If you want to discover Mallorcan wines, a visit to the Fira del Vi, held in the Cloisters of Santo Domingo in Pollensa, is a must. This annual spring event usually takes place two weeks after Easter, and brings together around half of the island’s 70-or-so bodegas, whose wines are available for tasting by the fair’s visitors – who include wine professionals as well as those who just love drinking the stuff.
The Fira del Vi was first held in 2004. We’ve been every year since 2005, always discovering new wines to add to our favourites. This year’s Fira was the weekend of May 3rd/4th. We paid 10 euros each to enter, and could taste as many of the wines as we wanted (using the tasting glass included in the price). This year’s fair attracted 34 bodegas, with some 185 wines available for tasting. Needless to say, we did not taste them all!
It’s a wonderfully sociable event where you’re likely to find yourself chatting to a stranger about a particular wine or bodega, or bumping into friends. Everyone has a love of wine in common. Over the years we’ve got to know quite a few of the people who run the wineries and it’s always good to catch up with their latest news and activities.
At a previous Fira we discovered Can Vidalet’s Onze – the first gin to be made on Mallorca. We bought a bottle then and it’s been my favourite gin since then. But there’s a new kid on the block: this year, we bought a bottle of Gin Eva (great name) – a new gin produced at a distillery in Llucmajor – made by the two winemakers from Son Campaner, http://www.soncampaner.es, a relatively new German-owned bodega in Binissalem. It’s an artisan London Dry Gin made on Mallorca, with juniper berries from the Es Trenc dunes and more than 20 different botanicals. We haven’t tried it yet, but look forward to doing so, after our livers have had their usual few days to recover after the wine fair!
Some other news from the Fira:
Fabrice de Suyrot from Bodega Conde de Suyrot (French winemakers based in Colònia de Sant Pere) told us they were going to be opening a new bodega building in the village. Currently, they make wine in the cellar of their home. http://www.condedesuyrot.com
Bodegas Ca’n Vidalet, Pollensa, which produces the Onze gin I enjoy, have added two new products to their range: Cor de Cecili brandy and Marc de Cecili. http://www.canvidalet.com
Son Sureda Ric, near Manacor, is the closest bodega to our home; we’re great fans of their wines. Javier produces only red wines of a high quality (and organic). Finca Son Sureda Ric now opens to visitors every Thursday (from 10:00-14:00h) and it’s well worth going to have a look around. Not only is the winery interesting (and the wines superb), the estate itself has quite a history and there’s a beautifully restored chapel you can visit. www.sonsuredaric.net
Bodegas Angel, Santa Maria del Camí, is a relatively young bodega offering wines that are deservedly garnering plenty of prizes in wine competitions. Andres is Mallorcan but grew up in California and is a really interesting person to talk to. He is launching a new website in about a month’s time, including an online shop (for certain European countries). http://www.bodegasangel.com
I’m always fascinated by what I learn from talking to people: The Boss and I discovered that Andres is assistant coach for the Mallorca Voltors American football team (www.voltors.net). We didn’t know such a thing existed! If you’re on the island next weekend, Voltors play Murcia Cobras on Sunday, (11th) at 12 noon at Son Moix. Apparently the games attract some 500-600 spectators and, as it’s the semi-final, the atmosphere should be great.
Barbara Mesquida Mora made wine at her family’s bodega, before starting her own eco-winery Celler Mesquida Mora, with her husband, in Porreres. The winery uses biodynamic practices in the production of the vines and Barbara told us that some of the wines are now sulfite-free. She’s passionate about her healthy and more authentic vineyard – and it shows in the quality of her wines. http://www.mesquidamora.com
Once again, the well-organized Fira del Vi was an opportunity to discover more about Mallorca’s fantastic wines. Our fuller-than-usual wine rack is proof of that . . .
If you missed the Fira del Vi, but are on the island this coming week, there’s another chance to try a number of Mallorcan wines on Thursday, May 8th, at the Pati de la Misericordia in Palma de Mallorca, between 18:00 and 22:00h. Entry is 8 euros, with proceeds going to local NGOs.