Sometimes, when we are in alien environments, novel, or different spaces that are used, we invade multitude of sensations, as a surprise, admiration, calm, (because they envy)… Banyalbufar is one of those places, would seem to transport you to faraway places, luxury, even a little Baroque, an updated last time a foreign museum, a space that stands proud facing the sea. You could say you're on a piece of Lake Como, Lugano, if it were not before us, Neptune reminds us that remains the owner and master of space around us.
Banyalbufar is a different place within the island of Mallorca, virtually every street overlooking the sea, You know it's there, it smells, is sensed. Built with patience and in a time when things were made to last, the people rise in stone terraces, different levels upwards, and winding hillside, that the sea surrounds and shapes with their bravery, like the Amalfi Coast it were.
But, we return to this, and we realize that few are the few locals who are growing in these terraces, almost everything has been eaten by chalets, towers, housing, For the enjoyment of wealthy, here and there, but it is not bad in its entirety, if equilibrium is reached and symbiosis, and it seems that is what happens in Banyalbufar.
And this unique environment, is an ideal place for growing Malvasia, one of the oldest varieties known in the Mediterranean, Very aromatic and phenolic content and high in sugar, capable of a good alcohol without much effort. Able to withstand harsh environment near the sea, but very vulnerable to diseases. Few varieties that give such good results, in places as near the sea.
In Catalonia and elsewhere, previous generations, denominated Malmsey wine, and whosoever white wine, regardless of the variety used, with high alcohol content and aged oxidatively, which was given healing properties. As a child I remember taking dessert on feasts, always a shot of Malvasia, because it was good for digestion, although the contents of the bottle were ratafia, all sweet wine used to be called Malvasia.
It is rumored that were the Aragonese mercenaries almogávares Catalan and Valencian, Roger de Flor, those hired by the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II, early S.XIV, to combat the growing power of the Turkish Ottoman, who introduced the Malvasia in the Iberian Peninsula. It is more than likely that almogávares, collect branches of this variety of its original area (Monenvasía) , in the journey that began to fight in the Eastern Roman Empire still exists. Leaving Messina, and making a stopover before reaching Constantinople, in 1303 in Monenvasia, Greece, It is in this brief stopover, where they know the virtues of wine made from Malvasia.
Monenvasía, (Greek Μονεμβασία) It is a small fortified east Peloponnese peninsula, and his name is Greek, one entry, in reference to his wall and its condition Peninsula. Malvasia The term derives from the Greek word italianización, and this is the supposed origin of the variety we all know as Malvasia. This strain was adapted with great success in many areas near the sea and Sitges, Canary Islands, etc.
It is rumored that the Catalans were, who brought Malvasia from Sitges to Mallorca, becoming widespread across the Tramuntana Mountains in the cultivation and S. XVI, and especially in Banyalbufar, getting prestige in the seventeenth century. Until the late nineteenth century the three major pest attack(pulgon, powdery mildew and phylloxera), among which, the most famous is the phylloxera, practically wipes out existing Malvasia vines throughout the island, leaving a small pocket in the early twentieth century Banyalbufar, when you start to empeltar Malvasia with American rootstock, resistant to phylloxera. But these 50 years of destruction of Majorcan vines, farmers have found a replacement crop, which gives them the same or more revenue, with lower demand for care and labor, which is the tomato ramallet.
It is not until the late twentieth century, that interest begins to recover the past and relive variety of great wines, and replanted variety Malvasia Banyalbufar, with the misfortune to meet a variety already badly damaged by viral loads, that make the vines are not sufficiently resistant and productive, but thanks to wineries, as Ca'n Pico, Its bright, cooperative Malvasia Banyalbufar, or local farmers and brothers Srs. Messrs Bujosa. Font, together with different agencies and universities, clonal selection process begins, until the first variety Malvasia, certified virus free.
And this is a little history to date, that allows us to enjoy these white wines so elegant and attractive, Unique in Mallorca