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The History of Winemaking in Menorca

The Mediterranean region is famed for its rich and vibrant gastronomy, and the tiny Balearic island of Menorca is no exception. Though this island might be small in size (hence its name), it is big on flavour. On your visit to this vibrant island, you’re sure to have a chance to sample the famous Mahon cheese, and what better accompaniment than a glass of home-grown wine?

Menorcan wine is typically a deep, cherry-red

With its warm, dry summers and mild winters, Menorca is well-adapted for viniculture, and the island has a long history of production that stretches back centuries. Winemaking reached its height in the 19th century when it was under British rule, but political disruption, as well as a massive blight caused by pests, forced the wine industry into decline. By the 1980s, the only wine produced on the island was for home consumption.

But that’s in the process of changing today, thanks to the opening of several small wineries that are helping to revive the historic wine tradition. Wineries such as Binifadet, Hort de Sant Patrici, and Binitord are producing excellent local wines and are also open for visitors and tastings. Binifadet is only a twelve-minute drive from the popular resort town Binibeca, and is an excellent choice for holidaymakers looking to sample the local flavour!

Local wineries produce delicious vinos

In 2002, the wineries formed a “vino de la tierra” association, which allows them to label their wines with the “isla de Menorca” geographical designation. “Vino de la tierra” designations are a rung below the Denominación de Origen, a regulatory classification system that protects the quality of geographic-specific foods and beverages. For the wineries of the island, a vino de la tierra designation means that their wines are distinguished for their unique qualities.

A typical Menorcan wine is a deep, cherry-red, often made from Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The bouquet is redolent of red fruits and spices, and is infused with the aroma of local herbs. During your holiday, don’t miss a chance to sip these distinctive native wines with a big slice of Mahon cheese!

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