Vins Toni Gelabert Visit

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

Toni Gelabert Logo
www.vinstonigelabert.com
+34 971 55 24 09
Manacor, Mallorca, Spain

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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!

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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?!

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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 ###

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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

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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!


 

#1
Son Fangos Blanc 2014
Grapes: Prensal (12%), Moscatel

Vinya Son Fangos Blanc

Comment:

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.


 

#2
Chardonnay 2014
Grapes: Chardonnay 100%

Cardonnay de Toni Gelabert

Comment:

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!


 

#3
Son Fangos Rosat
Grapes: Callet 50%
Syrah 25%
Merlot 25%

VinsToniGelabert_Vinya Son Fangos rosat

Comment:

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.


 

#4
Son Fangos Negre
Grapes: Callet 50%
Merlot 25%
Cabernet 25%

Fangos negre

Comment:

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.


 

#5
Negre de Sa Colònia 1013
Grapes: Callet 100%

Negre de sa Colónia

Comment:

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.


 

 #6
Ses Hereves 2007
Grapes: Cabernet 33%
Merlot 33%
Syrah 33%

VinsToniGelabert_Ses Hereves

Comment:

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.

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Thank you Toni!

Please See Our Vins Toni Gelabert Visit: Click Here

### Vins Toni Gelabert ###

Cellar Jaume de Puntiró Visit

“Organic wines with character and artisanal artistry!”

Jaume Puntiro logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Puntiro Alphabet

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

See Wines Tasted at Jaume Puntiró: Click Here

### 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.


#1
Jaume Puntiro Blanc
Blanc 2014
Grapes: Prensal Blanc 100%

Jaume de Puntiró_Blanc 2014

Comment:

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.


#2
Jaume Puntiro Dolc Moscatell
Moscatell Dolç 2012
Grapes: Muscatel 100%

Jaume de Puntiró_Moscatell Dolc 2012

Comment:

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.


#3
Jaume Puntiro Carmesi
Carmesi 2013
Grapes: Manto Negro
Callet
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jaume de Puntiró_Carmesi 2013
Comment:

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.


#4
Jaume Puntiro Buc
Buc 2013
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jaume de Puntiró_Buc 2011

Comment:

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!


 #5
Jaume Puntiro Porprat
Porprat 2012
Grapes: Manto Negro
Prensal Blanc
Giro Ros
Callet

Jaume de Puntiró_Porprat 2012

Comment:

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.


 

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Thank you Pere!

Please see Jaume de Puntiró Visit: Click Here

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Bodega Castell Miquel Visit

“Where science meets wine – a Stairway to Heaven”

Castell Miquel Logo

www.castellmiquel.com
+34 971 510 698
Alaró, Mallorca, Spain

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.”

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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!

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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 ###

Ribas Wine Tasting

Ribas logo

Wines Tasted

◊   1 White   ◊

Ribas Blanc 2014

◊   2 Reds   ◊

Sio 2013
Ribas Negre 2012

Ribas tasting

Wine tasting at Bodega Ribas is really like going over to a good family friends’ place. It is a loving and welcoming environment. Even though it is one of the oldest wineries on the island, you feel their desire to evolve with the times and keep current. It is a wonderful juxtaposition. They are driven to perfection and dedicated to the Mallorcan authentic grapes. A must on the Mallorcan Wine Trail!


#1
Ribas Blanc 2014
Grapes: Prensal Blanc 87%
Viognier 13%

Ribas Blanc

Comment:
Tawnee: This is a beautiful colored white-fresh, delicate and clean. It is summer sunshine in a glass. It is a great combination of sweetness and citrus flavors, perfect for sipping on the patio while watching the kids or for combining with a great summer lunch of rice and fish.

Merie: The Ribas 2014 is a fresh, light, clean and crisp young white wine. The grapes are harvested by hand, and then again hand culled for perfect quality. They are gently pressed at low pressure before a long fermentation in Stainless Steel tanks at low temperatures to retain the subtle aromas of these unique grapes. The wine is 12.5% alcohol in strength. Enologist Araceli helped us understand the aromas: Prensal Blanc gives a delicious white fruit and citrus nose. The taste was crisp, and white-fruit, like pear and citrus, with a slight desirable-bitterness. Our guide Sylvia told us the Viognier gives characteristic complexity and smoothness as a balance and complement to the bright Prensal Blanc.


#2
Sio Negre 2013
Grapes: Manto Negro 50%
Syrah 25%
Cabernet Sauvignon 15%
Merlot 10%

Ribas Sio

Comment:
Tawnee: There is something beautiful knowing that a bodega honors their heritage, and this line of wines is named after the grandmother of the family Ribas – Concepsio thus Sio! This was my favorite wine we tasted. A very bold wine, it fills the mouth as a deep rich smooth velvety carpet unrolls for royalty. There is a hint of sweetness that mixes with some spice that makes it a perfect compliment. This wine is a great combination for grilled meats either on the BBQ or on the open fire.

Merie: Next Sylvia poured the Sio Nerge 2013. What a marvelous wine! Sio is aged 12 months in Oak barrel: 50% in new French oak, and 50% in second year French oak after it has aged their Ribas de Cabrerra wine! These vintners really know how to delicately weave their magic! Sylvia opened a new bottle for us and it needed to breathe; but then as the tannins softened, a great, complex flavor developed. The aromas were of ripe black fruit and spices, and the flavors almost tobacco and later to chocolate; Stunning!  Araceli told us that in her view the 2013 was not quite ready – that the 2012 would be better now.


#3
Ribas Negre 2012
Grapes: Manto Negro 50%
Merlot 25%
Syrah 20%
Cabernet Sauvignon 5%

Ribas Negre

Comment:
Tawnee: The Ribas Negre 2012 has a beautiful deep red cherry color. The aromas match the color being full of red and black berries. This is an excellent stable wine that has just the right amount of tannins.  A great compliment to a long lunch. Great for combining with lamb chops or rabbit in the autumn or winter.

Merie: Last, Sylvia poured the Ribas Negre 2012. It is aged 12 months in oak barrel: 75% French oak and 25% American oak for the different flavors they provide. It has 14.5% alcohol strength. Again, these grapes are all hand picked and then further hand selected. The fermentation is at a moderate temperature to preserve the desired aromas of red fruit from the Manto Negro, and the smooth tannins of the other grapes. The aromas are rich but light, almost chocolate, oh I was stretching to figure this out! I DID know that the flavor of this wine is so good, robust but not forceful. A true gem. Aracelli tried a taste and quieted: as today is unbelievably hot, she felt it had over-opened in our glasses – but I thought it was perfect.


Note: Because it was sold out we didn’t get to taste their signature red: Ribas de Cabrera 2012 which is 55% Manto Negro, 40% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and aged 12 mo in 100% new French oak.


Desconfio de la gente

As we paid for the bottles of wine and T-shirts we had decided to buy, we noticed a special edition wine they made this year called: “Desconfio de la Gente que No Bebe.”   The English translation: “I Don’t Trust Anyone Who Doesn’t Drink.”   It has a unique label with a skeleton sitting in a chair and takes its inspiration from Humphrey Bogart.  We couldn’t resist. We splurged and decided to buy it. It is a first year vintage and is Ribas’ tribute to the Manto Negro grape:  95% Manto Negro and 5% other grapes. There has been a lot of controversy over the Manto Negro grape as it can be a difficult grape and some think it cannot stand alone.  Well, Ribas took the challenge and has created this rare wine. We look forward to uncorking it on a special occasion that will do honor to the passion and dedication to making this wine.


Ribas thank you
Thank You Sylvia and Araceli!

See Bodega Ribas Visit: Click Here

###   BODEGA RIBAS   ###

José Ferrer Wine Tasting

Jose Ferrer Logo

Wines Tasted:

◊   3 Reds   ◊

Pedra de Binissalem Negre 2013
Reserva Veritas 2007
Veritas, Vinyes Velles

Jose Ferrer multiple lines

There is no shortage of wines to choose from for tasting! With five different lines of wines produced at José Ferrer, we wanted to taste them all! However, we must have told Miguel we are red-centric, because we only tasted red wines today. In retrospect, of course we should have tried a white and a rose, because it is hard to understand the full spectrum of the winery when you only taste one type. But, one really can’t taste everything as a drop-in; and we were going with the flow – as one does!

Putting our glasses beside a plate of Quelly biscuits and Mahon cheese (great authentic Mallorcan products for our tasting), Miguel poured, and we dove into a sea of red.


#1
Pedra de Binissalem Negre 2013
Grapes: Mantonegro
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jose Ferrer Pedra de Binissalem

Comment:
Tawnee: I am so happy to see that a major producer on the island is getting into organic wine! We had to try this red! It was delicate, with ripe berry tones and a distinct finish.

Merie: The first wine was the Pedra de Binissalem, Negre 2013. This deep red wine is organic, from their own Vineyard at Finca Sa Pareteta which is registered Ecological. It is a blend of Manto Negro and Cabernet grapes. They cool the bunches of grapes before squeezing, and maceration and fermentation are done in stainless tanks before following with 6 months in new American and French oak barrels. This wine has aromas of berries and ripe fruit, with the chocolate and coffee notes of French oak.


#2
Reserva Veritas 2007
Grapes: Manto Negro
Callet
Cabernet Sauvignon

Jose Ferrer Veritas

Comment:
Tawnee:  I was happy to be able to try a Reserva on the tasting list, as usually they do not open them. This was a solid wine. The name is perfectly chosen – Veritas in English means “the truth.”  It would be good served with a traditional meal of Mallorcan lamb chops, fried garlic and French fries.

Merie: Next we tried The Reserva Veritas 2007 red. Fermented in stainless, aged one year in French and American oak, then aged in bottle over two years before sale. It is made from 60% Manto Negro, then Callet and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a very rich, almost smoky wine, with aromas and flavor of ripe fruit.


#3
Veritas Vinyes Velles
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon
Syrah
Callet

Jose Ferrer Veritas Vinyes Velles

Comment:
Tawnee: This is my favorite wine of all that we tasted, and I like the label with the big V! V for Veritas (the truth). It is a solid wine with a good rich flavor in mouth. Vinyes Velles means “the old vines” and that is where this wine comes from – José Ferrer’s oldest vines. Knowing this adds to the enjoyment of drinking it, it is deep rooted and full of heritage and wisdom.

Merie: Finally we tried the Veritas red. All the Manto Negro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Callet grapes in this wine are hand chosen from old vines. Held in French and American oak for one year. It is rich, with smoky almost roasted, aromas and flavor.


Here is the rub: There is some quality about these reds that wasn’t to our taste. We are wondering if the grapes are pressed too ripe, or if a short fermentation period leaves some residual sugars, or maybe the tannins are too smooth… we really don’t know. These wines are rich and robust and have a ripe fruit quality; however, there was something different about them that was consistent in all. Further education is needed!


Jose Ferrer Miguel

Thank you Miguel!

See José Ferrer visit: Click here

### JOSÉ FERRER ###

Es Verger Wine Tasting

Es Verger Logo

Wines Tasted:

 ◊   1 white   ◊

Fita del Ram 2010

◊ 1 Rose ◊

Sensual

◊   2 Reds   ◊

Ses Marjades 2008
Els Rojals 2010

Bodega Es Verger_7-3-15_#2

Es Verger pays attention to detail. They put quality before quantity and have set the standards high being an organic winery. We tasted four of the bottles available, because their Pinot Noir is a specialty wine that Miguel produces only in small quantities when the harvest is good enough for his standards. The bottle in this picture was the last one from the year, the rest of the stock sold out. He has very loyal clients internationally and also from the island’s first class restaurants. We learned all his red wines are aged in French oak. All processing is done on this land and in the tasting cellar we were in. It is a beautiful small scale family production with exquisite results.


#1
Fit del Ram 2010
Grapes: Viognier

es verger fita del ram

Comment:
Tawnee: The Fita del Ram was a sweet delicious wine. Perfectly refreshing on a hot day! It had fruity aromas and was fresh and smooth. I think it would be great after a meal instead of dessert!

Merie: We started with the Fita Del Ram, made from Viognier grapes. I don’t drink sweet wines normally, but this was light and delicious, with a smooth honey-like texture. I bought a bottle of this treat for a dear friend of mine who grows Viognier in Napa, secretly hoping he’ll bring it out for our band of friends!


#2
Sensual
Grapes: Mante Negro 100%

Sensual

Comment:
Tawnee: Wonderful summer wine. I love that it is made with 100% Mante Negro grapes. It is a true native Mallorcan delicate wine with a name to match the feeling it gives you.

Merie: Next Miguel poured their rosé, Sensual, made from Manto Negro grapes. I don’t normally drink rosé wines either, yet found this one extremely drinkable, fresh and lightly dry. If you haven’t liked rosés, rethink with this!


#3
Els Rojals 2010
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot

Els Rojals

Comment:
Tawnee: This wine is delicious organic Mallorcan wine. You can taste the passion and attention to detail when you drink it. I think it would be lovely with a steak and mashed potatoes.

Merie: On to Els Rojals, their “everyday red” and a Manto Negro, Cabernet and Merlot blend. I would drink it every day too and found it really well balanced, thorough, smooth, and full-bodied. I loved this ‘modest table wine,’ and proudly bought a bottle for my Uncle who lives in the central California Santa Ynez Valley and has no shortage of good wine!


#4
Ses Marjades 2008
Grapes: Manto Negro
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot

Ses Marjades

Comment:
Tawnee:
This is an incredible wine! I just love it! I have re-named it the the black pearl because it is like the sea at night that flows smoothly and luxuriously over your tongue when you taste it. It was delicious on its own, but I can only imagine it with a good red meat. Divine. I bought a bottle immediately.

Merie: The label name Ses Marjades means the [stone] terraces – for which Mallorca is famous. Aged in new French oak casks, this is the award winning red for the special occasion. Made from Manto Negro, Cabernet and Merlot grapes, Miguel called the flavor “larga” and advised to let it breath in a wide mouthed glass container 20 min. In fact it is not a pretentious or overly serious wine, it is very balanced and complex, and perfect to honor one’s guests with.


EV Sign crop

Thank you Miguel!

See Es Verger visit: Click here

###  ES VERGER  ###