Mallorca Insights

Mallorca and its wines - A visit to Finca Biniagual

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The soft ringing of sheep bells, birdsong, the chiming of the village chapel every hour, the occasional tractor - not much else can be heard in the silence of Biniagual, a Moorish-era hamlet that ends in the middle of the wine-growing area around Binissalem in the center of Mallorca. Along two cobblestone streets, lined with flowerbeds, stand 13 houses, a historic wine cellar and a chapel from the 18th and 19th centuries, respectively, as well as the Vinoteca Biniagual. The entire village is part of the Biniagual winery, a family-run business with 170 hectares of land where, in addition to vines, olive and almond trees, oranges and lemons grow, as well as cereals and green fodder for the 300-strong flock of sheep.

At its heart is the winery Bodega Biniagual, which makes fine wines from the grapes that grow on 34 hectares of land around the hamlet and winery. Top quality and respect for nature are the keys to the work at Biniagual, where they follow the strict rules of integrated farming. Every step of the work - starting from the winter pruning in January to the grape harvest in September - is done with care and by hand to obtain the best quality grapes. "Good wine is made in the field, not in the winery" is the motto.

For Finca Biniagual it is important to press typical Mallorcan wines full of character. Therefore, the main grape varieties are the native Manto Negro (red) and Prensal Blanc (white), which are blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Muscat to four different red wines, one white and one rosé.

Charlotte Miller, responsible for Marketing, Sales & Events at Finca Biniagual, talks about the development as well as trends of the local wine.
"The subject of wine has become increasingly important in Mallorca in recent years. There are some very traditional wineries - the oldest is Ribas with about 300 years."

In the 80s the first bodegas appeared, but Mallorcan wine did not have a good reputation in the rest of Spain or internationally, and Mallorcan grape varieties were not in demand. In the early 1990s, Bodega Anima Negra began to work with Mallorcan grape varieties and to show, at a national and international level, that wines from Mallorca could be unique and of high quality. In the following decades, more and more bodegas emerged in Mallorca, increasingly relying on native grape varieties such as Manto Negro, Callet, Prensal Blanc, etc..

"But just in the last 5-10 years there has been a real boom, and the number of bodegas is rapidly approaching 100," says Charlotte Miller. "And by now Mallorca is on the map of the wine world, people now know that wine is grown in Mallorca - but surprisingly this knowledge is not yet very widespread. Mallorca-affine people know that there is good wine on the island, because they have drunk it on vacation locally . But still you come to wine fairs abroad and hear, "Mallorca? Is there wine made there?" And when those who are so amazed at Mallorcan wine taste it, the amazement at the quality and uniqueness of wines with Mallorcan grape varieties is great," knows the elective Mallorcan.

That's why Charlotte Miller is convinced that a lot of work is still needed by Mallorcan wineries to work together to put Mallorca firmly on the international map of wine regions.

The current situation is difficult. Most wineries sell their wine directly on the island, to the local gastronomy, which lives from tourism. This has almost completely disappeared in this Covid year 2020, which in turn led to a dramatic drop in sales.

"If red wines do not become Sold in a given year, apart from the economic aspect, it is not bad; but white and rosé wines are drunk young in Mallorca, in the first year. The white and rosé wines that have not been Sold this year will not be in demand next year, people want the new vintage from March."

Many winegrowers therefore still have their warehouses and barrels full of unsold wine and will reduce the 2020 harvest accordingly. But this in turn means that in a few years they will also only be able to sell a smaller quantity of wine. The consequences will therefore be felt in the long term. Smaller winemakers in particular are already struggling with the closure of their bodegas. Therefore, Charlotte Miller's appeal: "Instead of reaching for wine from South Africa or Chile in the supermarket or at the wine merchant, we should be aware that every bottle of Mallorcan wine sold is a small help to the local producer and contributes to the fact that he might not have to close his bodega."

And above all: Mallorcan wine is great! The enormous variety of wineries, grape varieties, vinification and aging methods guarantees that everyone will find at least one wine to their taste.

Finca Biniagual
Camí Vell de Muro s/n - Llogaret de Biniagual
07350 Binissalem - Majorca
Tel. +34 971 870 111

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