As a follow up to our previous blog entry on Wines from Mallorca we wanted to tell you about the wine tours we have discovered on the island.
Binissalem, on the edge of the vast and fertile plain that makes up most of the centre of the island and in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains, is Mallorca's most productive and emblematic wine region and home to the island's oldest vines.
Mallorca has been making wine since the Romans brought it to the island in the first century AD and though wine production plummeted along with that of the rest of Europe in the fated years of the phylloxera plague, it is here, in the Binissalem wine region in Mallorca, that it lived its renaissance in the 90's and where the best brews are concocted today.
Two major wineries hold fort here and are the purveyors of Mallorca's most delectable brews. The Jose L Ferrer wineries were founded in 1931 and have been making high quality brands ever since, while the Ribas winery in Consell is the oldest on the island, with three centuries of tradition and wines which have been gaining recognition by the year.
You can visit the area independently, booking beforehand with your winery of choice or you can take part in one of the organised wine tours run by MallorcaWineTours. This is a great way to find out about Mallorca's wines, visit the vineyards and wineries, learn about how the wines are produced and sample some of Mallorca's most accomplished wines.
The main Binissalem wineries have joined forces to offer a series of wine tours of the vineyards and wineries in the area, offering day trips by train, car and bike, luxury yacht or private helicopter, as well as wine tasting and tapas tours and gourmet meals in the 300 year old estates on the grounds.
Daily wine tours in Mallorca can be requested in Spanish, English and German and will take you around the beautiful Mallorca wine country, while local guides explain and delight with information and banter on the goings on in this altogether different corner of Mallorca.
There all wine tours for every taste, informative, active and luxurious. From daily train tours to cycling wine tours, you get to see firsthand how the grapes are collected, fermented and bottled, sample the best wines in Mallorca and enjoy a full day out in a stunning location.
The wine tour express, as the train is called can be hired out for special occasions too, weddings and birthday parties, the sunset boat wine tours in Mallorca commence at the wineries and end aboard a luxury yacht in the Bay of Palma, while gourmet meals are spread out in the ancient courtyards of the wine making estates.
VIP wine tours will regale you with local delicacies and wine tours of the city of Palma de Mallorca will take you on a tapas and wine tour of the island's capital.
Agricultural and traditional artisan festivals in Mallorca mostly take place in Autumn when the oil, wine and almonds are harvested and ready to sell and the short Mallorca winter is about to start. Wine tours in Mallorca can do well to include this fine wine festival.
The annual Binissalem grape harvest festival La Festa des Vermar is held at the end of September. This is the town's main festivity and is a celebration of wine, making wine and drinking wine. You may have seen images of grape sodden revellers throwing handfuls of grapes at each other!
First of all Dionysus blesses the harvest and then the main highlight of the festival can begin, the grape battle where mounds of grapes are hurled and squashed as the football ground outside town and all the people in it slowly turn red. The festivities include fire runs and giant puppets, local bands and free wine in the main square. After the battle the town sits down on masse to a lunch of fideus de vermar in long tables set out on the cobbled streets.
Come prepared however, as the battle will destroy your clothes yet if you wish to join the outdoor meal, a strict dress code dictates you wear the traditional white linen grape stomper costume.