The region that comprises what's known as 'the Mediterranean' is renowned for its diverse cuisine. With a myriad of geographical influences, a bounty of fresh produce and centuries of tradition, it's hard to find a more popular or delicious culture of gastronomy anywhere in the world. |
Menorcan Wine – the Perfect Accompaniment
As a tiny island in the beautiful Spanish Balearics, Menorca easily holds its own with the big boys when it comes to its unique, home-grown cuisine. Surprisingly to some people, the same can also be said of its small but perfectly formed wine industry. Anyone planning even a short Menorca holiday should set aside some time to explore this aspect of the destination a little further.
The island has been producing its unique vinos for centuries, and its temperate climate, with dry summers and mild winters, makes it perfect for growing grapes. The varieties are more often than not a deep reddish-purple colour, derived from the Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The taste is rich, herbed, spicy and aromatic, with overtones of the rich soil in which the hardy grapes thrive.
The Menorcan Wine Industry
The winemaking industry in Menorca hasn't been without its challenges throughout the island's often-turbulent history. Reaching a peak under nineteenth-century British rule, a number of external factors, including a destructive blight of pests and constant political unrest, meant that the industry declined. By the 1980s, the vino produced was of a poor quality – suitable only for home use.
Today, however, it's a very different story. Over the past two decades, several boutique wineries have opened on Menorca, which is helping to restore the good standing of the island's industry.
Hort de Sant Patrici, Binifadet (which is just a few minutes’ drive from Binibeca) and Binitord are three examples of small establishments producing some excellent vinos, which are gaining international renown. The wineries welcome locals and visitors on Menorca holidays, and offer tours and tastings, as well as sales from the cellar door.
The Unique Badge of Menorcan Wine
In 2002, in order to protect the authenticity and quality of their locally produced wines, the wineries of Menorca banded together to form an association to create the 'vino de la tierra', which allows them the exclusivity to use the 'Isla de Menorca' designation. The designation is slightly less prestigious than the Spanish 'Denominación de Origen' classification, which regulates geographically specific food and beverages, but no less important in denoting the quality of this unique product.
As well as visiting small independent wineries on your Menorca holiday, you'll be able to sample many of the excellent wines in local restaurants or purchase them from liquor outlets to enjoy in your villa - perhaps with a generous portion of the famous (and very delicious) Mahón cheese!
Brenda Jaaback is the Managing Director of Bartle Holidays. They can provide you with a wide selection of superb villas for your Menorca holiday. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
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