We are now more than 200 members and that’s absolutely fantastic. We are thus already halfway and hopefylly we will soon be a total of 400 members which is the number of members that we have wines for this year.
Although we can not quite feel it yet in Denmark, spring has arrived to Mallorca. So far we have not had much rain this year, and although we naturally prefer to irrigate as little as possible, we will without doubt have to water our young plants in late spring and during early summer.
There are many philosophies about irrigating vines, and the different opinions are sometimes governed by whether one has access to water or not. We have our own water well and more than plenty of water. We agree that it is important not to overwater, but at the same time it is very important, that especially young vines, get the necessary amount of water for them to have optimal growth conditions, to achieve perfect balance and to avoid stress.
We have spent a lot of resources on finding the optimal irrigation solution, and we chose to establish an underground irrigation system. There were several reasons why we chose this rare and costly solution. First of all, we limit the problems of fungal diseases and reduce the growth of weeds around the plants by lowering the moisture in the soil surface. Secondly, it means that the roots are always forced to search downwards to reach the water stored in the lower soil layers.
In the picture you can see how the irrigation system is "buried" in the ground between the rows of vines.
Furthermore, and of crucial importance, we have chosen a cunning irrigation technique known as "partial root drying", where the roots are only irrigated on one side of the plant while the other side remains dry (in practice, irrigation pipes are established in every 2nd row). The dry roots, which do not receive water, send a chemical message to the plant to shut down due to lack of water, so all the energy is spent on fruit growth rather than leaf production. At the same time, the wet side of the roots is supplied with water from the irrigation system and provides just exactly enough water for the grapes to grow optimally.
This control of soil moisture is a useful way to influence the growth of the vines and ensure the production of quality grapes.
We have no doubt that our irrigation system has been crucial for us to be able to harvest high quality grapes already in 2019 and especially in 2020, despite the young age of the vines.
Read more about this in the library:
Water stress: https://binivista.com/en/blogs/library/water-stress
Pruning and grafting
Winter and spring months are the time when we prune our vines, thus removing the branches that grew out last year (and which are now withered), so that the plants again only consist of one trunk and 2 horizontal branches (cordon), thus forming a T-shape.
You can read more about this in the library:
Pruning method: https://binivista.com/en/blogs/library/training-methods-trellising
In the picture you can see a vine where the vertical branches are pruned so that the trunk and the 2 horizontal branches are left (and form a T-shape).
Last year we planted 5.5 hectares of new vines. Since we wanted the exact same clones as the ones we planted in 2018, we chose to plant only the rootstock. We must now start grafting these rrootstock with plant material (a scion) that we have cut from our existing plants. This requires a high level of professional knowledge, and to carry out this work, we have brought in specialists from the mainland (Murcia).
In the picture you can see scions from our Merlot plants, that are ready for grafting.
Spring has arrived
As mentioned, spring has arrived to Mallorca and a clear sign of this is that our vines are waking up from their winter hibernation. First sign is the formation of small buds on the branches. The budding is the beginning of the life cycle of our precious vines. The first buds are very delicate shoots, and do not tolerate frost. Fortunately, we rarely have problems with spring frosts on the island, and our plants usually get off to a good and safe start to the year.
Bottling of wine
We are now about to be ready to bottle our first four wines. We have received bottles and boxes, and are printing labels. Corks and capsules with the BiniVista logo are also being produced, so everything is ready for bottling in week 12.
We have chosen 3 different bottle types. Our red wine is bottled in a classic green Bordeaux bottle, and our Sauvignon Blanc blend and rosé are bottled in a similar transparent bottle. Our Chardonnay blend will be bottled in a classic green Burgundy bottle.
The team was gathered on the island last week, where we again tried our different blends, and we decided to adjust these a bit, so you can look forward to a surprise!
The construction of our new winery / bodega
The construction of the winery is progressing according to plan. We must admit that it is a very big project, in each and every way! Not only physically speaking - you indeed feel very small when you stand down there in the middle of the excavation hole - but there are also many important and major decisions that we must continuously address - both in terms of the construction itself, but also around installations and the production apparatus itself.
When we started BiniVista, our primary focus was on the vineyards - we wanted to make the world's best "vines", and thus create the framework for making the best "grape material". Therefore, we optimized the way we planted our vineyards, the work in the vineyards and the selection of the grapes, etc. Subsequently, we have come to the realization that the work in the wine cellar is at least as important, and not least the framework for this work, including the choice of processes, tanks, cooling functions, machines etc. We have therefore spent a great deal of resources on this, and have allied ourselves with the best advisers (Alfatec, Madrid), so that we do not compromise in this area either.
Our ambition has therefore now also changed from making the world's best "vines" to the world's best "wines" 😊
Here we have a meeting with Jose from Alfatec about the choice of bottling plant.
We are currently casting the foundation for the construction, and the prefabricated structure itself is being produced. The plan is for the entire basic structure to be completed by the end of April. Ambitious (and perhaps naive and optimistic - we are in Spain, after all) - but we have entered into a local construction company, MAN, with whom we have a really good collaboration and great confidence. It is also MAN who is building our first Finca.
This is an illustration of the construction, which should be completed by the end of April. The total area will be more than 3000 sqm.
The construction of our first Finca
The construction of our first Finca / house in the middle of the vineyards is also progressing according to the plan. The foundation has been cast - also for the wine cellar and swimming pool, and we are ready for the next phase. The plan is for the house to be completed primo 2022, and although we have not yet finally decided what the house will be used for, we have already received inquiries from interested buyers. We have permission to build a total of 5 houses on the property.