Mallorca is much more known for its beaches than its wines. Like so many regions with a strong tourism industry, the vast majority of the wines are consumed locally by holiday-makers. With a captive and reliable clientele, there is very little incentive to focus on quality or take risks. Still, luckily a few producers are bucking the trend and making exciting wine.
And good thing, because Mallorca has a lot to offer: a Mediterranean climate perfect for viticulture, a diversity of terroirs, and most importantly, a host of indigenous grapes grown nowhere else. Callet, mantonegro, prensal, fogoneu, and ull de llebre are just a few of the historical grapes still harvested on the island. The vogue of international varieties did not pass Mallorca by either, so grapes such as chardonnay, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon are also widely planted. However, most quality producers eschew or de-emphasize these. Indeed, local grapes are far better adapted to the local climate, and in particular, its hot, dry summers, in which other grapes can easily over-ripen or suffer from lack of moisture.
Two denominations make up the historic viticultural areas of the island: Binissalem in the central, higher part of the island, is traditionally focused on the mantonegro grape. Plà i Llevant in the lower, eastern section, is more focused on callet and fogoneu. Additionally, vines have more recently been planted in the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana in the north.