Cultivating the Malvasía Grape

Malvasía grape Vinyes Son Alegre

Vinyes Son Alegre is one of only a few vineyards growing the Malvasía grape variety. Historically, this grape has only been grown in the Mediterranean region, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and the island of Madeira, but now it is tended to in many other wine-making regions of the world as well, such as Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Corsica, the Iberian Peninsula, California, Arizona, Australia and Brazil. In the past, Malvasía wine was predominantly consumed as a sweet dessert wine similar to Malmsey wine from Madeira. The white Malvasia grape is more common but, a red Malvasia grape also exists.

In the old days, wine generally only had about 7 % of alcohol. As it was quite difficult then to sufficiently cool the wine, much of the wine as a consequence turned sour and could not be stored for any length of time. In contrast, the Malvasía wine even at that time had an alcohol content of about 14 %, allowing it to be stored that much more easily and longer. Its low degree of acidity was regarded as delicious. Soon, the sweet Malvasía dessert wine was very popular in the European courts.

Here in Mallorca, the Malvasía vine was only rediscovered in the 1980s. Then, the Malvasía grape only grew in the Tramuntana area, in Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Deià and Pollença, with Banyalbufar being the main producer. Of all the wine grown in this municipality, Malvasía is the only grape variety there. During the 16th century, a total of 25,000 litres of Malvasía dessert wine were produced by the Cooperativa de Banyalbufar alone, with most of that astounding amount being sent to the Court of Aragón.

We introduced Malvasía grapes to the area of Santanyí. In fact, you might be interested to know that we are the first and so far the only vineyard in Santanyí for more than 120 years. The Malvasía grape likes the climatic conditions at our land, where the coastward hinterland of Santanyí joins the Mallorcan Sierra de Llevante hills at an altitude of 66 m.

Vinyes Son Alegre wines

Apart from Malvasía, we grow other grape varieties as well. We also grow Chardonnay, Giró Ros and Viognier white grapes, and we grow Monastrell, Merlot, Syrah, Callet and Cabernet Sauvignon red grapes.

At the end of this Summer, we shall open Can Taconer, our shop in Calonge, where you will be able to sample our wines, as well as Sileo, our Aceite Ecológico de Oliva Virgen Extra (Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Watch this space for further information.

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