There are various distinctive areas within the island of Mallorca; Levante, Migjorn, Pla, Raiguer, Palma and the Tramuntana. Although Mallorca is a relatively small island, each region is unique from the other, whether it’s due to the climate, the soil, or the orientation etc. You will find vineyards and wineries in pretty much all of these areas. However, when it comes to difficult terrain but breathtakingly beautiful and dramatic landscapes, the Tramuntana mountain range is definitely the winner.
This is a mountain range that dives directly into the sea at the north of the island, and has a strong climatic influence in the south, providing shelter, fresh breeze, water and other nutrients to the rest of the island.
Winemaking has always been a challenge in the north. The climbing terraces in the towns of Banyalbufar and Estellencs are a great example of how winemakers are able to adapt their methods and growing techniques to just about any landscape. The terraces here are very small and they can only be worked by hand, therefore making the wine more expensive but also that little bit more unique.
You will also find a specific type of indigenous Malvasía grape grown here.
Facing south, there are many vineyards with their vines planted close to the mountain range, to benefit from the fresher conditions and cool down the hot Mallorcan summer nights. Some of the wineries dotted along this mountain range create lovely wines that have a different character to the ones located in the more renowned regions of Mallorca. One of these wineries is Bodegas Son Puig.
Bodegas Son Puig is located close to the charming village of Puigpunyent, just a 20 minute drive from Palma. Son Puig is a traditional finca that, amongst other things, has olive trees, vines, avocado trees and a famous cherry orchard. Some say the best cherries on the island come from here! The estate has various buildings and the oldest records show that many of these buildings were already in existence back in 1597. Even more astounding is the fact that wine was also produced here at that time.
The main building was built in the typical Mallorcan style, with a space for stables, a grand central courtyard and beautiful walled gardens. The Alabern family still live on the estate and they have made good use of their grand space. Recently, they built a new wine cellar, with the latest winemaking machinery and technological equipment.
The wines that are produced here are made using indigenous and international grapes, sometimes blended together, which gives them a diverse edge. All of the grapes come from their estate, and the same team is used every year to collect the grapes when they are at their optimum. The grapes are hand-picked and treated with the utmost respect and care. Isabel is the winemaker at Son Puig, but Raimundo, her charming father, also keeps a watchful eye on every step of the process. This duo is a winning formula as they combine all of their experience with new ideas and techniques.
The wine range at Son Puig includes 3 whites, 1 rosé and 3 reds, and sometimes (if the harvest allows) they will also release special edition wines.
If I had to choose my favourites, I would be inclined towards the Prensal white, the Estiu and the Son Puig 2016.
The Prensal wine shows the real potential of this local grape. It is normally regarded as an uninteresting grape, but Isabel makes this wine shine and it is one of the best single variety Prensal wines I have ever tasted.
With the Estiu red wine, the blend changes every year, but the main premise is to have a medium bodied red wine that is perfect for the climate and will pair well with most Mediterranean food. This is a wine that can be appreciated during the winter months, but it is also a great wine to enjoy, slightly chilled, during the summer.
The Son Puig 2016 red has a more serious profile. This wine spends between 10 and 14 months in American and French oak barrels, giving the wine character, body and structure. The blend of grapes used (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Callet and Tempranillo) provide the classic red fruit flavours and herby aromas of the Meditteranean.
Son Puig is all about sustainable farming, a simple life, family business, hard work and good wine. This is all you need when looking for a new wine to taste…and come back to.