When I think of Mallorca, I think – like many of you – first of sun, beach, and sea. When getting to know the island better, the beautiful views of the Serra Tramuntana, the fresh fish, the strong olive oil, and the particularly delicious jamón Serrano come to mind, but wine?
At this point I have to admit that I’m more of a beer drinker and know very little about wine. So why not think outside the box? For example, on a day trip to the winery Bodegas Bordoy.
Even the journey from the TUI BLUE Rocador to the winery is idyllic. With full confidence in my navigation system, I leave the motorway at the height of Llucmajor and follow the ever narrowing highways towards Sa Torre, past yellow-flowering meadows with almond trees, fallow fields and, the traditional Mallorcan stone walls.
The first clue that I’m on the right track is the unmissable complex of the Hilton Sa Torre, with its historic chapel. Finally, a sign for the winery appears. The road turns to dirt and suddenly I’m surrounded by grapevines as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, today is one of the few dull days of the year. The drizzle in no way detracts from the almost magical peace of this place.
Sandra, the marketing manager for the winery, greets me in the parking lot. She’s been working for Bodegas Bordoy for eight years and knows it inside and out. Several times a week, she leads groups through the production halls, attends wine fairs, and takes care of sales. In front of the main building we meet the winemaker Sergio Navarro, who’s leading some friends around.
“Mallorcan wine is his hobby,” Sandra tells me, and that he’s been lovingly doing it for years. Bodegas Bordoy produces relatively small quantities for restaurants and private individuals. Quality over quantity is the motto.
First, Sandra shows me the labeling of the bottles. The winery needs three employees to operate the machine. In the Mallorcan winery, everything is hand-crafted – not just the labeling, but the complete harvest and production – she proudly explains. Opposite the machine is the cold storage. After the harvest at the end of August, the grapes are stored here. Now in early April, it’s used as a bottle warehouse.
Even the fermentation tanks, where the wines ripen, are now empty. I put my head in and see – nothing. The tanks allow for optimal control over hygiene, temperature, and pressure. The winery owns 20.6 hectares of land, which is divided into various plots, depending on soil conditions, wine variety, and vintage.
Bodegas Bordoy produces white, rose, and red wines and experiments with various local grapes to get the Mallorcan wine. Their best wine is the Terra de Mares, of which they produce fewer than 1,000 bottles every year.
Attention to detail
The Mallorcan wine is made by hand from the first step to the last. Everything is thought through down to the last detail: for example, every harvest box is filled with a maximum of 15 kg of grapes so that they don’t get squashed under their own weight on the way to the production hall.
We then visit the treasure chamber of the winery. Guarded by the wine god Bacchus, deep in the rock, is the massive entrance door to the warehouse of wine barrels. It smells wonderfully of wood and Mallorcan wine is everywhere, ready for the next wine tasting. The warm light reflected by the sandstone creates a romantic atmosphere.
When I confess to Sandra that I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to wine, she just laughs and tries to explain everything to me as simply as possible. Time flies by while she explains the differences between the various wines and their production here in Mallorca.
Are you actually organic?
“Yes and no,” explains Sandra. All wines are certified by the “Denominación de Origen” of the Pla i Llevant wine region – the title of quality Spanish wines. For example, the grapevines may only be watered in summer if they threaten to dry up, not to increase yields. Bodegas Bordoy uses no pesticides and pulls the weeds in the fields by hand.
“We also produce vegan wine,” Sandra tells me. I have to think about it for a moment. When Sandra notices my confusion, she explains: “To filter out the turbidities, animal proteins like pig gelatin are usually used. Our vegan wines use proteins derived from wheat instead.”
You’re cordially invited!
Finally, Sandra shows me her latest project. It’s a small cottage in the vineyard. Formerly used as a tool shed by farmers, now it’s a real gem with seating, air-conditioning, and authentic decoration. In front of the cottage is a picnic table. “We’ve only had it for two weeks and already, on the second day, a group of cyclists spent their lunch there,” says Sandra proudly.
For the future, she wants a regular wine bar, where visitors can just try a glass. Homemade almonds and the typical Majorcan sausage sobrasada will be served there. “We only offer products where we know exactly where they come from and what’s in them,” she assures me. The Mallorcan winery is always happy about interested visitors. In the summer, they’re organising the first wedding at the winery for two lovers of wine.
I thank Sandra and slowly make my way to the car. On the way back, I shoot some more photos and forget how grey the day started. Today I learned a lot about Mallorcan wines, their production, their quality, and their characteristics. Unfortunately, I forgot many of the technical facts, but the special atmosphere of this special place will be remembered forever.