How often do you think you’ve come across a product that is authentic in its entirety?
If you take a moment to consider this, it sounds so simple but it can be much harder to achieve. It is very possible that your Italian leather shoes were made in Thailand, your branded sweatshirt was made in China, or your Swedish brand furniture may have originated from Brazil.
In the world of wine finding something that is undeniably authentic is also a rarity. When you do eventually find it, you treasure it and you hope that the winemaker and vineyard workers stay true to themselves indefinitely.
But, what are authentic wines? What exactly does this mean?
Particular wine-growing conditions, as well as indigenous grape varieties here in Mallorca, mean that winemakers on the island have the opportunity to create unusual and original wines. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are all authentic. Many Mallorcan wineries study other countries for wine-making inspiration. The styles and winemaking techniques from France, mainland Spain or the New World are often adopted and developed here. Some of these techniques are successful whilst others lose their identity.
For me, wine is authentic when it is created by people who are passionate about their heritage and love what they do. These winemakers have a deep understanding and respect for the local grape varieties as well as the winemaking traditions. The wine itself is made with passion and uses indigenous grapes.
Sebastià Ordines and Pep Cànaves have created a project in Santa Maria del Camí called 7103 Petit Celler and I believe their project has all the ingredients needed to become a reference point on the island. This particular winery stands out in its delivery of authentic wines despite the fact it is a young project created by young winemakers.
Since its conception in 2011, Sebastià and Pep decided to focus on creating wines that exclusively use local grapes (mainly Mantonegro and Prensal), from the family vineyards and other singular plots around the town of Santa Maria. They also inherited some very valuable old Mantonegro vines from Sebastià's grandfather Maciá. Maciá looked after these vines for most of his life and he saw how the grapes were developing and improving year on year. He refused to give in to the strong pull of the trends that were recommending he should get rid of the local varieties and plant foreign vines instead. Fortunately, this risky decision is now paying off as there is now an increasing trend in the world of wine to steer towards more unusual local varietals.
Sebastià and Pep look after 25 ‘Cuarteradas’, a local measurement for land that is 7103 m2 (hence the name of the winery). 80% of this land is planted with the local Mantonegro varietal.
At the moment they produce a Prensal white wine, which I think is one of the best on the island. They have also created a very unusual Blanc de Noir made with (of course) Mantonegro. The latter wine is mineral and fresh, with more body and structure. It is an absolute delight!! About the red wines, they have created a fresh easy drinking ‘Joven’ or un-oaked wine as well as a more serious ‘Bota’ that spends a length of time in oak barrels. In addition, they have introduced the ‘40 Braces’. This is a wine that is only created when the vintage is excellent, using grapes from the oldest vines they look after.
The future looks bright for these two young entrepreneurs. In the coming months, they will also be releasing an Orange wine made with Giro Ros grapes, a sparkling Callet, and two different Vermouths.
Very soon they will be introducing visits to their winery too. During the vineyard visit, clients will be given a fantastic opportunity to view the valuable old vines whilst being driven around in one of the vintage cars belonging to 7103. These vintage cars have now become an inclusive part of the 7103 Petit Celler brand as images of them take pride of place on some of their wine labels.
We will certainly be looking out for the new and exciting products coming out of this small but beautiful winery that is full of stories, traditions, and originality.