Wine might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but hugely popular vacation spot Mallorca is actually home to a thriving winemaking business.
On the largest of the beautiful Balearic Islands, winemaking is nothing new. It goes indeed back to Roman times and even continued under Moorish rule (from the early 900s to the late 1220s). Later, the island was conquered by King Jaime I of Aragon, even more vines were planted, and winemaking became one of the islands most important industries. It was put to an unintended halt when phylloxera hit at the end of the 19th century, destroying most vineyards.
It took the island to rebuild the lost vineyards until the end of the 20th century; and whilst Spain today is one of the leading winemaking countries in the world, wines from Mallorca are not widely recognized. In part because most are sold only locally.
Today, Mallorca is home to more than one hundred mostly small boutique wineries (bodegas) making excellent wines. Their focus is mainly on organic wine making and most wineries will blend indigenous grapes with international varieties. The letter results in some very unique wines, even though due to the size of the island, vineyards are located in quite different areas, from the higher slopes down nearly to the coastline there is a large variety of different styles found across the island.
About Mandia Vell Winery
Mandia Vell is located in the eastern part of Mallorca between Manacor and Porto Cristo on the site of one of the oldest farms on the island. The first document about the estate dates back to 1263, the year King Jaime I of Aragon gave the site to Pere de Mandia, a soldier fighting in the war against the Moorish rulers.
Yet the site of Mandia Vell holds even more ancient treasures. It is home to an approximately 3,500-year-old face carved in stone, which was found during works done on the site. Three and a half millennials after the face was created, it is now the highlight of the winery’s wine labels.
As many other Mallorquin wineries, Mandia Thomas Wambsganss, who is the son of a winemaking family in the fourth generation. He originally comes from Germany’s Palatinate region, a leading wine region in its own right. And his origins are mirrored in the wines he makes, which are fruit-forward, fresh and low in alcohol.
Work in the vineyards is strictly organic, grapes are all hand-picked and intervention in the cellar is kept to a minimum.
But the most unique scoop are the beautiful clay bottles. They are an eye-catcher for sure. Especially in combination with the image of the stone-carved face, which gives the bottles a kind of an ancient feel.
The main reason using this type of bottles has not been a design aspect, however. Clay bottles require less energy usage in production and as they are absolutely light proof, wines are protected from negative influences of light. Which helps to maintain their freshness for a longer time. In addition, thanks to the clay bottles the wine is kept at a more equilibrate temperature.
Tasting Notes: Mandia Vell
Mandia Vell Chardonnay
Made from 100% Chardonnay, this is a perfect light summer wine.
In the glass, a light yellow.
On the nose, fresh and light with hints of green nuts, orange zest and melon and light barrique notes.
On the palate, elegant and dry with notes of ripe peach, pear, mango and banana paired with pleasant acidity and mineral notes.
Food pairing: Pairs very well with fish, especially if served with bacon or a rich butter sauce, white meat, pumpkin, mushrooms, or pasta.
With its acidity and mineral notes, I found it was the ideal wine to pair with a tangy Pasta al Limone.
Mandia Vell Sauvignon Blanc
Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, this is a very elegant wine that is the perfect match for a large range of food. This is definitely a wine that needs air, so give it a bit of time to develop after opening the bottle.
In the glass, a light golden yellow.
On the nose, fine and elegant with a little bit of flint and notes of gooseberry and passion fruit.
On the palate, fresh acidity, green pepper, gooseberry, passion fruit and freshly cut grass with light mineral notes. Well balanced with a long finish.
Food pairing: Very versatile. It works well with goat cheese, tomato, bouillabaisse, fish, seafood, pasta, and veal.
Also great on its own or with appetizer. Try with this easy Smoked Salmon Flammkuchen.
Mandia Vell Pinot Noir
Made from 100% Pinot Noir and mature 12 months in French oak. Not a typical Pinot Noir but this wine is a perfect example of the largely varied Majorcan styles.
In the glass, a deep dark red.
On the nose, lively fruit aromas of dark cherries, dark berries, and vanilla with light notes of barrique.
On the palate, elegant, dense, and fruity with notes of wood. Well balanced acidity.
Food pairing: It’s a wine that works well with mushroom and truffles, white meat, and cheese but also barbeque.
My pick for this wine was pork tenderloin topped with a pumpkin-mushroom puree, which I found worked excellent.
Mandia Vell wines perfectly express the efforts and attention made in the vineyard and cellar. The result are excellent wines that are a pleasure to drink. Whether that is on their own or paired to a large range of food.
The unique, beautiful bottles will be a definite highlight on the table too and the wines have everything to become a favourite.
Go ahead and spoil yourself with one of their small but well thought range of whites, rosé and red wines.