2016 - South West Tasting the Wines
Were you one of the Sou´Westers who, on the first of the month, invaded the Vineyard and Bodega of Ca´n Novell for a conducted tour and the opportunity to taste 10 of the 12 wines produced by owner Andreu Villalonga? Then like Omar Khayam, you must have wondered,
“What the vintners buy
One-half so precious as the wines they sell?”.
I´ve been to quite a few Bodegas and vineyards over the years, but Ca’n Novell is different in to any other I´ve visited.
This winery, in Binissalem, is not a part of the local Domain D´Origen; its owner believes that Associations, Organizations or labels are only expenses the customer finally has to pay. Sticking to the rules of a Domain Association, only serves to create what Andreu calls “an average mass taste”. This enterprise has been in the same family for over a hundred years and the wines are still being produced from local grapes.
Andreu showed us Manto Negro, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Malvasia grapes in his Vineyard.
And prices are kept down because Andreu routinely buys back the empty bottles from his customers after they have drunk the wine. The purchase of new bottles and especially the expensive delivery from the mainland to the island could add anything up to a Euro to the price per bottle, explains Andreu.
So, a huge, in-house bottle washer cleans empty wine bottles returned by customers- Refilling wine bottles? Now, that´s a bit of recycling we can all get behind!
Listening with rapt attention as Andre explains
“Is this a bottle that I see before me?”
“MMMM! Chardonnay! Oh well I´ll try it and see if I like it”
Derek doesn´t wait to hear what Andreu has to say about growing grapes.
Happily, the ladies Showed an interest
"I'll never finish drinking this lot, before the bus comes"
"I'm keeping this bottle to taste for myself!"
Andreu explains to Derek how to drink wine sensibly
People who say I´m hard to please, clearly don´t know where to buy wine!
Article and photos by Jim Wallace