ENVIRONMENT AND VINEYARDS
THE GLORY OF THE LAND IS THAT IT
GIVES MORE THAN WE GIVE IN RETURN.
Everything counts in the art of making wine: the range of influences is virtually endless, because the environment, nature and the manufacturing process are equally infinite in their variety. Producing quality grapes requires in-depth research and a unique process that relies on careful observation, planning and the use of modern equipment. Even so, the results never fail to surprise us.
Wine is characterised by the land, the climate and a whole host of different circumstances. Some things you can control and regulate, while others you can’t. Nature and people, for example. This is a team effort in which each individual factor and every moment counts; for example, sometimes it rains, then it suddenly stops again. You have to husband the vineyard and the vines, pruning them and monitoring their development meticulously. You also have to take into account the quality of the soil, its cultivation, the humidity and the vagaries of the weather. In addition to the natural environment, you have all the man-made elements such as the casks and the centuries-old vault. All of these contributory factors go into the character of a wine, just as human DNA determines the make-up of an individual person. So you can call it a sort of ‘wine DNA’ which is constantly reinventing itself and culminates on the palate of the wine connoisseur.
It is therefore almost impossible to define exactly every precise detail that defines our wines. But one thing is clear: nature works in our favour.
Our wine is born in this country, in this soil. More particularly, in the municipality of Petra. A blessed area of land in the heart of Mallorca, over which we exercise highly responsible stewardship. In addition to our main estate at Petra, we also have vineyards near Felanitx and Manacor. All of our vines are carefully supervised by our staff.
The seal on all of our wines is marked ‘D.O. Pla i Llevant de Mallorca’. This designation of origin guarantees that our wines come from the Pla i Llevant region – grown in our own soil and in our own unique climate.
The Mediterranean climate of the island – especially in the central plain – combines mild winters with dry summers. The average annual rainfall is 450 litres per square metre.
The soil is ideal for the cultivation of wine. A mixture of gravel and sand with low organic matter content and a reddish tinge due to the presence of iron oxide. That’s why one of our wines is called Ses Ferritges, ‘ferro’ being the Spanish word for iron.
At Bodegas Miquel Oliver, we do not use herbicides. We pride ourselves on taking meticulous care of our vines and vineyards, removing superfluous shoots and leaves that would stunt the growth of the vine. This intensively manual work is time-consuming and increases the cost of production, but it conserves the natural environment, favours the optimum growth of the grapes and improves the overall quality.
Our flexible trellis system allows us to take maximum advantage of the sunshine hours in Mallorca. In addition, we control the moisture levels in the leaves and rhizomes. In this way, we are able to optimise the microclimate inside the plant and thereby its health. In exceptionally dry years, we use a drip irrigation system which delivers the exact amount of water needed for perfect phenolic ripening without increasing the water content of the grapes.
The story goes that the Mallorcan priest Fray Junipero Serra, born in Petra and founder of the first 20 or so mission stations on the North American west coast, brought the first vines to California. On his many missionary journeys, he always took along a few vines in his baggage, which he would then plant in the garden of the outpost. In this way, he not only fulfilled the purpose of his mission – bringing the word of God to the natives and celebrating mass – but also taught them how to cultivate the vine and to make wine.