The Balearic island of Mallorca (or Majorca) is a favourite holiday destination for many. Its international airport is one of Spain’s busiest, and it welcomes millions of tourists every year. It’s easy to see why: The place enjoys an attractive Mediterranean climate and is a haven of culture, beautiful architecture, stunning beaches and world-class cuisine. There are many reasons to visit Mallorca, and one in particular that should appeal to readers of this blog: Did you know that they also make wine there?
Mallorca wine may not have the international recognition of Rioja or Ribera del Duero, but it is truly distinctive and has a lot to offer. There are four separate areas within Mallorca that produce wine, two of which have Denominación de Origen (DO) status and two with regional wine status.
- Binissalem DO is the island’s oldest designated wine region, established in 1990. It covers the central part of the island and cultivates a range of local and international grapes including Callet, Manto Negre, Fogoneu, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, among others.
- Pla i Levant DO was established in 1999. It covers the island’s central and eastern areas, and cultivates many of the same grapes.
- Mallorca is a regional wine designation established in 2007, covering some 25 producers across five municipalities.
- Serra de Tramuntana-Costa Nord is another regional wine designation covering 18 municipalities in the island’s northwest. Mallorca wine has been produced under this designation since 2002, though the region has produced non-designated wine (primarily from the Malvasia grape) since the 15th century.
Mallorca wine to try
The best way to experience Mallorca wine is surely by visiting the beautiful island, touring its picturesque vineyards and tasting the wine at source. Almost as good is to pick up a bottle (or three) of Mallorca wine, cook up a storm of Mallorcan-inspired dishes and have your very own island experience at home. We’ve picked three Mallorca wines that should have you covered:
- Quíbia demonstrates why Mallorca wine is so unique: This aged white is a blend of Xarel-lo (best known in Cava) and Callet. The wine is fermented and aged in cement tanks, with four months’ ageing on the lees giving it some serious complexity. Flavours of citrus and tropical fruits and mineral character make this a very memorable white indeed. Serve this with a Catalan fish stew and find yourself instantly transformed to Mallorca in the summertime.
- Ànima Negra ÀN/2 is a balanced and elegant red that expresses the best of those indigenous grape varieties that make Mallorca wine so special, alongside a healthy splash of international superstar Syrah for good measure. The blend is a 65% majority of Callet, 15% Syrah and the remaining 20% a combination of Manto Negre and Fogoneu. Ageing in a combination of French and American oak, both old and new, gives the wine good structure without ever overpowering it. Serve with Mallorcan Sobrassada if you can get it, or another cured sausage if not.
- Ànima Negra ÀN is ÀN/2’s big brother, solely from local grapes with 95% Callet in the blend supported by Fogoneu and Mant Negre. Callet makes firm, well-structured and savoury wines, and this is a seriously premium example. With 18 months of ageing in new French oak, this is a big wine that will pair very well with hearty and meaty dishes inspired by Mallorcan cooking. Try this Mallorca wine with a Porcella, the traditional suckling pig dish served at Christmas.
Have you been to Mallorca? What do you think of Mallorca wine and how it pairs with the local food – can you recommend any non-traditional food pairings for adventurous Mallorca wine lovers?