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Minorca wine, such phrase would have caused only a sad grin of nostalgia on the faces of the Minorca people just a few decades ago. Something legendary that existed in the past, but something that would never be seen again.
However, life has shown once again how strong the will of the local people is. They revived the agriculture of Menorca, raised from the dust the vineyards and traditions of local winemaking.
After almost a century of oblivion, wine production in Menorca is experiencing a real boom. And we are witnessing the return of traditional winemaking and authentic taste of local wine.
History of wine production in Minorca
The first signs of winemaking in Menorca date back to the Romans arriving on the island in 123 BC.
Since then, wine production has gone and come again and gained impressive momentum. It happened, for example, in the XVIII century during the reign of the British in Menorca.
The port of Mahon became an enclave for a powerful British fleet and a home for its more than five thousand soldiers.
It’s worth adding to them the numerous merchants, sailors and visitors who were attracted to this huge freeport in the heart of the Mediterranean.
The population of the island increased. Such a number of consumers created a strong domestic market.
In the 18th century, there were about 1500 hectares of vineyards in Menorca, mostly in the eastern part of the island, closer to the capital Mahon and the castle of San Felipe and its British garrison.
However, the golden years of winemaking in Menorca came to an end.
In the XIX century, phylloxera, or the so-called grape aphids, exterminated almost all the vineyards on the island. This and a number of other factors stopped abruptly the production of Menorcam wine..
And now, more than 100 years after, a new wave of passion for the local products has made vineyards all over the island to sprout.
Here we present you a list of the best wineries and vineyards in Minorca.
Vi de la Terra Illa de Menorca
“Vi de la Terra Illa de Menorca” or Wine of the Land of Minorca, is a protected geographical denomination since 2002.
This quality mark guarantees the Minorca origin of wine, with the characteristic features, high quality and reputation of the products grown and/or produced on the island.
Today more than 50 hectares of grapes of different varieties are grown in Minorca.
The figure is still far from the 1500 hectares from the times of British domination. However, the number of fields is growing every year, securing for Menorca the title of a region investing in its land products with the highest quality standards.
In almost all cases, these are relatively small vineyards that produce their own brands according to their own recipes. And all these wines are protected by the quality mark "Vi de la Terra Illa de Menorca".
In 1985, a farmer from the northern part of Es Mercadal, in the center of the island, decided to invest in what would be the first grape plantation in Menorca in more than a century.
Crispin Mariano Vadel currently produces about 15,000 bottles of wine per year.
All from grapes harvested from his 4 hectares of land, which cultivates himself. His principle is the cultivation of the vine in an environment friendly and traditional way, without pesticides.
Mr. Crispin was a pioneer who showed the way to many others who shared his passion for the ancient art of winemaking.
There are 9 vineyards in Minorca today. With some of them open to visitors and others preferring to focus solely on wine production.
Please see at the top of the page the listing of vineyards and wineries that offer visits to the public. Some of them let you to walk through their fields, offer vinyard tours, and even offer the tasting of the best samples from their cellars.
Wine types of Minorca
All Menorca wines have common characteristics due to factors affecting the vineyards, such as: soil, salinity of the sea, long hot and dry season of the island summer.
In addition, a number of environmental laws introduced after the declaration of Menorca as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve significantly restrict the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Despite these common features, each wine house relies on its own recipes and production procedures, and thanks to this, Menorca wines have a truly diverse taste and aroma.
White wines of Chardonnay, Macabeo, Malvasia, Moscatel de Alejandria, Parellada and Mall, as well as red varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Monastrel, Syrah and Tempranillo, all of them are marked with a special quality mark of origin. Menorca wines can be tasted and purchased directly at the wineries that produce them.
Also, many restaurants and bars of the island offer local wines in their menu, combining them with Menorca cuisine.
Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy the unique and delightful taste of history, nature and human labor of Minorca.
Try a good glass of local wine during your vacation on the island.↑