A creative competition was launched earlier this month by Vinyes Son Alegre SL in partnership with the Ajuntament de Santanyí, the Cultural Association Lausa and the Cultural Association of Calonge, Es Mayoral, for the design of wine labels. Three designs will be selected from all entries for Red, White and Rosé wines under the names of s’Antigor (for the Red wine), S’Aragall Blau (for the Rosé) and Cocó Barber (for the White wine). Each of the winning designs will be awarded the sum of 700 €. The contest is open to all artists over the age of 18. The deadline for the competition is October 30th, 2014, at 13:00 hours.
The competition winners will be announced during the celebrations of this year’s Festes de Sant Andreu in Santanyí, Mallorca (November 30th, 2014).
Detailed rules of the competition can be found on this PDF file.
Yesterday, we started with this year’s wine harvest at Son Alegre in Santanyí. Our white grape varieties, Malvasía and Chardonnay, were the first ones to be picked. The cheerful activities started at 07h00 in the morning to avoid the severe heat later in the day. Luckily, our land benefits from the Emblat, a local meteorological phenomenon of a cool current of air from the sea encountering hotter air at our land at an altitude of 66 m, thus creating a fresh and cooling breeze. Our crops benefit from this current of air throughout the year and yesterday, our team of harvesting helpers welcomed its benefits just the same.
Two other white grape varieties, the Mallorcan Giró Ros and Viognier will be harvested later in August, probably sometime next week, depending on the analysis of their sugar content. Our red grape varieties such as Monastrell, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, will be harvested later then the white grapes, sometime between the middle and the end of September, depending on their state of maturation.
The grapes in the rest of the island will have another week or two to make the most of the current high temperatures and the absence of rain. The region of Binissalem, for instance, will begin its grape picking during the first week of September. The harvest there will culminate in the Festes del Vermar also known as Sa Vermada, a celebration lasting nine days leading up to the last weekend of September. Traditionally, the region of the Serra de Tramuntana is the last one when it comes to wine harvesting here in Mallorca due to the climatic conditions in this mountainous area.
Vinya Son Alegre is proud to honour Don Pep Costa with our Picarol 2013 wine, available in Red (Merlot), White (Malvasía/Chardonnay) and Rosé (Merlot, Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon). Don Pep Costa was the founder of Cala d’Or (Mallorca) in 1933. He was locally known as ‘Picarol‘ and we respectfully chose his name to commemorate his life’s achievements with our wine.
A festive act was celebrated yesterday at Bar Fernando in Cala d’Or during the Fiestas de Santa Maria del Mar in the presence of Margarita Serra Costa, Picarol’s granddaughter, and Elena López-Gil, Don Pep’s Great-Granddaughter. Also present were the mayor of Santanyí, Llorenç Galmés, and a number of other political dignitaries. The eulogy was delivered by Miquel Manresa, founder and Managing Director of Vinya Son Alegre.
The August full moon gave us this year’s closest supermoon. According to NASA, this full moon was 14% closer and 30% brighter than other full moons of the year.
At Son Alegre, the lunar rhythm is one very important implement for our working the land. We have always observed the lunar calendar and the moon’s phases, just the way our forbears have done when it came to pruning their fruit trees, grafting plums onto almond tree branches, planting new trees, sowing their crop, harvesting their wine, mating their sows, sheep or horses, or even having their own hair cut. One might say that traditionally, the Mallorcan farmers’ lives have been governed by the moon even more than the sun.
Traditionally, the grape harvest is related to the cycles of the moon. For instance, the fortnight between the January New Moon and the January Full Moon is the time to cut the previous year’s vines back and prune them back to the woody-stemmed plant. Our vendimia, the grape harvest, usually starts with the August New Moon. Ever since we started our activities at Son Alegre, we have been guided by the lunar calendar and, so far, we have been rewarded with good results. It may not be perfect every year but it is always true to the land.
We will start harvesting this year’s grapes any day soon. We shall start with two white grape varieties, the Malvasía grape which is characterized by its deep color, distinct aromas and the presence of some residual sugar, as well as the Chardonnay grape, a malleable grape that happily adapts to our Mallorcan soil and in particular the Call Vermell soil, a clay loam formation containing plenty of iron oxide and lime.
We are proud of our work and we are grateful to the moon, to nature in general, to all our many helpers such as indigenous wild flowers and the wildlife on our land. To all of them we are truly indebted.