One of Mallorca’s 101 Best Wines

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We are pleased and honoured to have one of our wines, Sa Porta Murada 2011, nominated as one of the 101 best wines of Mallorca. This organic wine is made of the Merlot grape grown on vines of an age of 7 years and is denominated as Vi de la Terra Mallorca. The wine was cultivated according to EU organic farming standards following some biodynamic principles. It was aged for 6 months in stainless steel tanks, 12 months in French oak barrels and a further 12 months in the bottle.

The nomination is part of abcMallorca’s 1st Wine Guide, a guide to 101 Best Wines of Mallorca which was published online and as a printed press magazine only a week ago. It retails at the larger newsagents in Mallorca for 6,95 €. If you are interested in the variety of current Mallorcan wine, this is the wine guide you should consult.

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The magazine’s collaborator, Stephen Nickel, characterizes our Sa Porta Murada negre as follows:

A light cherry-coloured wine pours into the glass. The bouquet is exceptionally floral, with a little touch of herbs. The effect on the palate is fresh, with many fruity flavours. Even the finish in the mouth maintains this freshness.

Beautiful, fresh full-flavoured Merlot.

Sa Porta Murada

Unfortunately, our thus honoured wine is no longer available. Only 300 bottles were produced and they have now sold out. Sorry, but we are only a small vineyard. But still, we are happy and delighted that our oenological endeavours are being recognised by some wine connoisseurs.

If you would want to try one of our red wines of a comparable characteristic, why not try our S’Antigor 2012. This red wine is made from the Merlot and the Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties, at a ratio of 50:50. Again, this is an organic wine categorized as a Vi de la Terra Mallorca and has been cultivated according to EU organic farming standards following some biodynamic principles. This wine, too, was aged for 6 months in stainless steel tanks, 12 months in French oak barrels and, again, for 12 months in the bottle. Its alcohol content is 15% vol. The wine was bottled in March 2014. Its colour has tones of dark red cherry. Its nose has a full earthiness with lots of character. Its palate is pleasant, with an edge of nobility.

The wine is best served at 15º. 

The S’Antigor 2012 wine will age well over 6 to 10 years.

The good news is that we have produced 2,000 bottles of this wine, and sufficient numbers are still available.

Cheers.

Paying Tribute to World Environment Day

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Every year since 1972, the world has celebrated World Environment Day on June 5th, which is today. The aim of this commemoration is to raise global awareness, to take positive environmental action and to protect Nature and planet Earth. This year’s motto is Sustainable Consumption and Production.

We are all part of the environment, we live in it and we live from it. Sadly, we often forget that we also depend on it. We all depend on the land, the water, the air, the nature and the holistic interaction of it all.

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At Son Alegre, we have some 50 hectares of land. On it, we have planted over 1,000 olive trees, a few dozen carob trees and about 20,000 vines. We have also sown Santanyí Xeixa wheat as well as some barley and legumes as our own natural animal feed. We have 60 sheep and a dozen Mallorcan goats on our land. Everything is organic. We want to continue to plant more olive trees and more vines. At the moment, we produce wine, olive oil and flour. As farmers, we try to follow organic standards, some of them based on the principles of biodynamic agriculture. We aim to adhere to the principles of Natural Farming. Our principle is to leave Nature undisturbed in the best possible way.

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We see Mallorca as a big garden, a massive orchard. If this garden were no longer to exist there would not be nothing at all. The tourist industry should see that we are all sitting in the same boat. It would be nice and important if some of the resources generated by tourism would be reinvested in our Mallorca garden. Perhaps the next government will indeed reintroduce a Green Tax for the benefit of environmental causes. By the time our agricultural products reach the end consumer there is all too often no margin left for the producers. The farmers of Mallorca have almost disappeared because parents want their children to go off to do different things and earn more money than they could earn in agriculture. Now our land in Mallorca is devoid of people; this proves to be wrong and this we have to change.

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Some 12 million tourists come to Mallorca every year and still, we cannot sell our almonds to them. With the almonds we could do so much and with the carob too. We have no sense of valuing what we have and where we live. If only we could sit in a plane and see our island from above, we would surely marvel and value this land. It is time for tourism to join forces with the rural world and its products. That is the solution to revive farming and the land.

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In the absence of any general profitability of farming land, some form of public funding would encourage young people to stay on and work the land. This could fulfill an important function. The future of the our land is in the hands of young people, and some financial incentive would allow young farmers to get ahead of the game.

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For hundreds of years, this island of Mallorca has been in harmony with Nature, its inhabitants and its wildlife. Now, things have become unbalanced. The time has come to protect Nature and the environment as best we can. It is our duty to look after our land and our soil, by acting in a responsible and sustainable way. It is time for us to give back to Nature what she has given to us and our ancestors. If and when we look after our land and maintain the garden of Mallorca, our children and future generations will benefit from the fruits of the land. If we don’t, our children will know who to blame.

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Feeling at Home

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Winemakers generally tend to be proud of their achievements, their masterly skills, their finesse and their crafty connoisseurship. We at Vinya Son Alegre, however, have not much time for such self-praise; in fact, we don’t think that we do all that much for our wine, really. It’s Nature who does it all for us – wind, sun, rain, the soil, the birds, the sheep, the ladybirds (Coccinellidae), the moon, insects, beetles, bugs and bees. Believe it or not, it’s all of these that make the wine. Our own input is only a marginal one and we try to reduce our involvement even further.

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Talking about the birds on our land for instance: we have observed that birds have multiplied in numbers and in species varieties since we started planting our vineyard at Son Alegre in the south-east of Mallorca, just north of the village of Santanyí. We must be doing something right in not doing so much to our vines that so many birds are feeling at home on our land. They are happy building their nests year after year and laying their eggs, to brood and to hatch the next generation of common wood pigeons (Columba palumbus), common quails (Coturnix coturnix), rock partridges (Alectoris graeca) or common pheasants (Phasianus colchicus).

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We have also seen the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) or should we better say, have heard him, and the common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos); again, heard, not seen.

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We believe that we have had visits from the Eurasian wryneck (Jynx torquilla), a member of the woodpecker family, as well as from the hoopoe (Upupa epops).

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We believe that we have evidence of the European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) but we have not found his nests or eggs yet. We are on the lookout, though.

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We have admired the Alpine swift (Apus melba) as well as the pallid swift (Apus pallidus), but they would build their nests not amongst our vines but under the roofs of our storage barns.

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There is evidence of the Eurasian golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus) on our land as there also is of the common starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

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We get the occasional visit from seagulls; the sea is not far from here and, during the hot months of summer, the embat current of air seems, for instance, to carry the black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) or the European herring gull (Larus argentatus) to our estate. We do not believe, though, that they nest on our land. We are not sure, however; we are still learning about the wildlife happening before our very eyes.

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We believe that all these birds, and other species yet to be identified in time to come, feel at home on our land precisely for the same reasons that make our wine so special: it must be the fact that we leave them undisturbed and unmolested. We do not fumigate nor fertilize our land. We do not use pesticides. We do not plough the soil. We do not employ chemicals for any combat of wrongly so-called weeds, plant diseases or insects.

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We let Nature do its job and we do not assume that we know better. Nature has been making wine for over two thousand years here on the island of Mallorca and we are happy to step back a little to let Nature produce some more great wine for the next two thousand years.

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All we want to do is say thank you. Thank you, Nature, thank you, birds, thank you, wildlife. Thank you all.

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