Mallorca is an island that has been conquered and re-conquered by many different cultures, and the Romans were one of them, taking over the island in 123BC. And wherever there were Romans, there was (undoubtedly) wine! So, we can be thankful to them for bringing vines and their wine making knowledge to Mallorca. Nowadays, there are a few wineries in and around Alaró, like so many other towns in Mallorca. But, Alaró has a few advantages when it comes to growing vines. It is close to the Tramuntana Mountains so the altitude is higher in places, and it benefits from a fresher breeze during the hot summer nights.
Alaró also has pockets of limestone, which adds a much needed acidity to the grapes and therefore to the final wine. Acidity and freshness can be hard to achieve in Mallorca because of the high temperatures during the summer and the type of soils found on the island. A warm climate generally means a more alcoholic wine and strong, ripe, fruit flavours.
Some years ago Alaró saw the creation of a new winery on the edge of town, along the back road to Santa Maria del Camí. They began with plantations of Chardonnay grapes because it was very trendy at the time. This has since proved to be a positive move as Chardonnay now seems to be going through a revival period.
The winery also planted a valuable clone of local Malvasía de Banyalbufar. The intention of the winery was to produce quality white wines that kept well. However, before the project could grow any further, the owner sadly passed away.
The owner’s family decided to sell the winery so that the legacy of the previous owner could continue, with rejuvenated energy, by a new owner, with a new team and new, fresh ideas.
The new management decided to change the name of the winery from Vinyes de Alaró to Bodega Olorón, honouring the original (Islamic) name of the town. Today Bodega Olorón is going through a transitional period. They have been granted permission to build a new underground winery and they acquired more land right next to the original plantation. Last year they began to plant nine hectares of red grape varieties on the newly acquired land.
At the moment the winery is also taking advice from the Cotarella family, one of the most respected names in Italian wine (because of their renowned, elegant wines).
For now, Bodega Olorón currently has three different types of very different and quite unique white wines, using the grapes from the already established vines of Chardonnay and Malvasía de Banyalbufar.
First of all, I will talk about the Olorón Chardonnay. With a production of about 3,000 bottles per year, this is a complex but easy drinking white wine. This particular wine changes quite dynamically with every vintage, depending on how the weather conditions pan out. The last three vintages of chardonnay have been very distinct in aromas and flavours, and they’ve proven to be a good choice with many types of food.
Next, there is the Olorón Malvasía. This wine impresses with its colour and aromas. Less than 600 bottles were produced in 2018, the vintage that is now available to purchase. This is a perfect white wine for an aperitif or for lovers of the Malvasía grape.
And finally, they have an Olorón Orange Malvasía. Again, less than 600 bottles of this treasure have been produced. The colour is a captivating golden yellow, and the wine itself has citrus and stone fruit aromas that blend perfectly together. A hint of raw wax can also be detected. There is a marvellous explosion of intense flavours and textures when you taste this wine. It is made in accordance with the production methods of a red wine (orange wine) and aged in a single 500 litre barrel. Personally speaking, I think this is the wine that will surprise anyone who tastes it.
It is possible to visit Bodega Olorón at any time of the year, by appointment or reservation. Their outdoor terrace has a fantastic view of the two mountains, Puig d’Alaró and its twin peak, Puig de S’Alcadena. Cristina Besañez will welcome you and your group with enthusiasm and open arms.
She will share her knowledge of Mallorcan wines and in particular, the wines of Bodega Olorón, whilst pouring samples for you to taste and enjoy.
We are very lucky to be working with this ‘diamond in the rough’ as there are some interesting developments afoot at this particular Bodega. We will be keeping a close eye on what happens next and we can’t wait to see this winery when it has been given its final polish!