Pla i Llevant – Mallorca
Area under vines:359 ha
Annual production: 11.100 hl
Pla i Llevant is one of the two growing areas on the island of Mallorca. It includes the vineyards in the eastern part. In contrast to Binissalem – the second D.O. Mallorca – Pla i Llevant has a larger number of grape varieties. In addition to the autochthonous Mallorcan varieties, there are also international varieties in the vineyards, which of course has sparked the enthusiasm of the winegrowers for experimentation.
In contrast to Binissalem, the winegrowers here do not have to adhere to minimum percentages, but can blend their wines according to their own tastes and preferences. Perhaps this is the reason for the meteoric rise of wines from the region. Since the foundation of the D.O. in 1999, a whole range of great cult wines has caused a sensation all over the world.
This wine-growing area on Mallorca is named after the town of Binissalem. The vineyards are located northeast of Palma in a hilly landscape, at an altitude of 120-300 metres above sea level. The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range protects the region from the humid and cold winds that blow here, especially in the winter months.
Manto Negro is the dominant grape variety, covering almost 50% of the Binissalem DO vineyard area. Cabernet Sauvignon has grown significantly in recent years and has become the second most important variety in the region. In order to make the importance of the Manto Negro clear, the red Binissalem must have a minimum proportion of 50% of this grape variety. White wines and rosés are also pressed.
DO Pla i Llevant
This area of cultivation extends from the centre of the island to its east coast. The climate here is Mediterranean and the vineyards are at an average altitude of 100 metres above sea level.
White and red wines are produced. Traditionally the local varieties Moll (Prensal Blanc), Fogoneu, Callet and Manto Negro are used. For some years now, international varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah have been added to the range of DO Pla i Llevant grape varieties.
Wine from Mallorca
Wine growing in Mallorca has a long history. The Romans were the first to bring wine to Mallorca in the first century. Only with the conquest of the Moors, it officially came to an end with the cultivation of wine. The religion of the Moors prohibited the consumption of alcohol. But not everyone kept to it and there were still vineyards. The grapes were not only used to make wine, but were also dried as raisins and a foodstuff. When Mallorca fell to Jaume I, wine-growing was promoted and licenses for wine-growing were distributed. The vineyards were concentrated around Bunyola, Valldemossa, Felanitx, Manacor and Binissalem. At that time the Aragonese and Castilian royal courts liked to drink Mallorcan wines. The white wine of the Malvasian grape was particularly popular. This was also used for a long time as a wine for masses in the churches. Even Archduke Ludwig Salvator was one of the patrons of this wine. On his first estate S’Estaca, which today belongs to Micheal Douglas, he cultivated the wine. But not everyone found taste in the wine from Mallorca. Some said that the wine could perforate table tops.
So the wine production of Mallorca remained constant for a long time. It had its heyday in the 19th century. One reason was that between 1850 and 1875 many vineyards in Europe fell victim to phylloxera. The demand for Mallorcan wine increased because Mallorca was still spared from phylloxera.
The winegrowers on Mallorca hardly lagged behind with their production. During this period, towns such as Binissalem and Felanitx became rich. Mallorca had its own fleet of ships to export the wine. But with these ships also the phylloxera found the way to Mallorca around 1880 and made the wine cultivation the garaus. Many farmers switched to almonds. It took many years, until some winegrowers cultivated wine again. Binissalem is the only wine-growing area on Mallorca to have been awarded the D.O.C. (Denominació de Origen Controlada) certificate. One changed to the Manto Negro grape, which produces a red wine. In the 60’s a new industry developed, tourism. Many islanders could earn more money here. Investors also needed land to build hotels. For many winegrowers the temptation was great to get a lot of money for their land. The production of wine went back so far that the export was no longer worthwhile. The wine from Mallorca is only consumed on the island and not exported.
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