Michael Hepworth

 By Bonnie Carroll

Mallorca(Spiritsman)4/4/12/—The winemaking tradition on the island of Mallorca began with the arrival of the Romans in 123 B.C. and has lasted to the present era. Hundreds of hectares currently used as vineyards for native grape varieties stand to show the excellent work of Majorcan grape-growers. This figure is constantly growing, as is the number of new generation wines made and the Majorcan wineries with Denomination of Origin labels. Almost all of them include local varieties such as moll or prensal for white wines and manto negro, callet and fogoneu amongst the reds.

The best known winemaking region is categorized as D.O. Binissalem, comprising the municipalities of Binissalem, Consell, Santa Maria del Camí (where Bodegas Macià Batle is located), Santa Eugènia and Sencelles. These lands have been producing excellent harvests of local grapes for more than five centuries, and they guarantee wines that stand out for their excellent flavor, deep color and unique aroma.

This area is sheltered from the cold winds from the north by the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains, creating a mild microclimate. The Mediterranean climate is mild, with long, hot dry summers, short winters and slightly rainy periods in the spring and autumn. The soil is rich in calcium, and the terrain is flat or slightly rolling, giving rise to brown or limy brown soils. The land is low in relief and the vines grow some 75 to 200 meters above sea level.

All together, this makes Majorca a unique grape-growing region, with wines offering all the special characteristics derived from its island nature, climate, varieties and terrain. Tasting these wines is a must for anyone with an inquisitive and demanding palate.

Today Bodega de Macia Batle is in a Moorish cavern, where the family owned business creates the benchmark Majorcan wines by using the latest and most advance machinery to develop 150 hectares of vineyards to offer excellent wines with special characteristics native to the island (Montenegro, Callet and Prensal). A qualified team of oenologists and grape growers strive to make this wine outstanding.

A tour through this wine making venue is outstanding. The owners and staff provide a bevy of wine history as well as art history. They have become renowned for their labels featuring the art of many fine Spanish artists, and the winery itself is filled with wonderful fine art. The wine rooms filled with barrels and the special area with floor to ceiling bottles is amazing to view.

The art gallery-dining room where our traditional Mallorcan dinner was served was a warm and enchanting venue and included appetizers, dinner and dessert all paired with fine Bodega Macia Batle, which were personally described and served by the grandson of the founding family. The delightful end to this wine adventure dinner in the was to be serenaded by our host, and everyone at the table, including the former Mallorcan Consul General.

Dinner wines include Bodega Biniagual Blanc Veran, Veran Rosat, Sant Gall and Gran Veran as well as the Macia Batle Crianza, Reserva Privade, Blanco De Blanco, Rosado and Ariada.

Bodega de Macia Batle, Cami de Coanegra s/n, 07320 Santa Maria del Canri, Mallorca  www.bodegamacia.com

Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211