We Proudly Present Our New SILEO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sileo 2

We are proud of our Son Alegre organic wines.

But we produce more than just wine. We planted over 1,000 olive trees of the Olea europaea species in 2004, bearing olives of the Arbequina variety. Olives of the Arbequina variety are considered to be one of the best in the world for consistency and productivity, as well as for the quality of their oil.

Just like our vines, our olive trees are cultivated under 100 % organic conditions on our Son Alegre estate near Santanyí, where the coastal hinterland meets the rolling hills of the Mallorcan Serra de Llevant.

Sileo 3

On our land, we follow biodynamic principles and do not use any chemicals or non-organic fertilisers, resulting in a low yield but rewarding us with truly exceptional quality. Due to climatic conditions in 2015, only 3,800 kg of olives were harvested, resulting in a mere 420 l of olive oil (9.15 kg of olives are needed to produce one litre of our olive oil). For added stability we include a small amount of wild olives (Olea oleaster) at a ratio of no more than 1.5 %, giving our oil a subtle tang and a truly luscious fragrance.

Luckily, all our efforts resulted again in a premium product of exceptional character, albeit of a very limited quantity.

We always collect our olives just before they reach maturity. We handpick the fruit and, for maximum freshness, deliver the olives personally to the tafona (oil mill) in Sóller on the same day, just a few hours after they have been harvested. As we do not have our own oil mill, we collaborate with the Cooperativa Agrícola de Sant Bartomeu in Sóller, famed for their gentle handling of olives and renowned for their output of oil of the best quality.

Sileo 7

Our oil is extracted by a high-speed centrifugal process from the olives, without the use of any chemical agents. The result of this process is SILEO Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Oli d’oliva verge extra), an olive oil of a truly superior, organic quality.

Our olive tree plantation is scrutinised by the rigorous criteria of the Conselleria d’Agricultura, Medi Ambient i Territori as part of the Govern de les Illes Balears. The quality of our oil production is supervised by the Institut de Qualitat Agroalimentària de les Illes Balears (IQUA) and the Consell Regulador de la Denominació d’Origen Oli de Mallorca, allowing us to classify our oil as Oli de Mallorca Denominació d’Origen protegida.

Sileo 8

Before bottling, our olive oil is tested by an ENAC-laboratory (Entidad Nacional de Acreditación). Our 2015 SILEO Extra Virgin Olive Oi was measured with a degree of acidity of 0.6%.

SILEO Extra Virgin Olive Oil is known for its creamy and flawless yet delicately intense fragrance.

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This year, SILEO is sold in bottles of 500 ml. Only 500 bottles of our new Extra Virgin Olive Oil are coming to the shops this year; there aren’t any more. Sorry, but that’s the way how Nature works.

We Are Now Launching Our, Quite Possibly, Best Ever Organic Rosé Wine, the Fresh Roca Fesa 2015

Roca Fesa 3

We are proud to present our new organic Rosé wine Roca Fesa 2015, probably the best Rosé wine we have ever made.

The Roca Fesa 2015 Rosé wine is a coupage of our Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes with a small amount of grapes of the Syrah variety. All our grapes were harvested by hand in the third week of September of last year on our land at Son Alegre near Santanyí in the southeast of Mallorca and brought to our own bodega in the village of Calonge. Our vineyard benefits from the Serra de Llevant’s moderating impact on climate as well as from the thermal conditions of the coastal area with its gently cooling Embat thermal wind.

Roca Fesa 6

The vinification of our Roca Fesa 2015 Rosé wine was done at our own bodega for the first time ever with the good help of our oenologist, Luis Armero González. The wine making was done under his supervision at a controlled temperature of between 15 and 18º C during the fermentation process with a maceration of 21 days. The fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. The ageing process occurred over eight months in vats plus a further five weeks in the bottle.

Roca Fesa 11

The wine was bottled after a gentle clarification in May 2016. This year, the alcohol content is 13% Vol. Only 5,000 bottles were produced. If you are a small vineyard like us you don’t really aim for a high volume output. Quality comes before quantity. Your tastebuds will probably validate our convictions.

Roca Fesa 2

The Roca Fesa 2015 Rosé wine is best served chilled at a temperature of between 6 and 9º C and is best consumed during the hot days of our Mallorcan Summer.

The artwork for this wine’s label was painted by Llorenç Vidal Lledó. Thank you, Garrit.

Presenting Our New Organic Red Wine Penya Bosca 2014

Penya Bosca 1

Son Alegre proudly presents the new organic red wine, Penya Bosca 2014, cultivated with great care from our Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah grapes at equal parts. All our vines are fostered according to EU organic farming standards following some basic biodynamic principles. Our vines were planted in 2004 and had an average age of ten years when the grapes were lovingly harvested by hand in September 2014.

Penya Bosca 4

The vinification of this wine happened in stainless steel tanks under strictly controlled conditions of temperatures between 23 and 25º C during the fermentation process, followed by a maceration practice of 20 days. The ageing process involved four months in stainless steel vats, six months in barriques of French oak of second and third use, and ten months in the bottle. The wine was bottled in October 2015. Only 2,000 bottles were produced in total. That’s not a lot; we know. But we are only a small vineyard and our growth will always be as organic as are our farming efforts.

Penya Bosca 2

Our Son Alegre Penya Bosca 2014 red wine has an alcohol content of 14.5% Vol. and is best served at 15 to 18º C. Penya Bosca 2014 is an authentic Mallorcan red wine with a rather balanced nose and a pleasant and intense finish in the mouth. This wine will age well over 5 to 8 years.

The paintings for this year’s Son Alegre wine labels were created by Llorenç Vidal Lledó, the Santanyí artist better known by his artist’s name, Garrit.

¡Salut!

Vinya Son Alegre Proudly Presents the New Organic Es Faralló White Wine

Es Faralló 2015 2

We are happy to present our new white wine, the Es Faralló 2015.

The Es Faralló white wine is a composition of organically grown Chardonnay (40%), Prensal (40%) and Malvasía (20%) grapes. Son Alegre is one of the few vineyards of Mallorca cultivating all their vines according to EU organic farming standards. Unlike most other vineyards, we also follow a number of principles of Biodynamic agriculture. We also leave our soil undisturbed by not ploughing our land. Our grapevines were ten years old at the time of the harvest at the end of August 2015. All grapes are always carefully collected by hand.

Son Alegre 2016 2

The young white wine was vinified at a controlled temperature of between 13 and 16º C during the fermentation process with a maceration of 21 days. The fermentation took place in stainless steel vats in our own new bodega in the village of Calonge (Santanyí). The wine matured for eight months in the tanks and a further two months in the bottle. The wine was bottled in June 2016. This year, the alcohol content of our white wine is 12.5% vol. Only 6,000 bottles of this wine were produced. We would like to have a higher output but we are still only a small vineyard. Growth is not our main objective; quality is, as well as respect for our land and the highest regards for Nature and the environment. In any case, we are grateful and beholden for what we have been able to achieve.

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Our Es Faralló 2015 white wine is best served at a temperature of 6-8º C and is well suited to the Mediterranean landscape and the climate of our precious island Mallorca.

¡Salut!

Celebrating Planet Earth

Son Alegre April 2

Today, April 22nd, the world celebrates Earth Day in more than 190 countries worldwide.

Like so many other ideas, Earth Day is an American invention from the Seventies. According to Denis Hayes, the National Coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day is now “the most important secular holiday, which will be celebrated this year by more than one billion people”. The celebration of this day aims to activate and motivate our awareness of the environment, the planet Earth, of true sustainability, of the future of the Earth and of the survival of life on this planet.

Son Alegre April 1

At Son Alegre we believe that it is important every day of the year and it is always the right time to act in full awareness of the environment and of our precious planet. Our finca and the production of our organic wine is marked throughout the year by the interaction of Nature with forests, the low mountain range of the nearby Serra de Llevant, the Mediterranean Sea, effecting our wine at a distance of only 5 km, of wind and weather, of animals, insects, birds, bees, ants and other creepy crawlies, plants and wild plants, herbs and so-called weeds, which are all interconnected in harmony. We recognise every day that the organic interplay of All and Everything is the best way to preserve our environment and our planet Earth.

Son Alegre April 4

At Son Alegre, we endeavour to preserve our small piece of land for our descendants, so that the “Garden of Mallorca” will still be a paradise tomorrow; a Garden of Eden if you want, for us, for our children and for our children’s children. If we all do just one small step in the right direction, we can indeed succeed.

Today, on this very Earth Day, we should be aware of our possibilities and the potential that we each individually possess.

Earth-Day-2016-Poster-Earth-Day-Network

We Are What We Sow

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We are proud to be part of the ecological movement of organic agriculture here in Mallorca which, in recent years, has gained quite a bit of importance. And not only in Mallorca; in Spain and throughout Europe, a return to a more natural way of agriculture can be observed, a trend which is enjoying a remarkable boom. Today, more and more consumers are demanding food and nutrition free of chemical fertilisers, free of herbicides and pesticides, and also free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), be that in wine or olive oil, as in the case of Son Alegre, or in flour and bread, vegetables, fruit, milk or honey, to name just a few major food categories.

Son Alegre marzo 2016 2

The European Union has established rules for organic and biological agriculture, that we and our colleagues here in Mallorca aim to adhere to meticulously. In Mallorca, organic farming is controlled by APAEMA (Associació de la Producció Agrària Ecològica de Mallorca, the Organic Farming Association of Mallorca), a kind of supervising body of organic farming that has been in existence for ten years now and which has its headquarters in Porreres.

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It is for this reason that an annual event is held in Porreres presenting organic products and organised by the very same APAEMA, which will be celebrated this Sunday for the tenth time, the Diada d’Agricultura Ecològica. Porreres, April 17, from 09:00 to 16:00 h, if you should be interested. The weather forecast is promising us dry weather; there will be plenty of food offered as well as drink. You will find organic honey, wine, beer, fruit and vegetables, olive oil and other products from Mallorcan production, to be tried and tested and to buy if you so wish.

Diada d'Agricultura Ecològica

See you there.

Good News For Santanyí

Son Alegre, DO Pla i Llevant

Sometimes bureaucracy is just that, cracy, or should we spell that crazy?

When the winemakers of the central region of Mallorca, an area known as the Pla, decided in 1999 to create their own DO (Denominación de Origen), there only were vintners in Petra, Sineu, Algaïda, Ariany, Maria de la Salut, Sant Joan, Santa Margalida and Muro who cultivated vines, harvested grapes and proceeded with the art of wine making. An invitation was extended to their colleagues of the East and the South of the island, and Capdepera, Artà, Llucmajor, Campos, Porreres, Manacor, Montuïri and Felanitx were included in the new DOP (protected designation of origin), or DO for short, called DO Pla i Llevant.  Somehow, the region of Santanyí managed to be left out, even though it plainly belongs to the Llevant region, simply for the fact that since 1895, nobody had embarked on the challenge of producing wine in this area. Ever since the new millenia, the DO Pla i Llevant, as it is called formally and officially in good old Catalan, has been busy producing wine, and quite successfully so, without ever giving another thought to the people or the region of Santanyí.

Well, things started to change in 2002, but ever so slowly. A young man from Santanyí, grandson and great-grandson of farmers, bought a sizeable piece of land, some 51 hectares, planted 1,000 olive trees, sowed plenty of autochthonous Xeixa wheat and converted a 5 ha piece of the newly acquired estate into what it had been a hundred years before, a vinya (vinyard). Some 12,000 vine rootstocks were lovingly put in the ground, mainly bearing grapes of the Chardonnay and Malvasía varieties, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

Son Alegre, DO Pla i Llevant 1

You can’t buy some land and plant some vines and expect to be included in a protected designation of origin, you can only do that for a protectable product. And wine making is a slow business. It takes three years before you see the first grapes to speak of and another one or two, before you have any sizeable harvest. In the case of Son Alegre, the first proper harvest was made in 2008 and the first wine came to be bottled in 2010. Now we are into our sixth year and hence, an application has been lodged with the good people of the DO Pla i Llevant during the summer of 2015.

But not so fast, please. Everything in Europe these days has to pass the critical eyes of the mandarins in Brussels. Before an application can even be made to the European Commission, the local authorities have to give their consent first. We are pleased to let you know that the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Pla i Llevant submitted Son Alegre’s request to be included to the proper Mallorcan authorities. On January 11th, 2016, the BOIB (Boletín Oficial de las Islas Balears) published the decision of the Consell Insular de Mallorca and its esteemed Dirección General de Agricultura y Ganadería to include Santanyí in the aforementioned DO Pla i Llevant. 

Not quite there yet.

Any publication in the BOIB, an organ of the much lauded Govern de les Illes Balears, only comes into effect if nobody lodges any opposition to the new rule and regulation. A period of two months is allocated for any such protestation and we believe the crucial date to be yesterday, March 11th. As far as we know, no-one has lodged any complaint. That means that the whole package of submission and suplication is now on its way to Brussels, or should be any time soon. With a bit of luck, in another year or perhaps two we might be finally allowed to use the seal of approval of designation of origin or in Catalan, the Denominación de Origen of the Pla i Llevant.

This is what it will look like when we finally get it:

logo-pla-i-llevant

Patience is the name of the game, especially in the art of wine making.

Cheers.

We Have a Winner

Vinyes Son Alegre SL has once more followed its tradition of instigating a creative competition for the design of its current wine labels. The contest was launched in partnership with the Ajuntament de Santanyí, the Cultural Association Lausa and the Cultural Association of Calonge, Es Mayoral. The event was open for all artists over the age of 18, local, national and international. Design labels were sought for the new wines under the names of Penya Bosca (for the Red wine), Roca Fesa (for the Rosé wine) and Es Faralló (for the White wine). This year’s design challenge was won in all three categories by local Santanyí artist, Llorenç Vidal Lledó, better known by his artist’s name, Garrit.

Llorenç_Garrit

Enhorabuena, Garrit. Congratulations.

The bodega Vinyes Son Alegre SL is a young enterprise practising organic and biodynamic agriculture on the outskirts of Santanyí. We grow grapes, olives, almonds, carob and Xeixa wheat according to the principles of the Consell Balear de la Producció Agrària Ecològica and the European Union organic farming standards. Our wines thus continue in the tradition of quality wine making that has been practised in Santanyí over centuries but, sadly, was discontinued in 1895 due to the devastating effects of the Phylloxera vine pest.

We name our wines, such as Picarol, Sant Andreu, Sa Porta Murada, Es Pontàs, Sa Cala, S’Antigor, S’Aragal Blau, Cocó Barber or Penya Bosca, to name but a few, paying homage and tribute to local people, geographic landmarks, historic dates or other phenomena particular to our region in order to demonstrate our geographic, cultural and social roots here, in the Santanyí area and community.

Artists who have helped us design our wine labels in the past have included Jesús Pablo Camargo del Hoyo, Aina Noguera Tugores, Vera Edwards and Elena Sierra Forteza. We welcome Garrit (Llorenç Vidal Lledó) into our family of collaborators and friends and are looking forward to next year’s wine label competition, going then into its third year.

Salut.

The New Son Alegre Wine Cellar

Camp den Ventura-Vats

We have recently established our own bodega (wine cellar). Since the harvest in August 2015 we have been vinifying, fermenting and creating our Son Alegre organic wines in our own wine cellar, which we share with our sister company Camp d’en Ventura in Calonge (Santanyí).

We have had ultra-modern stainless steel tanks built to order for us with a capacity of 1250, 1800, 2150 and 3500 litres. The vats are equipped with individual internal temperature control systems. The grape harvest at Son Alegre is always performed manually. At the new wine cellar, the grapes were carefully selected by hand, before being pressed by hydraulic means and stored in separate tanks, according to grape variety and location.

Bodega Son Alegre_04

We continue to benefit from the expertise of our good friend Luis Armero González from Bodega Armero i Adrover in Felanitx, who is the oenologist for all our Son Alegre organic wines. Luis Armero is considered to be one of the pioneers of contemporary Mallorcan wine. His work and his wines are always subject to environmental considerations.

Our collaboration with Luis Armero began in 2008 and we are proud of the wines that we have since brought to the market with his help. We are very grateful to Luis for the tireless work and enthusiasm that he has dedicated to our wines so far, as well as for his commitment and passion.

Bodega Son Alegre_03

Our new white wine Es Faralló 2015 and our new rosé wine Roca Fesa 2015 should be ready for consumption any time soon and will be bottled before long; they are both expected to come to the market by the end of March or the beginning of April 2016.

Our new red wine Tricentenari 2014 should also come to the market soon. This wine was elaborated at the bodega of Armero i Adrover in Felanitx, with a fermentation process of 6 months in stainless steel tanks, an ageing period of 6 months in French oak barrels and a resting phase of 9 months in the bottle.

Bodega Son Alegre_02

Salut.

Our Blog Now Has A German Language Version

Son Alegre is a Mallorcan vineyard from Santanyí. Our land is Mallorcan, our soil is Mallorcan and our climate is Mallorcan. Our language is Mallorcan and many of our customers are Mallorcan. But not all of them. As you well know, Mallorca is a popular destination for residents from many other parts of Europe as well as for tourists from all corners of the world, including many Germans, Brits, Scandinavians, Dutch, French, Italians, Americans and Asians. That’s why we made our website a multilingual website, with all the information given in Catalan, Spanish, English and German. As it happens, we are just about to put on French as a fifth language.

This blog has an international following. We have readers and followers from Spain, the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, USA, Mexico, Denmark, Brazil, Switzerland, Canada, the Netherlands, to name but the tip of the iceberg, as it were. That’s why this blog is published in English, a language better understood worldwide, certainly better than, let’s say, our own Mallorcan language which in its written form is Catalan.

Anyway, lots of people suggested we entertain the idea of a German language blog version. We have always thought of that as a rather good idea but who has the time? Unlike on our land, we cannot delegate the labour of blogging to the ants or the bees, the ladybirds or the insects; we have to do it ourselves. And what next, after the German version? How about French, or Russian or Japanese?

The answer is, obviously, to do it like we do the work on our land, one step at a time. The first step was the website, the second step was the blog in English, and now it is time for the third step. We are proud to announce that a new, German language blog has been created under the name of Weingut Son Alegre and it is online as of now. If you speak German, that’s were you might want to go from now on.

And if you speak Spanish or Portuguese, French or Russian, Japanese or Hindi, with a bit of luck we might get there, too, eventually. One step at a time.

Phew.

multinational

 

Tree Hugging in Santanyí

Hug a tree or, even better, plant a tree. That’s the motto of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees. Tu Bishvat is one of the four Jewish new years (Rosh Hashanahs), and this year’s Tu Bishvat is marked for today, January 24th. As always, festivities start with nightfall on the day before, i. e. Tu Bishvat already started last night after sun down. The tree day marks the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. As it happens, here in Mallorca the New Year for Trees coincides pretty much with the almond blossom season which now is at the brink of breaking into full gear. And you don’t have to be Jewish to join in the celebrations, or the tree hugging.

The Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat always coincides with the full moon. January’s full moon in Mallorca could be admired last night, and yet again we were blessed with another lovely lunar sight. It will probably be a splendid sight again tonight, all going well.

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We are planning to do some tree hugging on our land today, at Son Alegre. If you want to join us, feel free to come along. We will also plant a tree today, a pomegranate tree (Punica granatum). Of course you could hug any tree today, anywhere in Mallorca; it doesn’t even have to be your own tree. Any tree will do, anywhere. And any faith will do; trees don’t mind if you are Jewish, Catholic or Muslim, you might even be agnostic. That’s quite alright for trees as well.

Should you be inclined to plant a tree on your own land, here are some suggestions. Depending on your garden or the size of land that you have available you could plant a young orange or lemon tree. Or an almond tree, to keep in with the spirit of the season. We would, however, recommend a pomegranate tree (Punica granatum) which grows fast, gives a lovely flower and produces a very healthy fruit. An olive tree would also be a nice choice but, the olive is relatively slow in growing to full maturity. Or, why not plant a tamarisk tree (Tamarix gallica) which has a delightful pink flower and is ever so pleasing to the eye.  You will see its flowers coming out any time soon, in March and April. Anyway, the second half of January is a perfect time for tree planting of whatever kind so, don’t be shy. And if  no tree planting is possible, don’t despair. Just hug a tree. Or two.

Happy New Year of the Trees, everybody.

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And thank you John Hinde for the photographs, as always.

The Second International Wine Label Design Competition

2nd Design Competition_01

Vinyes Son Alegre SL is pleased to announce the Second International Design Competition for Wines from Santanyí. Three designs will be selected from all entries for Red, Rosé and White wines under the names of Penya Bosca (for the Red wine), Roca Fesa (for the Rosé) and Es Faralló (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 regardless of their nationality or their place of residence. The deadline for entries to the competition is December 31st, 2015, at 13:00 hours.

The competition winners will be announced during the celebrations of next year’s Festes de Sant Sebastià in Santanyí, Mallorca (January 20th, 2016).

The detailed rules of the competition can be found in a pdf-document which can be downloaded here in English, Spanish, Catalan or German.

Good luck to everyone.

2nd Design Competition_02

Sa Penya Bosca is the name of the highest elevation within the municipality of Santanyí (280 m) just outside s’Alqueria Blanca which forms part of the Serres de Llevant mountains. Sa Penya Bosca is composed of a gentle hillside with a steep rock face on its northern side and a lush forest of Mediterranean pine and oak trees.

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The Torre Nova defense tower in Cala Santanyí was built during the mid 17th century on top of an impressive cliff face known by the name of Sa Roca Fesa made of a Calcarenite type of limestone. The rocks come in a pleasant range of colour with tones of red, beige and yellow, quite similar to the colour of the Pedra de Santanyí extracted of the same rock type.

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Es Faralló defines a biggish single rock surrounded by the sea. There are many Farallos or small illots in Mallorcan waters but only two exist in Santanyí, the best known of which is found on the coast near s’Almunia.

Suum cuique.