Several vineyards or Bodegas have begun to cultivate different varieties of grapes and opened wine cellars, producing Menorcan wines of international acclaim. Typically Menorcan whites are fruity and fresh, pale yellow, with herbaceous fragrances like fresh cut grass and Menorcan reds are bright cherry red, well rounded and full bodied with red fruit and spicy aromas. Menorca has also developed its first ‘champagne’ a pink sparkling wine produced from the merlot and syrah grapes by wine producers Binifadet.
Menorca was awarded a ‘Vino de la Tierra Isla de Menorca’ (‘Vi de la Terra Illa de Menorca’) regional wine classification in 2002. This only applies to certain varieties of grapes where production uses traditional techniques applied to modern technology and is one step below the mainstream Denominación de Origen indication on the Spanish wine quality ladder.
White grape varieties include Chardonnay, Macabeo, Malvasía, Moscatel, Parellada and Moll. Reds include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Monastrell, and Tempranillo and Syrah.
Why not try some for yourself? A visit to one of the following vineyards makes an interesting morning or afternoon out, with a guided tour around the vineyards and wine cellars and, best of all, the chance to do some wine tasting!
Vine Sa Cudía in S’Albufera des Grau Nature Park
Bodegas Binifadet near Sant Lluís
Ferrer de Muntpalau at Es Mercadal
Bodega Vi de S’Illa in Alaior
Sant Patrici near Ferreries
Gin Factory and Tasting
Gin has been distilled on the island for over 200 years and, in fact, was instigated by the British during their occupation during the 18th century. With so many sailors homesick for their favourite tipple, a distinctive local gin was soon being produced.
Today, Menorca’s gin distillery Gin Xoriguer (pronounced Shore-e-gay), located on Mahon harbour, still produces this aromatic spirit to a secret recipe using traditional methods and flavoured with local juniper berries. Pomada, a deceptively refreshing mixture of gin and lemonade, is the favourite and potent drink for many Menorcans at fiesta time!
There are guided tours to this popular tourist attraction where visitors can see the enormous copper stills bubbling away to produce the spirit, which is then blended with the juniper berries to make Menorca’s fragrant gin. This gin and many other local liqueurs also produced by Xoriguer can be sampled and purchased. Open daily.
Mahon Harbour. Tel: 971 362 197