Our first trip to Can Axtartell was on a whim with some friends who were visiting us. A short drive from Pollensa along the road to Campanet, a beautiful drive anytime, we pulled up to the gates and rang the buzzer. We explained we had come to buy some wine and we slowly drove up the driveway admiring the ancient olive trees. We finally made the turn towards the winery.
Wow! What stood in front of us was not what we expected. Impressive modern glass architecture resting in the quarry of the old Can Axtartell Estate that houses one of the most ambitious and progressive wine producers on the island. It felt like we were arriving on the set for a scene in a James Bond movie…sadly I am no Daniel Craig and I prefer my Martinis stirred but that’s for another time!
We were warmly greeted by Maria who looks after the customer service and visitor relations and although we couldn’t instantly join a tour she happily explained their wines and we tasted a couple. We left clutching a box of the Rosado and a couple of reds with a definite plan to go back for the full tour.
A few weeks later we returned excitedly to try more wines and see what goes on behind the scenes! We once again approached the formidable glass facade, but this time once inside, we climbed the impressive twisting staircase that takes you up to the control centre for the production and so our tour began. We arrived just as they were completing the harvest and were lucky to witness first hand the unique gravity method for the production of the wine.
Maria was a fantastic host and guide who really exudes enthusiasm for their product and methods. A huge investment has been made in this winery and it shows, but the architecture and its respect for its surroundings is only part of the story. The investment in creating a truly organic winery, that relies on a manual selection of the best grapes that are then treated to what can only be descried as the equivalent of your best spa day out, shines through in a stunning array of wines.
After the tour came the tasting where we sat in a beautiful room, on one side stunning views towards Pollença bay and the other a glass wall overlooking the steel fermenters, which could quite easily be another film set. In fact it was previously used to launch the new Porsche Cayenne where guests watched as a gleaming black vehicle actually levitated on the maceration tanks of the wine.
Back to the tasting! Our 6 wines were paired with a selection of local products including sobrassada, local cheese and their own olive oil. Those ancient olive trees I mentioned… they are in fact over 1500 years old and are producing a stunning olive oil.
Their collection of wines are for daily enjoyment and also a small batch of special editions. As well as native grape varieties like Callet, Manto Negro, Premsal and Gorgolassa, Can Axartell is also home to Mediterranean varieties such as Malvasia, Syrah and Monastrell, as well as parcels with Merlot, Pinot Noir and Petit Verdot. We really enjoyed all of them but for us their Rosado is one of the best on island and the ´The Artist´, a special edition 2017 red, which we drank a couple of weeks ago was sublime.
The team at Can Axartell say "their wine gives 'liquid expression' to Mallorcas rich wine heritage", and it shows. Sometimes we really do have to pinch ourselves that all of this is on our doorstep, run by people who have a total belief in enriching the island with a quality product that respects the land and its environment.
Website: Can Axartell