We have enjoyed Mallorcan wine for some time and when we came on holiday we always tried to find local wine in the bars and restaurants. That’s become easier these days with the growing number of producers that have emerged over the past 10 years who are delivering top quality wines that range from the boutique small wine producers up to the large scale producers like Macia Battle and Tianna Negre.
Now that we are living here we have become slightly obsessed with local wines but thankfully we are not alone in this and have one or two friends (you know who you are!) who equally enjoy cracking open a bottle or two of some very good wines. Many of the wineries are in jaw dropping locations and Mortitx is up there with the best with its position in an absolutely stunning spot in the Serra de Tramuntana.
It is such a beautiful drive from Pollença to the Mortitx winery and after your ears popping a couple of times you arrive at the gates to the winery, 400 metres above sea level. The drive alone is worth the effort just to appreciate taking in the stunning scenery in every direction, but in this case we had the added bonus of a couple of hours of wine indulgence with Astrid who runs their wine experiences.
A little bit of history
The vineyard is a bit different to the others on the island with its very unique location and the terrain in which the vines grow. The wine certainly reflects its mountain location and the sea breezes that fill the air in the afternoons. The winery came about when a group of 50 Mallorcan wine lovers got together in 2001 and acquired the land that is now the Vinyes Mortitx. It had previously been used for fruit and avocado trees but by 2005 they were ready to go with a modern, purpose built wine making facility. The 19 hectares of vines produce about 100,000 bottles from a range of local and Mediterranean grape varieties, with Malvasia, Muscat, Chardonnay, Riesling and Giro Ros grapes for the white wines and Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell, Gorgollassa and Callet for the reds. They use fresh oak barrels for a couple of the wines.
We started off with Astrid taking us up to see some of the vines planted near the bodega. What a beautiful setting surrounded by mountains and although it was a hot day that lovely sea breeze was cooling the air. We tasted the grapes straight from the vine whilst we listened to Astrid explaining a little more about the history of the vineyard and the grape varieties.
Back up to the main production area and we watched as another trailer of grapes went through their cleaning process and the results being pushed through into the stainless steel vats ready for their march towards becoming another great Mortitx wine. They also have a large cold storage facility to lower the temperature of harvested grapes, before beginning the fermentation. Stepping inside to see the oak barrels we enjoyed the coolness on what had become a very hot day.
We sat in the shade and tasted a selection of wines whilst enjoying traditional Pa amb oli. How can something so simple as bread, olive oil and tomato taste so sublime. It is of course largely down to the three key ingredients being top quality, you need the best Ramallet tomato you can lay your hands on, which is rubbed and squeezed onto local bread… please do not try this at home with a loaf of supermarket white bread, it just won’t work! Throw in some local cheese, a few olives and cold cuts and you have the perfect accompaniment to the wine.
Time flew by as Astrid described each wine to us and helped with the appreciation and subtlety of each of the aromas and flavours. These are excellent wines and are widely respected by restaurants, hoteliers and many locals. To give you an idea of their popularity their Flaires Rosado is like gold dust and we now have to wait until the 2022 vintage is bottled!
It has been a great achievement by this group of wine enthusiasts who have created one of the best vineyards and selections of award winning Mallorcan wines. Their respect and understanding of the local terrain shines through in each of the bottles we tasted with their delicious white Giro Ros being one of the stars of the tasting.
If you want an introduction to the wine making on Mallorca, in the breathtaking surroundings of the Tramuntana, and see what they call the ’soul of their wine´ then give Astrid a call. It was a really lovely way to spend a few hours in the company of Astrid whose love of her vineyard shines through. We of course left with a few more bottles of wine that we gladly cracked one or two open that afternoon… looks like we will be back up for more soon!