Wines of denomination of origin Pla i Llevant de Mallorca

In the broad and diverse Spanish wine scene, the Denominación de Origen Pla i Llevant stands out as an outstanding representative on the island of Mallorca.

Founded in 1999, the appellation was created with the firm intention of consolidating and raising the quality standards of Mallorcan wine by uniting the efforts and passion of the region’s farmers and winegrowers under one roof.

It is located in the heart of the central and eastern part of the island and includes municipalities with a well-known wine-growing tradition such as Algaida, Manacor and Felanitx, to name but a few.

The D.O. Pla i Llevant not only stands for the standardization of production criteria, but also reflects a shared commitment to preserving the richness of Mallorcan viticulture, promoting sustainable practices and enhancing the value of indigenous varieties.

With this vision, the D.O. stands as a guardian of tradition and promoter of innovation, offering the world wines of unique character and exceptional quality.

History and origin

The history of viticulture in the Pla i Llevant region is as rich and deep as the soils that give life to its vineyards. Since the time of the Roman Empire, this part of Mallorca has witnessed the cultivation of vines, taking advantage of the idyllic climate and terrain conditions offered by the island.

However, it was not until 1999 when this millenary tradition found a formal and cohesive framework under the Denominación de Origen Pla i Llevant. This milestone not only marked the beginning of a new era for Mallorcan viticulture but also meant the recognition of an area with a unique potential to produce high quality wines.

The creation of the D.O. was based on the need to protect, promote and develop the winemaking identity of this area, distinguishing it for its sustainable practices and its focus on native and foreign varieties adapted to the local microclimate. Since its inception, Pla i Llevant has been focused on overcoming the challenges of growing grapes on a Mediterranean island, balancing tradition and innovation to create wines that reflect the essence of their terroir.

Viñas Pla i Llevant, Mallorca

Geography and climate

The Pla i Llevant Designation of Origin extends along the central and eastern part of Mallorca, an area that enjoys an idyllic Mediterranean climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, dry summers.

The influence of the Mediterranean Sea is palpable, providing cool breezes that mitigate the intense summer heat and favor a balanced ripening of the grapes. This climate, together with an average annual rainfall of 450mm, concentrated mainly in autumn and spring, creates optimal conditions for viticulture.

The territory of the D.O. is characterized by its gentle undulations, where calcareous rocky soils with a chalky-clay texture predominate, conducive to drainage during rainy periods. These geological conditions are ideal for the vines, as they promote the retention of the necessary humidity in the warmer months and ensure healthy root development.

The altitude of the vineyards, located less than 100 meters above sea level, is a factor that adds to the uniqueness of Pla i Llevant. The proximity to the sea not only influences the climate but also brings a distinctive characteristic to the wines through the “Embat” regime.

This thermal wind, which blows from sea to land during the day and reverses at night, plays a crucial role in the viticulture of the area. It refreshes the vines during the hottest hours, contributing to a slow and balanced ripening process of the grapes. In addition, the moisture it provides helps to maintain the water balance in the plants, while the sea salts it transports enrich the soil and, therefore, the grapes, giving them a unique organoleptic profile.

Grape varieties and production

The Pla i Llevant Designation of Origin is distinguished by its rich diversity of grape varieties, both native and foreign, each contributing its unique character to the wide spectrum of wines produced in this region of Mallorca. The adaptation of these varieties to the specific soil and climate of Pla i Llevant has resulted in wines with distinctive identities, reflecting the essence of the Mediterranean.

White varieties

Among the white varieties, Premsal Blanc occupies a preeminent position, with 48.6 hectares dedicated to its cultivation. This native grape stands out for producing fresh wines, with fruity nuances and a balanced level of acidity.

The Chardonnay, with 44.6 hectares, is another significant variety, known for its ability to generate complex and structured wines. Other white grapes include Macabeo, Moscatel (both small-grain and Alexandria), Giró Ros, Viognier, Parellada and Riesling, which together enrich the profile of the region’s white wines with a palette of aromas and flavors ranging from floral to citrus and mineral.

Red varieties

As for the red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot lead in extension, with 81.4 and 84.9 hectares respectively, contributing structure, color and complexity to the wines.

The Callet, with 52.2 hectares, is the most emblematic indigenous red variety, known for its ability to produce medium-bodied reds with a unique character and distinctive aromas. Syrah, Manto Negro, Tempranillo, Fogoneu, Gorgollassa, Monastrell, and Pinot Noir complement the red palette, each contributing their particular qualities, from soft tannins to spicy and fruity notes.

Production at Pla i Llevant is not limited to the simple production of white, rosé and red wines; it also experiments with varieties and techniques to expand the horizon of winemaking possibilities. This includes innovation in sparkling wines and the exploration of new expressions of native varieties through sustainable and environmentally friendly winemaking practices.

With 13 wineries and 77 winegrowers managing a total of 497 hectares of vineyards, the Pla i Llevant D.O. is consolidated as a bastion of quality viticulture in Mallorca.

Viñas Pla i Llevant, Mallorca

Wines and styles

The Pla i Llevant Designation of Origin offers a rich palette of wines that reflects the diversity and richness of its grape varieties through different styles of wines: whites, rosés, reds and sparkling wines.

Each type of wine stands out for its unique characteristics, the result of the combination of calcareous soils, Mediterranean climate, traditional viticultural practices and careful vinification.

White wines

Pla i Llevant’s white wines are mainly made from Premsal Blanc and Giró Ros, together with Chardonnay and Moscatel, among others. These wines stand out for their pale color with greenish hues, reflecting the freshness and liveliness characteristic of the region.

On the nose, they offer intense fruit aromas complemented by notes of Mediterranean herbs. In the mouth, they are flavorful and fresh, with a pleasant acidity that invites another sip. The influence of the foreign varieties planted in the region enriches the sensory range with highly expressive wines, which maintain a lightness and length on the palate, with a background marked by their variety.

Rosé wines

Sensory clarity defines Pla i Llevant rosés. Made with a base of Callet and other varieties, they present an intense raspberry color and aromas of red fruit. Those made specifically with Callet offer distinctive citrus notes, especially orange, which are typical of this variety. On the palate, these wines combine good acidity with a refined earthy background, resulting in a refreshing and complex taste experience.

Red wines

The region’s reds reflect the adaptation of French and indigenous varieties to Mallorca’s Mediterranean climate. Varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Callet and Mantonegro produce wines with balsamic notes, soft, ripe tannins and a savory body.

Red wines from indigenous varieties stand out for their unique character, offering an aromatic profile that integrates hints of earth with interesting varietal character, especially after light barrel aging. The trend towards making younger and fresher wines has allowed the exploration of more fruity and lively expressions.

Sparkling wines

Sparkling wines are gaining ground in Pla i Llevant, with more and more wineries experimenting with this category. Made from both indigenous and foreign grapes, these wines are characterized by their lightness, fine and persistent bubbles, and a predominance of fruity aromas complemented by notes of pastries and yeast, typical of secondary fermentation.

The production of sparkling wines reflects the dynamism and capacity for innovation of the region’s winemakers, adding an exciting dimension to the already diverse wine spectrum of Pla i Llevant.

Overall, the wines of Pla i Llevant are a true reflection of the landscape, climate and spirit of Mallorca, offering enthusiasts and experts alike an authentic and varied winemaking experience that speaks to the tradition and innovation of this land.

Winegrowing practices

The excellence of the wines of the Pla i Llevant Designation of Origin is the direct result of meticulous viticultural practices that respect the environment, starting in the vineyard and extending to the winery.

The region is distinguished by its commitment to sustainability and quality, adopting techniques that enhance the unique characteristics of each grape variety and respond to the particularities of the Mallorcan climate and soil.

Planting density and conduction systems

Planting density in Pla i Llevant varies between 2,500 and 5,000 vines per hectare, depending on soils, varieties and training systems.

This variability makes it possible to adapt each plot to the optimal conditions for growing vines, balancing production and ensuring grape quality. The training and training techniques, whether goblet or trellis, are carefully chosen to favor sun exposure and air circulation between the vines, key elements for the healthy development of the grapes and the prevention of diseases.

Microclimate management and “Embat”.

The “Embat” regime, a thermal wind characteristic of the region, plays a fundamental role in the viticulture of Pla i Llevant. This wind not only cools and moistens the vines during the hottest months, but also provides a slight salinity that is reflected in the complexity of the wines. Vineyard management is oriented to maximize the benefits of this unique microclimate, performing green pruning that allows better exposure of the cluster to the sun and air, thus reducing relative humidity and minimizing the risk of fungal diseases.

Sustainability and respect for the terroir

Sustainability is a cornerstone of the Pla i Llevant D.O. production philosophy. Agricultural practices seek a balance between yield and respect for the environment, employing farming techniques that preserve biodiversity and promote soil health.

The use of cover crops, integrated pest and disease management, and controlled irrigation are just some of the strategies adopted to maintain the long-term viability of the vineyards.

Innovation in winemaking

In the winery, innovation joins tradition to transform grapes into wines that express the identity of Pla i Llevant.

Yeast selection, fermentation temperature, the use of barrel aging and stainless steel tanks, as well as experimentation with winemaking techniques, are carefully calibrated for each variety and style of wine.

This combination of traditional and modern methods allows Pla i Llevant winemakers to extract the best from each grape, creating wines that are both authentic and contemporary.

Paisaje de viñas Pla i Llevant, Mallorca

Impact and marketing

The Pla i Llevant Designation of Origin has achieved a significant impact in the wine industry, both locally and internationally, thanks to its focus on quality, sustainability and the promotion of native varieties. This strategy has not only strengthened the identity of Mallorcan wines in the global market but has also contributed to the economic and cultural development of the region.

Pla i Llevant wines have experienced a notable growth in terms of recognition and preference by consumers and critics. The unique combination of native varieties with innovative viticultural practices has resulted in wines that stand out for their quality and uniqueness. This recognition is reflected in an increase in demand, especially in international markets, where the search for wines with character and authenticity is growing.

The Pla i Llevant DO has adopted a sustainable approach not only in the production of wines but also in their commercialization. The region’s wineries strive to present their products in a way that reflects their commitment to the environment and responsible farming practices. This includes everything from using recyclable materials in their packaging to promoting wine culture as an integral part of a sustainable lifestyle.

Production and surface area data

The evolution of the vineyard surface area registered in the D.O. shows a steady growth, from 195.48 hectares of red and 61.42 of white in 2005, to 325.02 hectares of red and 171.95 of white in 2022. This increase not only reflects the interest in quality viticulture but also the confidence in the potential of Pla i Llevant as a wine region. Grape and wine production has followed a similar trend, evidencing a commitment to careful and controlled expansion, always with a focus on maintaining the high quality that characterizes this D.O.

The qualification of vintages

The qualification of vintages by the regulatory council of the D.O. Pla i Llevant has been consistently high. Pla i Llevant has been consistently high, with the most years receiving a “Very Good” rating. This fact is not only a testament to the exceptional quality of the wines produced but also an incentive for the winegrowers and winemakers to continue innovating and perfecting their techniques.

Where to buy Pla i Llevant DO wine

On the Pla i Llevant DO website, you’ll discover a wide range of detailed information about this appellation, including fascinating stories about the wineries, profiles of the various grape varieties, tasting notes of its emblematic wines and details about upcoming events in the wine region.

This resource is the ideal starting point for immersing yourself in the world of the Pla i Llevant DO and planning visits to local wineries. In addition, in the section dedicated to the wineries of the PDO, you will find direct links to the individual websites of each producer, where you can purchase their products directly and authentically.

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