Wine
Pla i Llevant

Pla i Llevant (The Plain and Eastern Mallorca) The area covered by the Pla i Llevant Designation of Origin is one of Mallorca's most traditional vine-growing and wine-producing areas, because vines have been grown here since the island's domination by the Romans. After Pla i Llevant's recognition, in 1993, as a vine-growing and wine-making area, there was a considerable local increase in the activity of the sector as a whole (with the planting of new vineyards, the incorporation of new varieties, improved cultivation techniques etc). At the same time, the number of wineries increased and substantial investment into technology was made in existing ones, thus leading to an increase in production and, above all, to improvements in the quality of these wines. During this period, spanning over six years, the distinguishing features of the area's wines were established and a subsequent application was made to the Regional Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries for the wines to be awarded a designation of origin. The Pla i Llevant DO was created in 1999. Nowadays, the Pla i Llevant DO Regulation has been adapted to the news rules and consequently has been approved by the General Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries on April (the 1st) 2005.

The Production Area

The production area encompasses the central and eastern parts of Mallorca, including the municipalities of Algaida, Ariany, Artà, Campos, Capdepera, Felanitx, Llucmajor, Manacor, Maria de la Salut, Montuïri, Muro, Petra, Porreres, Sant Joan, Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, Santa Margalida, Santanyi, Sineu and Vilafranca de Bonany.

The Agricultural and Climatic Conditions

The area's climate is typically Mediterranean, with an average temperature of 17º C with cool winters and hot, dry summers. Its proximity to the sea has a considerable influence. The average yearly rainfall oscillates between 400 and 450 mm, with an average of over 2,800 hours of sunshine per year. The land is composed of limestone rock (loams and dolomites), leading to a chalky-clayish soil with a reddish or whitish colour and a slightly alkaline pH. Given the soil's characteristics, it has good drainage. Together with low levels of organic material and easy root penetration, this means that the vines are grown in optimum conditions.

The Production Conditions

The Pla i Llevant DO Regulation establishes that the following grape varieties can be used in the production of wines entitled to use this designation of origin:

Reds: Manto Negro, Callet, Fogoneu, Ull de Llebre, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Gorgollassa.

Whites: Moll o Premsal Blanc, Parellada, Macabeo, Moscatell, Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier and Giró Ros.

Cultivation practices aim to optimise the quality and distinctiveness of the wine. The plantation density, depending on the terrain, the varieties and training systems, may vary between 2,500 and 5,000 vines per hectare. The vines may be trained and grown in a low bush shape or on trellises. Within the framework of EU, state and autonomous legislation, in certain Pla i Llevant - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy cases and based on technical studies that justify the need to irrigate the vines, the Governing Council may authorise the irrigation of authorised vines, indicating the methods and development conditions of this practice. Irrigation shall be authorised when the physiological condition of the plants so requires it.

Maximum yields per hectare are stipulated in the Pla i Llevant DO Regulation, with the following production limits:

White varieties: 11.000 kg/hectare, except for the Chardonnay and Riesling variety, which have limits of 7.000 kg;  Giró Ros, 9.000 kg and Viognier 8.000 kg.

Red varieties: 10.000 kg/hectare, except for the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties, which have limits of 9.000 kg/hectare and Pinot noir which has limit of 7.000 Kg/hectare; and Gorgollassa 5.000 kg.

The grapes are harvested with extreme care and, to produce these DO-protected wines, only healthy grapes are used with the correct degree of ripeness and a minimum natural volumetric alcohol content of 10% for white varieties and 10.5% for red ones and 12% for spirit wines.

The Production Conditions

The grape must is produced using traditional techniques applied to modern technology, directed at improving the quality of the wines. The correct pressure levels are applied to extract the juice and separate the residue, so that production does not rise above 70 litres of must per 100 kg of harvested grapes.

The Wines' Characteristics

We should highlight that whites made with Chardonnay grapes have very clear tropical fruit aromas, together with lactic and vanilla overtones if they have been fermented in wood casks. The dry muscatels have flowery aromas, whilst the fresh-flavoured wines made with Prensal Blanco, Macabeo and Parellada grapes give off acidic fruit aromas. When wines are made with different combinations of these grape varieties, the result is a complex mixture of aromas with a fresh taste on the palate. With the reds, the different types of grapes used lead to the production of highly interesting wines characterized by their intensity of colour and complex fruity aromas. In the mouth, mild tannins are evident together with a balanced level of acidity, both contributing towards a sensation of freshness.

 Minimum alcohol content White Wine 10.5º Rosé Wine 10.5º Red Wine 11.0º Sparkling Wine 11.0º Liqueur wines 15.0 Agulla (semi-sparkling) wines 10.0º

Vintage Ratings

2003 Very Good

2004 Very Good

2005 Very Good

2006 Very Good

2007 Very Good

2008 Very Good

2009 Very Good

2010 Very Good

2011 Very Good

2012 Very Good

2013 Good

2014 Very Good

Pla i Llevant - Balearic Islands - Agrifoodstuffs, designations of origin and Balearic gastronomy
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