Mallorca’s wines – particularly the reds – are often a little hefty in their alcohol content. Delicious they may be, but there are times when a lighter wine is called for, such as the hotter months of summer, for lunchtime drinking, or when you’re trying to negotiate your way around a yacht out at sea. Some friends who own a yacht-charter business were looking for lighter wines to offer with lunch to their clients, and invited us to join them on a visit to the winery Son Campaner, near Sencelles. The bodega produces wines in the category Vi de la terra Mallorca and has become known for their lighter wines.
A German-owned and run Mallorcan bodega
The land surrounding the modern stone-built bodega has been used to grow vines for some time, although the property’s previous owner didn’t make wine himself and used to sell the grapes. When the current German owner bought the property in 2009, it had been his dream to have his own vineyard. It took until 2014 for him to obtain planning permission to build the superb recently opened winery that sits amid the five hectares of vines today and, in the meantime, Son Campaner wines were made in an industrial unit in Binissalem.
In April 2011, owner Ralf Hämmerling appointed Stefan Winterling and Eva Gómez to run the winery. Oenologist Stefan is from a German wine-making family and worked for well-known companies in Germany and California before coming to Mallorca, where’s he worked as a vintner since 2008. He told us he loves making wine and that became obvious the more he talked about his work.
A tour and tastings
Stefan showed us around the winery, which has a light-filled and contemporary-style room for tastings and events. We sat at a table here, tasting the wines and enjoying views over the vineyards outside. It has been Stefan’s mission to make wines with a lighter alcohol content, and he’s now happy with the whites he’s producing. “The idea is to make subtle, easy-drinking wines that are elegant and more feminine,” he tells us. “To do this we harvest early, which is good for the acidity of the grapes and means the sugar content isn’t so high.”
Whites and a rosé
The three lighter wines (two white, one a pale rosé) are: Pálido (11.5% vol) – which had sold out; Blanc de Blancs (12% vol), and Blanc de Negres (11.5% vol). The latter is a pale rosé made by pressing the grapes with their skins still intact and then processing them as for a white wine; grapes used for this are Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and native variety Manto Negro. Typically, the Mallorcan rosé wines (known as rosados here) that we usually have in our rack at home are anything from 13% to 14.5% vol. Having tasted and liked the wine, we bought a case for those occasions when we want something lighter.
Stefan is still working to reduce the alcohol content of the red (tinto) wines. There are two coupages: Terra Rossa and Athos (named after the owner’s German tyre company – but, thankfully, with not a hint of rubber in its taste!). The third red is the single variety Merlot, which happens to be the owner’s favourite grape. “It’s an easy grape to work with, and is popular,” says Stefan. “Red wines should always be served chilled here in the summer,” Stefan reminds us, as he pours wine into our glasses.
Son Campaner wines are sold through three wholesalers on Mallorca and at the bodega itself. Visits to the winery are by appointment only, by phoning +34 618 596 233.
Where to eat in Sencelles
If you’re looking for lunch or dinner near to the bodega, I’d suggest the Sencelles village restaurant Sa Cuina de n’Aina, which has been serving customers since 1995. It’s an appealingly decorated family restaurant and offers Mallorcan and Mediterranean cuisine, with a side order of friendly service. We’d called here without a reservation once before, on a Sunday lunchtime, and found the place completely full.
During the week, they offer a lunch menu of three courses and one drink for 18 euros.
We came here after our visit to Son Campaner and had a very good lunch. Bonus feature for warmer months is the rear garden. Oh, and we managed to park in the street right outside the restaurant entrance.