In Aqua Veritas

rain - Son Alegre - Santanyí Mallorca2

Today, March 22nd, we celebrate World Water Day.

World Water Day has been observed on this day since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22nd as ‘World Day for Water’.

Water and water management play an integral part of agricultural activity, especially so in the case of a farm managed on ecological, organic and natural terms as is done at Son Alegre in the municipality of Santanyí in the southeast of the island of Mallorca. At Son Alegre we grow vines, olive trees, carob trees and Xeixa, an ancient species of wheat (Triticum aestivum) indigenous to Mallorca which used to be grown all over the island hundreds of years ago but sadly had virtually disappeared and is only slowly being reintroduced now by us and a few like-minded young farmers.

rain - Son Alegre - Santanyí Mallorca3

Just in time for World Water Day, we have had plenty of rainfall over the last few days here on our finca. Yesterday, March 21st, we had 20 litres of rain on our land, plenty for us and our needs but not half as much as in neighbouring Felanitx where a massive 50 litres were reported to have fallen. The high tides and exceptional weather conditions seem to have been brought on by yesterday’s spring equinox, coupled with a supermoon and a partial eclipse of the sun. It is very rare for these three events to occur at the same time.

Back to the rain. During the twelve months of 2014, we measured a total of 375 l per square metre on our land. With an extension of 512,500 sq m (51 hectares), our land would have benefitted from about 200,000,000 litres of rain. A large portion of that water, perhaps a third, is absorbed by our plants and vegetation, as well as our animals, insects, birds and creepy crawlers. An estimated third of all that water evaporates in wind and sunshine. We believe that a further third filters down into our subterranean groundwater aquifers that we happily access whenever our vines need irrigation during the high temperatures of Summer. Last year we irrigated to an amount of roughly 200 to 250 litres per vine, a total of some 3,000,000 litres.

rain - Son Alegre - Santanyí Mallorca4

People say In Vino Veritas, a Latin phrase that means ‘in wine there is truth’. We would rather claim In Aqua Veritas.

Launching Our Organic S’Antigor 2012 Red Wine

Son Alegre Santanyí - S;Antigor Negre 2012 - Mallorca

We proudly present our new organic red wine S’Antigor Negre 2012, cultivated from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes at a 50:50 ratio. Our vines had an average age of 6 years when the grapes were lovingly harvested by hand on September 12th and 14th, 2012. All our vines are cultivated according to EU organic farming standards following some biodynamic principles.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Vinification of this wine happened under strictly controlled conditions of temperatures between 25 and 28º C during the fermentation process in stainless steel tanks, followed by a maceration practice of 20 days. The aging process involved six months in stainless steel tanks, twelve months in French oak barrels and twelve months in the bottle. The wine was bottled in March 2014. The alcohol content of this new wine is of 15% Vol. A total of only 2,000 bottles was produced. That’s not much but sorry, we are only a small vineyard.

Merlot

Our Son Alegre S’Antigor 2012 red wine will age well over 5 to 10 years and is best served at 15º C. S’Antigor 2012 is an elegant red wine and very pleasant to drink.

Son Alegre - S'Antigor_

For the design of the new wine’s label, Son Alegre last year initiated a design competition in collaboration with the Ajuntament de Santanyí, the Cultural Association Lausa of Santanyí and the Agrupación Folclórica Es Mayoral of Calonge. The artwork for the S’Antigor label was designed by Elena Sierra Forteza, the young lady in the centre of the photo below, next to the mayor of Santanyí, Don Llorenç Galmés Verger.

Certamen etiquetas Son Alegre Santanyí Mallorca

Celebrating World Wildlife Day

Son Alegre Mallorca 3

Join us today, March 3rd, in celebrating World Wildlife Day. This is the date set by the United Nations General Assembly as the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). World Wildlife Day is celebrated as an opportunity to laud the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. Wildlife has an intrinsic value and contributes to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of sustainable development and human well-being (yes, UNESCO).

Son Alegre Mallorca 1

At Son Alegre we celebrate World Wildlife Day every day of the year. When we acquired this piece of land, we could see nature but there was not much wildlife to speak of. Now, thirteen years on, we are amazed, excited and grateful every single day about the amazing diversity of wildlife establishing itself on our land. Where we had perhaps a bare dozen of plant species just before we started with our organic way of farming, we now have evidence so far of perhaps eighty different types of flora. Here is what we have classified so far; our list is growing by the day:

Asphodelus aestivus
Atractilis tomentose
Alyssum serpyllifolium
Alyssum spinosum
Anacyclus clavatus
Arum italicum
Asparagus acutifolius
Bellis sylvestri
Carduus assoi
Carlina acanthifolia
Ceratonia siliqua
Chrysantemum coronarium
Convolvulus valentinus
Crepis vesicaria
Cynoglossum creticum
Ficus carica
Galactites tomentosa
Helleborus foetidus
Lippia triphylla
Lunescari comosum
Melilotus officinalis
Muscari comosum
Olea europaea
Olea sylvestris
Opuntia maxima
Oxalis pes-caprae
Papaver rhoeas
Pistacia lentiscus
Plantago lagopus
Prunus dulcis
Sinene vulgaris
Silybum marianum
Solanum linnaeanum
Triticum aestivum
Urtica incisa
Vitis vinifera

Son Alegre Mallorca 2

Similarly, the fauna too is settling in nicely at Son Alegre. We are thrilled about the heterogeneous collection of bird life on our estate, the variety of insect life and the sheer number of ants, beetles, worms and other invertebrates creeping and crawling as the day is long. We have not indexed our fauna yet but hopefully that by this time next year we will be able to present you with a list of the heterotroph animal life at Son Alegre.

You may wonder what all this wildlife has to do with making wine. Think again. We believe that you get out of your land exactly what you give to it in the first place. Of course, as for the question of how to deal with what you are given to start with, it all depends on your approach. You might elect to give up ploughing, as we have done, or refrain from fertilizing your land with commercial manure or compost like we do. You might aim for an organic way of producing your grapes or even set your sights on an approach by biodynamic principles as we do. We like to do things and practice agriculture on our land the organic, healthy, natural way because we believe that our produce, i. e. the grapes for our wine will be organic, healthy and the best natural way possible, as a result. We trust nature. Nature always knows best, at least in the long run.