out his calendar and told us it didn’t rain in April, and that the last day it rained was May 24th — and we were in August! They plant the grapes at the correct time, prune and pick the grapes by the moon cycles. Their picking process is usually done somewhere around the 15th of August. This year they picked around the 25th because of the moon’s stage.


Like a few other winemakers we’ve discovered, they choose or select the grapes right on the vines. They make as many as five passes to remove the less desirable grapes, until all that remain on the vine are good, which are then collected and used. The bottling schedule is also done in accord with the moon, and if it needs to be done on Sunday, then Sunday it is. Toni says it is more work, but from the heart. He told us he considers winemaking as an art like making music and cooking. He said he is all at this winery, and nothing. Not an Oenologist, he is self-taught through providence, study, love of wine, trial and error.

This bodega has been carefully thought out all the way down to the orientation of the building. They called in experts from Palma who specialize in Feng Shui (A Chinese system of spatial arrangement and orientation regarding the flow of energy (qi), and whose effects are considered when siting and designing buildings and room or garden lay-out) and Dowsing (finding the water underground). After their recommendations, Toni built the house a little on an angle to the plot layout, in order to keep the light and flow of energy the best for their developing wines. However, like Toni says: When you follow the moon or Feng Shui, these are suggestions, but you make the final decision about what feels right. We’ll say that all the energy put into building and grape work can be found in the results of his wine: Delicious!!


After harvesting his grapes, Toni ferments the majority of each different variety in it’s own unique tank, and the blending is done afterwards. There is a wine or two where he mixes the grapes and then ferments (which we finally learned is called co-fermentation, as opposed to blending where separate wines are blended into a cuvée, or batch, after fermentation). Toni makes about 15 different bottles of wine, but not all the bottles are made every year; if the grapes aren’t exactly what he wants that year, then he doesn’t make the corresponding wine. That is dedication.


All the bottles have very different labels and names. At first, every year the label changed according to Toni’s choice of art or picture, which really spoke to that wine and that vintage; it was part of the labor of love. However, eventually Toni saw the marketing advantage in making a brand name. Now, there are two lines if you would: The Son Fangos, and the Torre des Canonge. He started experimenting making whites in 1981, and feels that his whites are the strong point of his bodega, however, we feel that all his wines are recommendable!


We arrived and Toni gave our group a talk about the different grapes he grows, and where they are outside the bodega.  Then we were shown the fermenting tanks and explained how he ferments.  Next he took us down to the barrel room, which is somehow always our favorite! We got to see the barrels that he has brought in for this year’s harvest, and the beautiful quality of light and energy there.




We were able to ask all the questions we wanted to, about Biodynamics and varietals, and then he took the group to a rustic kitchen for our tasting. We all sat down at his table, with an old barrel underneath, and Toni began to pour!  Please see our tasting notes for wines tasted at Vins Toni Gelabert.


As we tasted, and our questions poured, Toni told us that all their red wines are kept one year in oak, and that the older the grape, the softer the tannins – a nice way to put it.  Their whites are only 4-5 months in oak. They only use old French oak barrels, often burnt on the inside for flavor which he called ‘tostado negro.’ They produce 5 whites, 1 rosé, and 7 reds. Every year the grapes are different, so his wines are different blends to get a finished product he thinks is worth selling. The wines are 80% consumed locally, and 20% for export. They used to sell by Internet, but it was too hard because of customs. Now they only sell through distributors. He also told us that they buy cork from Gerona and Asturias, Spain. And he explained about Batonage – done with a special wand – which is a circulation process that keeps the yeasts in suspension in all wines in oak, and keeps the healthy amino acids active.


This was a different experience for us as we usually do the tour and tasting by ourselves… one-on-one with the owner, family, or trained employee. We thought it would be fun to try something different to join the tourist group, and it was enjoyable because our group was lively.  However we would have preferred to do our typical one-on-one with Toni because he was such a wealth of information!  The biggest drawback was that the lovely ladies we were with spoke mostly German, and we conversed in English; and Toni doesn’t speak either German or English… so he missed out on interacting with us more… That said, we felt we missed out on his interaction and information – and he was the star!


A side note about the Gelabert brothers: although they have the same last name and some similar traits like experimentation and innovation, their winemaking histories traveled different paths. Toni’s vineyards come from his wife Maria’s family. It was her father’s land where the bodega is built, and where they have 90% of their vines. Whereas, Toni’s brother Miquel took over the vines of their father, who had always sold his grapes to other bodegas. Two brothers – two lovers of wine – two histories: two Must Stops on our beloved Mallorca Wine Trail!

Directions:  Toni Gelabert Map
Driving from Manacor to Felanitx, at about 2km on the road you will see a pullout or park-like area, slow down. Immediately after that you will see a very narrow road on the right and a small yellow sign that reads Vins Toni Gelabert. Follow that sign through a few turns and you will see the bodega on the left. When you drive along the driveway you’ll have Chardonnay grapes on your right and the newly planted vines on your left. Beautiful!

See Wines Tasted at Vins Toni Gelabert: Click here

### Vins Toni Gelabert ###

Toni Gelabert Wine Tasting

Toni Gelabert Logo

Wines Tasted

◊   White   ◊

Son Fangos Blanc 2014
Chardonnay 2014

◊   Rosé   ◊

Son Fangos Rosat 2014

◊   Red   ◊

Son Fangos Negre
Negre de Sa Colònia 2013
Ses Hereves 2007


Vins Toni Gelabert pays attention to detail. The winery building was designed and built down to every detail according to Feng Shui. They farm and harvest according to not only Organic, but also Biodynamic techniques. Biodynamic farming follows the cycles of the moon and has specific hours and days for planting, trimming, harvesting… etc. It is a lot of extra work, but the results can be recognized in the taste of their wines! Their dedication and values set them apart from the other wineries in actions, and in flavor as well. Overall excellence.

Tasting note:
We shared this tasting with a group of German women on holiday here. It cost €20, and included not only expensive bottles from Toni Vins, but also homemade Sobrasada and Mahonese cheese. We tasted in a room that felt like we had been invited into Toni’s house and kitchen, like visiting old friends around the kitchen table and talking about our favorite topic – good wine!


Son Fangos Blanc 2014
Grapes: Prensal (12%), Moscatel

Vinya Son Fangos Blanc


Tawnee: The smell is fabulous! The wine is a pale yellow with a lovely feeling in the mouth and had a nice finish. It is well balanced and yummy. It left me wanting to drink more. A great wine to drink with a good book.

Merie: This white wine is 12% alcohol by volume. A blend of Prensal Blanc and Muscatel. It has a lovely aroma of Muscatel with citrus, light and fresh. When freshly opened, it starts nicely, and finishes slightly tart; then but as it opened the flavors fused, and the chilled, balanced flavors were delicious.


Chardonnay 2014
Grapes: Chardonnay 100%

Cardonnay de Toni Gelabert


Tawnee: This is my favorite Chardonnay! We have a winner in the Mallorca Wine Trail! It is a beautiful golden color and has a nose to match full of golden apples and ripe bananas. It has 5 months in French oak barrel where they batonage it. Batonage is moving of the sediments with a stick. Toni even brought out the stick to show us! This bottle can last for up to 10 years in the bottle. Highly recommended.

Merie: This wine is 14.5% alcohol by volume. It is has 4-5 months fermentation in oak, and I love an oaky Chardonnay! It seems to be a thing of the past, as newer oenologists prefer the brighter flavors of Chardonnays that go direct from stainless tanks to bottle. But not me!


Son Fangos Rosat
Grapes: Callet 50%
Syrah 25%
Merlot 25%

VinsToniGelabert_Vinya Son Fangos rosat


Tawnee: This is a rosé made with all red grapes. The nose is of watermelon. He puts the grapes in full and lets it ferment for a few hours, and then removes the skins etc, before letting it ferment for around a month in stainless steel. The flavor is very subtle, light and enjoyable. This was the German ladies favorite!

Merie: This rosé has a fresh, tart aroma that is mouth watering! It goes straight from stainless tank to bottle, never to oak, and is nicely dry.


Son Fangos Negre
Grapes: Callet 50%
Merlot 25%
Cabernet 25%

Fangos negre


Tawnee: A good red wine. A deep ruby red with a nose of wet earth. I enjoyed the full flavor and body that it had. It is their best seller, and I can see why. It would be great with pork chops.

Merie: This wine is made from 50% Callet grapes, with the other 50% being a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz. It has a very unique aroma of light leather, and fresh fruit with no sweetness. The flavor is classic and balanced with a nice tannin structure.


Negre de Sa Colònia 1013
Grapes: Callet 100%

Negre de sa Colónia


Tawnee: I like this wine! I think it has originality and when you know that Toni has chosen these Callet grapes especially because they are from Sa Colònia to make the 100% Callet wine it makes it even better. He says that the Callet grape can only be grown in that area of Mallorca… and he has proof behind his comment. He also has Callet growing around his bodega and says that it isn’t as good… so he mixes it in his blends. Love the honesty and the experimental truth!

Merie: This red is made from 100% Callet grapes from their vineyard in Colònia San Pedro (Colònia Sant Pere in Mallorquin). It is aged 12 months in French oak barrels. Interestingly, the tannins in this wine were green and we were reminded that ripe seeds produce ripe tannins, and green grapes produce green tannins – so I am guessing these grapes were pressed youngish.


Ses Hereves 2007
Grapes: Cabernet 33%
Merlot 33%
Syrah 33%

VinsToniGelabert_Ses Hereves


Tawnee: This is a classic wine. The nose is of pepper and musk. It has full flavor and body. You can taste the essence of the Mediterranean in it. It is one of Señor Toni’s favorite wines he makes. Perfect to drink with a freshly grilled steak and vegetables.

Merie: This rich red wine is a Reserva, spending 12 months in new French Oak barrels. Vins Toni Gelabert is known for this bottle. The blend is equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah and has a wonderful and distinct aroma of rich ripe northern grapes.

05.08.15 028

Thank you Toni!

Please See Our Vins Toni Gelabert Visit: Click Here

### Vins Toni Gelabert ###

Bodegas Miquel Oliver Visit

“4th generation winemaking brings contemporary standards to a fine tradition!”

Miquel Oliver logo
+34 971 56 11 17
Petra, Mallorca, Spain

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#6

Bodegas Miquel Oliver was founded in 1912 by Melchor Oliver, who began by planting his grapes after the Phylloxera blight.  In 2012, his grandson Miquel and great granddaughter Pilar celebrated their winery’s 100th anniversary in their beautiful old 1868 Petra facility.

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#4

A member of D.O. Pla i Llevant, Bodegas Miquel Oliver currently produces around 220,000 bottles of wine per year. 85% of their wine is sold locally, and the rest is exported to northern countries. 95% of the visitors that come through this winery for sales and tastings are German tourists.  Here on island, their distributor delivers to restaurants, markets, and shops with different bottles going to different markets like Corté Ingles, Eroski, and Al Campo. At the time of this writing they are just finishing a new facility which will bring all production under one roof and they will only keep this historic bodega for special events.

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#5

Señor Miquel Oliver is in his eighties now and mostly retired. The current owner is Pilar, the great-granddaughter of the original Melchor. Sadly for us, Pilar wasn’t there that day to meet; she sounds like an incredible woman. She is the bloodline owner, winemaker, and now innovator. She studied winemaking in Tarragona and then traveled around before perfecting her education and returning home to make wine.The opening summary of their wine tasting booklet sums up the bodega very well:

“By blending the traditional values of a one-hundred year old family cellar with a love of innovation, we’ve succeeded in making wine a form of self-expression.”

Road to Petra

We drove in to Petra via the old road from Sineu, which was lined with lovely rolling fields spotted with hay bales: definitely a suggested drive!  Petra is a historically rich inland town, and the birthplace of recently Sainted Father Junipero Serra, the Franciscan Friar who colonized/converted California through the famous Missions in the mid 1700’s.

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#3

Parking on the tiny urban street, we made our way to the big delivery doors of Bodega Miquel Oliver. We were met by Ana, our tasting host, and she walked us from the office and display rooms, across the tiny street to the beautiful 1868 tasting area and former barrel rooms.

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#17

Taking in the gorgeous vaulted ceilings and barrels lining traditional plaster walls, Ana told us that 2015 is the last year that most of their production will have been done over in Manacor, their barrel aging and bottling done here, and their storage kept elsewhere in Petra. That reminded us of Vins Miquel Gilabert which is also stretched across multiple locations! But in this case, within two weeks of our tasting, a new Bodegas Miquel Oliver facility on the Manacor-Petra road will open and house it all!

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#11

We asked Ana for the deluxe tasting, and she poured us seven wines! Please see our Miquel Oliver Tasting Notes for details.

Miquel Oliver_Wine Selection

As she poured, Ana told us that the varietals they work with are Prensal Blanc, Muscatel, Merlot, Syrah, Callet, Fogoneu, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Manto Negro (which they use only for the Mont Ferrutx Crianza). She told us they put a lot of energy, love, and sweat into raising these grapes and making these wines!

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#27

We learned that currently they are experimenting with new French oak barrels, but the barrels in this tasting room turn out only to be for decoration now. Ana told us they only use their barrels for four years, and then retire them for décor or sale. We asked about a huge old wooden tank standing regally in the corner. Ana told us it was a storage tank, made of Chestnut wood, and she was not sure of its age.

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#15

Further discussing oak barrels, Ana told us that new French oak is intense and in time smooths and matures to the traditional “chocolate- or coffee-like” notes. American oak barrels start with strong tannins, and later impart a softer almost vanilla flavor. Russian oak is more neutral, and Romanian and Hungarian oaks are like milder versions of French. She also told us they use only natural cork from Portugal and Spain.

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#28

Ana told us Bodegas Miquel Oliver is the first bodega to bring stainless steel tanks to the island back in 1986, and that Pilar was the first to make dry Muscatel wine on the island (having learned of it in France when she was apprenticing). As you surely know, the Muscat grape is very sweet and aromatic when ripe, and is usually used to make a sweet aperitif or dessert wine.

Miquel Oliver_Son Caló

We learned that the wines in their Son Caló line are their house-wines for easy drinking with meals. It is named after a beautiful cove on the north of the island, where Tawnee has been by boat, so the Son Caló line resonates with her!

Son Calo Wine at Son Calo Beach
It turns out that this bodega has the majority of its older vines in that area. This is very common as historically, the inland farms were the most valuable for food and feed crops and the coastal properties were for luxury and the summer. Each inland town had a coastal area that the inhabitants visited every summer. Colonia Sant Pere and Son Calo, where Mont Ferrutx is located, is in the summer coastal land of the Petra people. Bodegas Miquel Oliver only just recently started planting in Petra at the new facility.

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#37

For the last few years, making 200,000 liters each year has been quite a big job for a team of only seven people (that number will change in the new facility!) — and they make a large variety of wines too, eleven in total. One of the things we really like about these wines is their character, not only in the flavors, but also in the naming. For example, the names Mont Ferrutx and Ses Ferritges come from the land where the grapes are planted. Another bottle that is unique is named 1912, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend made in 2012 as a celebration of their 100 year anniversary. It has a really cool label and we’ve added it to our list of wines to try. They also make a bottle called Xperiment, which is a new experiment every year. They only make 700 bottles, two barrels, so it is always a limited edition!

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#36

Probably the best wine that comes from the bodega is called Aia (which we were not able to taste), and it is named after Pilar’s mother; we love that tradition and ode! All the barrels used for this bottle are new French, American, Russian, Romanian and Hungarian oaks, and we look forward to being able to try it at the new facility! We love all the traditions that this bodega has! Like how the great grandfather Francisco started putting a bottle from each new year under the big Chestnut storage barrel, and they still continue doing it to this day!

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#7

We understand that they were in the process of moving, yet of course we were disappointed not to see and discuss more of the traditional processes of barrel aging and bottling. However Ana was very knowledgeable about the wines! We feel very lucky to have experienced the original bodega as we did; and now look forward to coming back and starting all over again with a tour and tasting at the new Miquel Oliver Winery. One bodega with two stops on our Mallorca Wine Trail!

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#38

Miquel Oliver Map


Driving in direction from Inca to Manacor or visa-versa, you will see the Miquel Oliver bodega on the main road just outside of Petra. You can not miss it!

See Wines Tasted at Miquel Oliver: Click here

### Miquel Oliver ###

Miquel Oliver Wines Tasting

Miquel Oliver logo

Wines Tasted:

◊   2 Whites   ◊

Son Caló Blanc 2014
Muscat 2014

◊   2 Rosé   ◊

Alegria 2014
Son Caló Rosat 2014

◊   3 Reds   ◊

Mont Ferrutx Crianza 2010
Ses Ferritges’11 2011
Syrah 2012

Miquel Oliver_Tasting Wines


Miquel Oliver winery blends the past and the present. The bodega owner and wine maker are the same person, Pilar who is a descendant of the founder. She is dedicated to preserving the local wine flavors while incorporating new methods of perfecting taste. All bottles have a special meaning for either the bodega or for the land on which the grapes are grown. We love the connection that it creates when you drink their wine.

Son Caló Blanc 2014
Grapes: Prensal 100%

Son Caló Blanc 2014


Tawnee: A very original wine. It has a straw color and is 23 days in fermentation – no oak. A little sour or like bright lemons. Son Caló is a cove on the Bay of Alcudia. It is just past Colonia San Pere. The grapes come from a farm there. Son Caló Blanc is a great, fresh white for on the boat…in Son Caló.

Merie: Son Caló Blanc 2014 is a lovely dry white is made from Prensal Blanc grapes and is 12.5% alcohol by volume. With great bright aroma, it is tart with citrus notes, brute like a Cava, and crisp.

Muscat 2014
Grape: Muscatel 100%

Collita Muscat 2014


Tawnee: This is probably one of the best wines I have smelled – ever – berry heaven! It is beautiful. It has a good beginning and a dry end. A good different wine, however, I wished it tasted more like it smelled. Lots of character – Miquel Oliver is the first on this island to make a dry muscatel. I love it – A perfect beach wine!

Merie: The Muscat 2014 is a golden white wine, with rich aroma and 13% alcohol by volume. No oak barrel aging. They purposefully use mature, ripe sweet grapes which they ferment until the wine is dry.  By the way, we learned that “collita 2014″ on the bottle means vintage 2014.

Son Caló Rosat 2014
Grapes: Callet

Son Caló Rosat14 2014


Tawnee: A very bright colored rosé. It has strawberry aromas and a fruity flavor. I thought I even tasted banana in it. Both grapes are native to the island and grown in Colonia de San Pere. It is dry and has a solid finish.

Merie: Son Caló Rosat 2014 is a rosé with 13% alcohol by volume, made from local Callet and Fogoneu grapes. This wine has a wonderfully smooth aroma. It is tart and dry, a very refreshing wine with good character.

Alegria 2014
Grapes: Merlot

Collita Alegria 2014


Tawnee: Alegria means happiness in English. And this wine is happy! I detected ripe fruits in the nose. I just love the mono varietals – the difference between a 100% rosé here and the 100% merlot white at Son Prim or their 100% red are very different. It helps to discover the essence of the grape. Perfect for a sip beside the pool at sunset.

Merie: The Alegria 2014 rosé has more alcohol than the previous, 13.5% alcohol by volume, and is made from 100% Merlot grapes. With an aroma of pepper, it is smoother than the Son Caló, dry/brute but not tart. It is eight hours in maceration with its skin and seeds, compared to their red wines, which macerate many days.

Mont Ferrutx 2010
Grapes: Callet
Manto Negro

Mont Ferrutx Crianza 2010


Tawnee: Mont Ferrutx signifies the mountain of Ferrutx. This is a mountain out near Colonia San Pere and has a beautiful hike to the top where you can look out onto the Bay of Alcudia. Why not bring a bottle with you and enjoy it from the top. It is not overbearing and has a spicy flavor. A Mallorquin mix of grapes – a great wine.

Merie: The Mont Ferrutx Crianza 2010 has 13.5% alcohol by volume and is made from local varietals Callet, Fogoneu, and Manto Negro; this is the only wine Miguel Oliver makes with Manto Negro. It spends one year in oak yet is light and tart.

Ses Ferritges 2011
Grapes: Callet
Cabernet Sauvignon

Collita Ses Ferritges’11


Tawnee: The name comes from the word iron – and it is because where these grapes are grown there is a lot of Iron. Another interesting thing about this wine is that it is made in 50% new American oak and 50% used (up to 4 years) French oak. One of my more favorite bottles they make. A bold wine, perfect for a sizzling steak right off the grill.

Merie: Ses Ferritges 2011 is made from Callet, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This red has 14.5% alcohol by volume and ages four years in American and French oak: Half the time in new oak, half older oak. It is darker than the Mont Ferrutx, richer, and with aromas of dark berries.

Syrah 2012
Grapes: Syrah 100%

Collita Syrah 2012


Tawnee: This wine they had wanted to call Som- or suenos, which mean dreams, but the name was sadly already taken. This is why there is a moon on the front. In my opinion this is the best wine that I tasted at this bodega! There was no acidic finish. Yum! Yum! It is made with French, American, Russian and Hungarian oak. A great pairing for an oven baked dish or just by itself after a long work day.

Merie: The Syrah 2012 is made from 100% Syrah grapes and is 13.5% alcohol. Ana told us it is aged in French, American, Russian, and Hungarian oak barrels. The aroma is spicy, yet round, with dark fruit notes. The flavor is rich and consistent with aroma, which I always like!

Miquel Oliver_7-29-15_#26

Thank you Ana!

Please See Miquel Oliver Visit: Click Here

### Miquel Oliver ###

Son Prim Visit

“Excellence through passion and commitment to each varietal”

son prim logo
+34 971 872 758
Sencelles, Mallorca, Spain

Son Prim_7-29-15_#1c

Son Prim sits elegantly in the center of its vineyards.  A hub of wine production and sales, it is also set up beautifully for tastings and cuisine pairings. The winery was founded in 2002 by a family originally from Valencia, and their first release was in 2004. Now their son Jaime works with them, currently taking over their marketing and business needs. The varietals they grow are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and they recently planted Chardonnay for the first time. Members of Vi de la Terra, they produce 50-60,000 bottles per year, depending on the harvest. They sell all of their wines online through their website, and through a distributor. 40% of their wines are exported to Switzerland and Denmark, and they have a small market in Japan and the United States.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#8

We entered through the big heavy wooden door to be greeted only by wine bottles elegantly on display. As we took in our surroundings we became excited! The tasting area is new – finished and inaugurated last year. Natural light was the first thing that struck us, unlike many Spanish buildings, this room is wall to wall windows, with stunning views of their vineyards and the Mallorcan countryside. This spacious room features a huge fireplace with seating area, and a large open stainless steel kitchen for chef prepared meals and pairings.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#7

Out came a smiling woman, Marianne, who introduced herself and asked us how many of their wines we would like to try today? Exuberant to the end we blurted out “All!” Smiling, she asked us where we would like to sit for our tasting. We chose the shady veranda, and sat outside at a big wooden table facing the ripening grapes; heavenly! Beside us stood an ancient and traditional wine press from here on the island; we enjoyed the wonderful union of modern and tradition here at Son Prim.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#14
Marianne poured  the first tasting, a refreshing white made from red grapes! Please see our tasting notes for more details on the wines we tasted.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#20
Between pours, Marianne came and went, talking to the vineyard workers who were already culling the vines, answering questions, providing masks, conducting business as usual. We asked her what her connection to the winery was, and she told us she first came to Son Prim just to help out her friends temporarily. The work never ended, and now she is an integral part of the daily running and routine of this evolving winery.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#10

Pouring, Marianne told us that for 2015, they expect to buy 15% of their grapes from other local vineyards, and the rest will be their own grapes. All grapes are kept in separate tanks so they can understand which is best. Believing in the virtues of each grape, they produce all single variety wines except for one coupage called Cup, which varies each year depending on the harvest. In 2014 they produced no white or rosé because they weren’t good enough for their standards (they make their white wine from red grapes), though their reds decidedly were. They use only natural French cork, and we learned that the Spanish word for cork, and the cork tree, is Alcornoque; a great word!

Son Prim_7-29-15_#17

On a side note, we have yet to pin down the proper uses of the terms coupage and blend, as well as the terminology for multi-varietal grapes fermented together to make a wine, compared to wines fermented separately and then blended to create a new wine; and again compared to what we were told earlier that technically a coupage is a wine made mainly from a grape like Manto Negro, then supported with a structured wine like Cabernet Sauvignon to give the desired finishing strengths. It seems whenever there is more than one grape it is casually called a blend or a coupage, but we will get to the bottom of this mystery of semantics!
After tasting all of their wines, we found them to be bright and good, carefully and solidly produced with no surprises in aroma or flavor. They express consistently in the middle of the palate, differently than Castell Miquel wines did, but with the same intentional constancy.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#35

After slowly enjoying each pour and discussing its attributes, we were taken on the physical tour. Marianne went and found owner/son Jaime for this part (what a privilege!). She stayed with us as well, and we all enjoyed our exploration and exchanges, making this tour one of the best experiences ever on our Mallorca Wine Trail! Jaime led us through the back door to the original bodega rooms (the new part was an extension) and showed us the stainless steel fermenting area. With indicative candor, Jaime told us that one of the mono-varietal wines in tank was not good enough for them, and they were now looking into what they might do with it, as they will not be selling it as a Son Prim wine. We love this commitment to excellence!

Son Prim_7-29-15_#34

Enjoying our doggedly enthusiastic self-education, Jaime asked us with a wry smile, “Have you tasted the grapes of the wines you drink? No? Then how the hell do you expect to understand the wine that is being made from them?” Then he whisked us out and we all jumped down into the vineyards in search of early maturing grapes to taste!

Son Prim_7-29-15_#6

In the Merlot area, Jaime told Tawnee to pick a green grape and then to pick a ripe one, and said “I bet you can’t taste the green one without getting the sourpuss face!” Ha ha! He was right! Jaime showed us that the grape seeds are what tell them when the grape is ready for harvest. They are white when young and turn brown and wood-like when the grape is ripe. He showed us that all the Merlot grapes were still a little green, but in two weeks the team would start tasting the grapes to see how this varietal was shaping up for picking.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#37

Next we went walking through the beautiful rows to find the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and Jaime gave us some select dark grapes to taste. Ooohhh the flavor was so much better! They were already sweet now, but he told us they would be the last to harvest because a good Cab wants a sweet grape and a long time fermenting out the sugar. He told us that just before the Cabernet grapes turn red, they cut out half of the crop so the plant focuses on what is left.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#3 Son Prim_7-29-15_#4 Son Prim_7-29-15_#5

What an experience to walk through the vineyards, taste the grapes and see the vines, notice the differences in the leaves of the grapes that we just tasted.  A complete experience that created a very personal relationship for these wines.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#39

We learned that the bodega has gone through a few different wine masters from three different countries, and the family has learned much from each of them. With these changes they have seen production changes as well; the biggest of those is that now they pick all grapes by hand because when they used machine harvesting methods the grapes were always broken and oxygenating, which changed the flavor of the wine markedly and made batches irregular. Now they pick into small 15-kilo crates so no weight crushes the bottom grapes, and move them to cool rooms so no fermentation begins prematurely.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#40

Son Prim_7-29-15_#41

They hand sort, manually de-stem, and then put them into stainless tanks for five days at very low temperature so they marinate with the skin and seeds (called maceration) but no fermentation takes place before the fifth day. Next they allow the temperatures to rise so the yeasts activate. With reds they allow 10-12 days of alcoholic fermentation with skin and seeds – tasting and keeping track of the tannins so the wine will end up dry but not astringent. During this time they use a process called ‘pump over’ which circulates the wine and breaks the skin/seed hat, which furthers maceration and extraction of tannin and color. Finally they press the solids, and remove them, then with most of the wines it is off to barrel!

Son Prim_7-29-15_#42
Next we were taken down to their barrel room, which is always one of our favorite places to see. We were told that at Son Prim they do not do any fermentation in barrel – it is only for airing and aging. They use French oak barrels primarily, some American, and a little Hungarian; but are thinking of phasing out the Hungarian now. Even in the barrel room there is quite a lot of natural ambient light because of small slits in the top where glass allows light in from the tasting room. Excellent harmony between the architecture and its natural vineyard surroundings!

Son Prim_7-29-15_#43

We ended the tour back in the modern addition, up in the airy mezzanine offices. Here we learned about the different bottle names: a Magnum is 1.5 Liters, a Balthazar is 12.0 Liters, and a Melchior is 18 Liters!

Son Prim_7-29-15_#44
Son Prim was a wealth of knowledge for us – we feel so privileged that they wanted to help us on our journey to become informed! They really shared their magic, not just in facts but also in enthusiasm and commitment! Clearly it’s part of this winery’s recipe for success! Thank you Marianne and Jaime! Walking to our car, bottles in hand, we realized that for future wine tasting forays, we need a cooler in the trunk! – you might too!

Son Prim_7-29-15_#38

Merlot, oh Merlot
you are a very sour little grape
with too much skin
and bitter seeds!
But with age and attention,
your wine is a staple and gift!

son prim map

When driving from Inca towards Sencelles you will see vineyards and the sign for Son Prim on your left hand side. It is on the final curve before you arrive in Sencelles. You can not miss it!

See Wines Tasted at Son Prim: Click Here

### Son Prim ###

Son Prim Wines Tasted

son prim logo

Wines Tasted:

¸◊   1 White   ◊

Blanc de Merlot 2012

◊   1 Rosé   ◊

Rossat 2013

◊   4 Reds   ◊

Merlot 2012
Syrah 2012
Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Cup 2013

Son Prim_7-29-15_#29

This is a red skinned grape bodega! Every bottle is made with red grapes! How unique! Additionally, Son Prim keeps it simple – all single variety wines, with the exception of one blended coupage of that years yields. Every bottle you can tell has been selected for excellence and carefully worked, we saw a testament to this while on tour. The quality control, specifically temperature, is at its max, and it is notable in the finished product. We would be happy seeing someone bring any bottle from Son Prim to a dinner party!


Blanc de Merlot 2012
Grapes: Merlot 100%

Son Prim Blanc de Merlot


Tawnee: A white wine from a red grape! This wine goes directly from fermentation to bottle, but for some reason on the nose I identify a slight woodish aroma. I like it! It has a straw color and is delicious to enjoy sitting on the patio watching the grapes grow.

Merie: Our first wine was the Blanc de Merlot 2012. Exciting for me to taste a white wine from a red grape. So it spent minimal time with its skin and seeds, which gives it a whole new character than what we normally think of a Merlot. This wine is 13.5% alcohol, and a lovely pale yellow. For me it had aromas of the vine wood, but no fruit. The thick tears of alcohol on the glass made me think it would be sweet, but it is not. It is dry, fresh and tart, with notes of black pepper and hints of before-ripe yellow fruit like melon or peach.

Rossat 2013
Grapes: Manto Negro
Other red skinned varieties

Son Prim Rossat


Tawnee: The Manto Negro grape – a staple in the Mallorca Wine Trail. This Rosé goes directly to bottle from the stainless steel tanks. It has a light plum color and tastes of sour apples and prunes. I would love to have tried it with some crackers or cheese. A great wine to serve with the appetizers at a summer party!

Merie: Rossat 2013 is also 13.5% alcohol. The primary grape here is Manto Negro, blended with other of their red varietals for support. No oak with this rosé, it is aged in bottle for a refreshing bright appeal. Wanting to be served chilled, it is nicely dry with aromas again of vine, alcohol, strawberry and pepper. The flavor too is strawberry without sugar, and tart green pepper. As it opened in the heat of the day I detected more aroma, fuller, sweeter (not sugary), maybe plum?

Merlot 2012
Grapes: Merlot 100%

Son Prim Merlot


Tawnee: A cherry in the glass. Now the red Merlot grape in its element – a red wine! This wine is one year in oak. The aromas are of musk and the taste like gummy bears (yes gummy bears!) – smooth and with a dry finish. A great wine to combine with a honey glazed ham, or at a Thanksgiving feast!

Merie: Basking in the sun and loving the view, the third wine we tasted was their Merlot 2012. Aged for one year in French oak, the aroma is of dark forest berries and pepper, the taste dry and oaky. A nice clean Merlot, it presents evenly in the palate, and is lightly robust and fresh.

Syrah 2012
Grapes: Syrah 100%

Son Prim Syrah


Tawnee: This is a great wine – slight aroma of plums and matching in color of the match. This is a wine with character and some acidity, but a smooth and delicious finish.

Merie: The Syrah 2012 is a gorgeous dark color in the glass. I found the opening aroma enticing, mouth watering, perhaps better than the flavor. The flavor is lightly peppery and nicely dry, with subtle but present tannins.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 100%

Son Prim Cabernet Sauvignon


Tawnee: Bacon bits! Yes – the aroma of this wine is bacon bits! It has a bold spicy flavor and deep dark red when poured. Just delicious. It would pair well with grilled pork or a meat and potatoes meal. This is my favorite wine from Son Prim. Of course I bought one to take home!

Merie: Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is dark, voluptuous wine has notes of dark berries and spices, in both aroma and flavor. It is rich yet bright. Aged in oak, it has the support that lends, but no strong oaky flavor.

Cup 2013
Grapes: Syrah
Cabernet Sauvignon

Son Prim Cup


Tawnee: Coupage – a blend of the three single grape red wines – Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Every year this wine is a different percent of each grape. It is a very deep cherry almost plum color. The aroma is sweet, raisinish with a hint of coffee. It has a full beginning, and is slightly sweeter than the Cabernet Sauvignon that we just tried. I like that it will change every year according to their taste.

Merie: Our last tasting was the Cup Son Prim 2013. Cup is short for coupage, and each year they combine a different selection of grapes depending on the highlights of the harvest. This year their coupage is very berry and chocolate, with bright red fruit notes. Refreshing and dry, well suited to a good meal of meat or red sauces.

Son Prim_7-29-15_#38

Thank you Jaime and Marianne!

Please see Son Prim Visit: Click Here

### Son Prim ###

Cellar Jaume de Puntiró Visit

“Organic wines with character and artisanal artistry!”

Jaume Puntiro logo
+34 971 620 023
Santa Maria del Cami, Mallorca Spain

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#1

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.

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#13

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.

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#3

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!

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#15

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.

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#9

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.

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#2

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.

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#6

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.

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#16

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!

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#4

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!

Jaume de Puntiró_7-24-15_#5

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

### Jaume de Puntiró ###

Cellar Jaume de Puntiró Wine Tasting

Jaume Puntiro logo


Wines Tasted

◊   2 Whites   ◊

Blanc 2014
Moscatell Dolc 2012

◊   3 Reds  

Carmesi 2013
Buc 2011
Porprat 2012

Jaume Puntiro Wine.jpg

Jaume de Puntirò is the oldest certified organic wine maker in Mallorca. Their wines are bursting with character and values. They have 2 different lines of wine: their normal selection and a Crianza line with artistic labels, plus a special red and sweet white. Most of the wines are named after colors in the Mallorcan language, and they each have their own symbol that represents that wine and is known as the Alphabet Puntirò; a beautiful blend of creativity and wine.

Jaume Puntiro Blanc
Blanc 2014
Grapes: Prensal Blanc 100%

Jaume de Puntiró_Blanc 2014


Tawnee: A very vibrant wine! It is a pale color of yellow. There are notes of fruit, and it has a delicate finish. A young white wine made from white grapes – named appropriately – Blanc is white in Mallorcan.  Perfect for a fruit salad or a salad with nuts.

Merie: Blanc 2014 is a blanc de blanc (white wine made from white grapes) made from 100% Prensal Blanc. This tasty wine has a beautiful, sweet aroma, with bold flavors consistent of a young wine. It is refreshing, dry and tart like a green apple, very even and fresh.

Jaume Puntiro Dolc Moscatell
Moscatell Dolç 2012
Grapes: Muscatel 100%

Jaume de Puntiró_Moscatell Dolc 2012


Tawnee: A delicious sweet wine – I bought a bottle immediately! There are floral aromas. It is very balanced and has a wonderful honey finish. An excellent end to a summer meal!

Merie: The Muscatel Dolç 2012 is a lightly sweet wine aged in oak. The aroma is not sweet, but full and interesting! The taste is lovely! There is some sweetness but it is not sugary. It is a very light, refreshing wine and perhaps my favorite here.

Jaume Puntiro Carmesi
Carmesi 2013
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jaume de Puntiró_Carmesi 2013

Tawnee: A good blend of traditional Mallorcan grapes and a solid Cabernet. Crimson in color, just like the name states. The Mallorcan earth tones are definitely notable. This is a good organic table red to have around the house.

Merie: Next Pere poured us the Carmesi. Like the name, it is crimson red in color. The flavor is oaky, as well as lightly tart. I was told that winemakers like a bit of acid in the right proportion, as it promotes salivation = mouth-watering!  This wine is a blend of Manto Negro, Callet and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals, and aged 12 months in American oak barrels.

Jaume Puntiro Buc
Buc 2013
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jaume de Puntiró_Buc 2011


Tawnee: A spicy wine! This comes from the Crianza artistic line. I personally did not enjoy the nose on this wine very much, but the flavor was dynamic and enjoyable! It was earthy and spicy. Good with a rack of lamb or grilled goat.

Merie: The Buc 2011 is made from a blend of Manto Negro and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from older vines. The name Buc comes from the region the grapes are grown: Es Plà de Buc. It is a 12 month Crianza, aged in American oak barrels. Pere described it as “fuerte y duro.” Strong and intense, it has aromas of pepper and cinnamon. This wine has personality!

Jaume Puntiro Porprat
Porprat 2012
Grapes: Manto Negro
Prensal Blanc
Giro Ros

Jaume de Puntiró_Porprat 2012


Tawnee: A bold wine! The nose is full of spice and earth. Drinking it is very easy as it is well balanced. It would be great with braised beef or a shoulder of lamb. It is from the Artistic line of Crianza wines.

Merie: The last wine we tried was the Porprat 2012. Porprat means purple in Mallorquin, and is named for the deep color of this blend of Manto Negro, Prensal Blanc, Giro Ros, and Callet Grapes. Note there is a white grape in this red wine!  That might be a first for us!  This is a rich, hearty red with strong aromas and flavors, and a good tannin structure.


26.07.15 063

Thank you Pere!

Please see Jaume de Puntiró Visit: Click Here

### Jaume de Puntiró ###

Bodega Castell Miquel Visit

“Where science meets wine – a Stairway to Heaven”

Castell Miquel Logo
+34 971 510 698
Alaró, Mallorca, Spain

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#2

The Castell Miquel winery is owned and run by German pharmacist Professor Popp who comes once a month to oversee the winery. Founded in 1998, he started Castell Miquel as an inspired hobby, financing it through the success of his internationally known Bionorica Company, which produces high quality medicinal plant extracts here in Mallorca and in Germany. His first name is Michael which is Miquel in Mallorquin, and the primary structure on the former chicken farm is a castle-style home built by General Franco in the 1960s for his in-laws: hence the winery name Castell Miquel.

They currently produce 280,000 liters/bottles per year. There is clearly room for expansion, and plans to turn the old chicken factory buildings into Agrotourism accommodations. The winemaker is Tomas Wambsganss, and together he and Professor Popp produce wines with a focus on the strengths of each varietal. They grow grapes on site, and also have vineyards in Binissalem and Porreres.

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#5

The undivided rural road to Castell Miquel leads gently up from the flat wine country, through old stonewalled farmland, to the southern foothills of the Tramuntana mountain range, and is one of the loveliest drives we’ve done so far. As we got out of the car in the hot Spanish morning, cicadas shrilled continuously. The place is enormous, ready for tour buses, the layout very Napa Valley while still using the traditional stone Mallorcan architectural design and terracing.

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#6

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#12

Most impressive is the outdoor tasting area with a spectacular view of the two picturesque mountain peaks of Castell Alaró. There are informative signs about their grapes and their process of wine making which are placed strategically for a tour or self-tour.

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#14c

Arriving at the tasting room, we were greeted by Marta who cheerfully told us that they don’t give tours to groups under 10, that tastings are €5.00 per person, and that the first bottle bought after the tasting will be discounted that amount. We could tell that this winery is owned by a businessman, as their branding and marketing are fabulous. They have wine, olive oil, marmalades and colognes under the same brand.   Marta was just finishing another tasting, so to pass the time until our turn, she sent us on a lovely stroll through the vineyards and up to a vista point with a large piece by British sculptor Tony Cragg.  Art and wine paired again!

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#10

Savouring the view, and debating where to have our tasting, we chose the inside where we could talk more with Marta. Once there, she served us Miquel Castell black olive spread with Mallorcan Quely crackers, marmalade, olive oil, and fresh water to help our palates.  She then began to pour, saying that apples and olive oil help clear and neutralize the palate when tasting. Gesturing to their display, she told us that at Castell Miguel they currently produce 2 whites, 1 rosé, 3 reds and a Cava (sparkling white). Four of their wines are mono varietal, and two are blends. The Monte Sion line uses grapes from the Porreres Vineyard. The Stairway to Heaven line uses grapes from here at the Alaro Vineyard. The Cava grapes are from mainland Cataluña. This winery has a great website to consult for descriptions of each wine, and it’s fun to read their categories including “the origins of delight” and “what guides us.”

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#7

We asked Marta why the line is called Stairway to Heaven. She told us that Professor Popp sees the terraced mountainsides of the Tramuntana as stairs rising to the heavens – a lovely image! There is a story associated with the property – better described on the website – that an angel appeared on the land centuries ago and told the owner to plant grapes there. These terraces are the grateful stairway up. And of course Popp likes the song by Led Zeppelin!

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#8

We chatted with Marta as she poured for us. She told us they use the standard copper, sulfur, and bicarbonate against fungi and mildew. She also spoke about oak fermentation, and told us that French oak barrels generally come from older trees, and have tight grain and pores, so the maturing process is slower. Hungarian oak is in the middle. American oak has bigger pores exposing the wine to more oxygen, which accelerates maturation. Here they use French and Hungarian oak barrels, often preferring Hungarian because of its tannins and flavors as well as the rate of oxidation. And they like the smaller, 225 liter barrels because of the ratio of wood to wine. They carefully filter their wine before bottling, and after corking they allow their bottle aging from six months to three years, depending on the wine. Their wines are sold at fine retail stores including the exclusive Corte Inglés, with 60% of their product exported to Germany.

castell miguel wine

We learned that Professor Popp is a pharmacist who works with all organic botanicals with his company Bionorica, and that their products are sold in over 50 countries around the world!  So it is only natural that in wine making Professor Popp pays special attention to the grapes and wine’s health benefits.  Wine as medicine, historically accepted as fact, has now been scientifically proven. Castell Miguel ensures that their wine has the highest quality ingredients and process to maximize this important fact.

An interesting first for us is this winery’s use of glass corks or the Vino Lok system. It helps to preserve the freshness after the bottle has been opened, and slows the aging process in bottle because it isn’t porous like cork. Fascinating!

Castell Miquel_7-24-15_#15

These are good, clean wines, and we are convinced that when paired correctly they are a complement to any table. That being said, we must say that overall we found them highly produced, consistently un-adventurous, and almost neutral and scientifically in the middle of the palate. We would not describe them as having outstanding character, nor greatness. They are unusually consistent wines that do not overpower.  So, it is a MUST that you come here and decide for yourself; the experience is a joy, and the wines are clean and good and unlike any other on our island.

Directions:Castell Miquel Map
When you get to the town of Alaró, follow the main road into the center of town. On the right hand side you will see a yellow sign for Castell Miquel. Turn right here and follow the signs weaving through the mountains on the back road to Ínca and Lloseta. You can not miss the Castell on your right!

See Wines Tasted at Castell Miquel: Click Here

### Castell Miquel ###