From almond trees to vines
When we first bought the property there were no vines planted in the fields. So we started from scratch. Most of the fields were covered with old and fragile almond trees, and during the process of preparing the soil we removed more than 5,000 trees (all of which were dying anyway).
In March 2018, the first 21 hectares of vines were planted, and in 2020 we planted yet another 5 hectares, bringing the total area of our vineyard to today’s 26 hectares. Through this process we have given our fields a new lease of life.
Our vineyards are the essential foundation for making outstanding wines. We have deliberately chosen the best soil and terroir on Mallorca, selected the best vines and picked grape varieties best suited for the environment. We have prepared the soil to perfection, used the optimal planting pattern and used ‘below the surface’ irrigation systems.
In essence, we have done everything possible to optimise the growth conditions for our vines.
Maintenance of the vineyards
The maintenance of our vineyards is also incredibly important. We have our own experienced staff who nurses the vineyards every day. Only the ploughing of the fields is done with machinery, everything else is done by hand. Again, to ensure that we grow only the best possible grapes.
As the saying goes: “You can never make a better wine than the potential of your grapes allows for”. That is why the most important work for a winery happens in the vineyards by carefully nursing the plants and the grapes.
Sustainability and organic production
It’s equally important for us to protect our precious planet and reduce our emission of CO2 as much as possible. Therefore, we don’t use chemicals in our wine production, and we work in a fully organic and highly sustainable way in all areas of the entire project. We also believe that an organic approach leads to better wines.
The soil at BiniVista is key to fulfilling our goal of making some of the greatest wines on Mallorca. Our vines dig their roots deeply into a perfect blend of red clay and lots and lots of limestone. The topsoil ranges in depth from 30 cm to two metres, and the limestone bedrock below and the fragments that gradually mix with the clay provide perfect acidity and freshness.
When you look at the pictures below you will see a part of the vineyards that look lighter than the other. This part has more limestone rocks in the surface than the darker and more reddish part where the roots need to dig deeper to get in contact with the limestone.
The water and the well
We’re gifted with a well with enough water for both winemaking and irrigation. We use the irrigation very little and only when needed to ensure optimal balance for the plants and to avoid stress. We decided to invest in an expensive subsoil-irrigation system for several reasons. First and foremost, we limit the problems with fungal diseases by lowering the humidity in the surface. Secondly, the roots are always encouraged to seek downwards to reach the water stored in the lower laying layers of soil.
We work according to a clever technique known as ‘partial root drying’, whereby the roots of the vine are irrigated on one side only, the other side remaining dry. The dry roots send a chemical message to the plant to shut down because of hydric stress, so it switches its energy into fruit growth rather than the production of vegetation. But the wet side of the roots keeps supplying water, which goes straight into the development of the grapes.
The control of moisture in the soil is a useful way of manipulating the growth of the vine and the production of quality grapes.
When we prepared our land for planting, we did it in two different ways out of curiosity and to learn. On one part we turned the soil entirely with a plough to one metre’s depth and removed all bigger rocks but left behind the smaller limestone fragments. This is the part that looks whiter on the pictures as a lot of white limestone rocks are in the surface. On the darker, more reddish looking part, we decided only to cut the soil in a criss-cross pattern to open it, but not turn it completely around. This was done to maintain the natural life and biodiversity in the soil.
We see today that the least worked soil is providing more optimal conditions for our organically farmed vines, so the learning lesson paid off well. The more thoroughly worked plots are regaining their natural balance quickly however, but they gave a more vigorous and less balanced growth the first year. They also needed more fertilisation than the less worked plots.
We also see small differences from plot to plot as the vines grow bigger. This is fascinating and something we study closely in order to adapt our farming techniques to each individual plot.
We decided to use low yielding clones for all grape varieties to guarantee a balanced and healthy growth of the vines and a natural amount of grapes. By letting the plant itself limit the amount of grapes it carries, the quality of these is naturally higher. The balance between physical and phenolic ripeness is also ideal, and they follow each other through the ripening period.
All our vines, except for the Syrah, is planted on Richter 110 rootstock as this is best adapted to our soil types, and again provides more balanced growth. The Syrah was grafted on B41 as it regulates its vigour perfectly for this variety, inducing rapid flowering and evenly ripened fruit.
We have planted 12 different varieties of grapes in our vineyard, mixing local sorts with the best from around the world: Callet, Garnacha, Pinot noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Manto negro, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Viognier, Giró Ros and Gorgollasa.
We have chosen these specific grapes as we believe we can produce outstanding wines from these on our land and terroir, but several of these were also chosen out of curiosity. Another key factor was a burning wish to have a fully unique, authentic and personal selection of grape varieties that truly allows us to let all our hard work in the vineyards directly translate into the finished wines. We wanted to create the perfect puzzle of fruit, beauty and structure; components that together create great wines.
The famous “primadonna” amongst grape varieties and usually not planted in warm climates as ours. So why? Well; we simply love Pinot Noir and believe that with the high limestone content of our soils and perfectionist vineyards work can make some beautiful and unique Mallorquin style Pinots!
What’s not to like about Grenache? Juicy, bright red fruit, great acidity and fantastic for blending with other varieties. We use our Grenache both for rosé and red wines, alone and in blends.
We all need a bit of spice in life! Our Syrah adds just that to our blends with its liquorice and earthy notes plus deep dark polished fruit and great backbone.
The king of autochthonous Mallorquin grapes. Unless you ask Callet below who will want to claim that throne, too. It’s the most widely planted indigenous variety on the island and believed to be a half-sibling to Callet. We already now see great results with Manto negro and can only dream of what the future will bring.
Callet produces red-fruit and floral driven wines of pale colour intensity and lower tannins than Manto negro. However, it ripens slightly later and thus retains marginally higher levels of acidity and achieves phenolic ripeness at lower levels of alcohol, a key asset in our warm island climate. Callet is probably the red variety we’re most excited about, and we have great expectations for how these vines will develop in the future. The plants are still young and need some years to fully show their vast potential.
Our beloved blending component for our red blends with its velvety tannins and intensely delicious red berry fruit. Merlot adds in that little sexiness we all love and need sometimes.
Our Cabernet helps us add lots of structured tannins, spice and backbone into our reds when needed (bonus info: Its ‘sister’ variety Cabernet Franc is somewhat similar, but works more on the spicy, herbal notes).
Another endangered, native Mallorquin variety that we wanted to give a new home. It’s one of our latest ripening varieties and usually a great component for our rosé with its fresh red strawberry like fruit, soft tannins and moderate alcohol.
The star of our native white varieties. Giró Ros had become practically extinct on the island, but it’s generating a lot of excitement recently amongst fellow winemakers that believe it has great potential. Just like we do.
Hated by many, loved by many, in particularly by us! We believe that Sauvignon Blanc just needs a bit more sun and relaxed island life to bring out its charm and winning personality! Move over haters!… Welcome a juicy, fruity, fresh and RIPE style of Sauvignon Blanc that will only make you smile.
We have a long-lasting love affair with these majestic and well-ageing whites from the Rhône. So we want to create a new home for this exciting white variety with its lush tropical fruit and great backbone.
Why not? Chardonnay is planted almost everywhere in the world and for a reason. It blends beautifully with our other white varieties and provides a great base with its limestone loving acidity and smooth yellow fruit.