There’s nothing like the cold winds of February to bring about some island daydreaming. While I am most familiar with Spain’s Palma de Mallorca, I’d love to explore the other Balearic Islands. Especially if the trip involves wine.
Since coming to Spain, my affinity for wine has taken off. Iberia is a wonderful place for enotourism, and I’ve been fortunate to sample wines from north to south. One of my favorite trips from the past few years was to Porto, where tasting wines was the main event. I’d love to plan a similar trip to the Baleares and explore the regional wines. Ibiza holds an extra appeal because it was here that grapes—and thus, my fav bebida—were first cultivated in the Balearic Islands. In fact, it is believed that the Monastrell grape was first brought to Ibiza by the Phoenicians in 500 B.C.!
As Cat mentioned, Ibiza holds more than just night life and party drinks. It also offers plenty of grape-friendly stops as well. There are multiple wineries boasting grapes such as Monastrell, Malsavía, and Garnacha. One such winery is Can Maymó, a town located in San Mateo (Sant Mateu in the local dialect and on maps). They recommend savoring their Malsavía/Muscatel mix with seafood, while red Monastrell wines is ideal with local cheeses and spicy sobrassada.
Another winery in San Mateo is Sa Cova. I was salivating just reading the descriptions of their Clot D’Albarca 2004, a Syrah-Monastrell mix which is aged for one year in French Oak. Before you visit the winery, make sure to check out their website for detailed descriptions of all their products.
Syrah-Monastrell + French oak at Sa Cova
Spanning 20 hectares, Bodegas Rich is the largest of the Ibiza wineries. In addition to their regular wine line-up, the Bodegas Rich winery even has sparkling white and rosé wines. They also offer coffee liquor and licor de hierbas, a punchy after-dinner drink made with 17 different herbs.
Ibizkus Wines S.L. is another large winery on Ibiza that is located in the center of the island. The company is understandably proud of their indigenous vines, which have been ungrafted for decades. They specialize in grenache gris for white wines, and their red is—you guessed it—the local Monastrell. However, their most popular wine is rosé, which comes primarily from Monastrell but also includes Tempranillo and Syrah.
To recap, Ibiza’s wineries can be found in Sant Mateu, Buscatell and Sant Josep. Thanks to the relatively small size of the island, each of these can easily be reached on a day-trip from Ibiza Town. Another option is to rent your own wheels to visit Ibiza at your own pace. Salud!
Photo credit: Sa Cova