For thousands of years, wine, olives, and grain have thrived upon the soil of Biniagual; thus, at its bodega, you can taste history. The history of wine, of course, but also of a 13th-century hamlet, predated by the Moors, abandoned come plagues, and resurrected due to its undeniable productivity. The experience of a tasting at the winery is transportive. Its laidback yet classy and modern tasting rooms allow you to drift through flavors, traditions, and thoughts that recollect the past while situated pleasantly in the present.
|Best Wines||Gran Verán
Memóries de Biniagual Blanc
|Phone Number||+34 971 870 111|
The Biniagual Story
The Moors of Northern Africa named and cultivated the land of Biniagual (Arabic for “son of the cross-eyed”) beginning in the 10th century. In the early 13th century, the Moors’ time on the island ended with King James I of Aragon nationalizing Spain. At this time, the Viscounts of Béarn ruled Mallorca from the Pyrenees. In 1264 the viscounts handed the Moorish farmland of Biniagual to the Jonqueres Monastery of Catalonia. Over the next 300 years, olives, wine, and grain cultivation prospered, and the territory became a hamlet of six houses. Alas, the mid-16th century plague that wiped out over a million people in Spain also left Biniagual deserted.
From the 18th to the 20th century, Biniagual flourished anew. A chapel and six more houses were constructed. Even Spain’s Civil Guard established a presence in the hamlet. But by the time the vine-killing phylloxera came to Mallorca, the hamlet of Biniagual had dedicated most of its cultivation to grapes. As a result, production was destroyed, and Biniagual was abandoned once again.
In 1968, German businessman and millionaire Klaus Graf bought Biniagual. Having lived through the Second World War, Graf decided to purchase the land so his family could live self-sufficiently from it, come what may beyond it.
Today, Graf’s family and workers of the land and bodega live in the small 13th-century hamlet. 189 hectares of the land are purposed for olives, almonds, citrus (oranges, clementines, and lemons), figs, pomegranates, and carob. 34 hectares are dedicated to grape cultivation. The polyculture of their farmland is an intentional nod to the sowers of Biniagual’s past. Furthermore, it shows an awareness that modern monocultural farmland disregards sustainable agricultural practices. The previous year’s grain and legume harvest and their 300 head of big flock sheep contribute natural fertilizers to the soil of Biniagual. Such practices encourage healthy, regenerative biodiversity; the difference these sustainable practices make can be tasted in the wines.
Biniagual’s Best Wines
Recommended Vintage: 2018
It must be mentioned that the reds from the Finca Biniagual line-up are all fantastic. You get enormously good value from the Finca Biniagual Negre and an enjoyable, complex experience from the Finca Biniagual Verán.
But the Gran Verán – being the flagship of this highly respected winery – is sensational. It is a simple 45% Mantonegro to 55% Syrah split. The 18 months it aged in oak barrels give it a toasty flavor, with strong black fruits heavy on the tongue. It is full and round in the mouth and finishes delectably peppery.
Memóries de Biniagual Blanc
Recommended Vintage: 2021
Biniagual, in appreciation of Mallorca’s traditional wine culture, is part of the DO Binissalem. Biniagual’s whites, therefore, must contain at least 50% of the native white grape variety Prensal Blanc or Muscat. Memóries de Biniagual Blanc contains 56% Prensal, 34% Muscat, and 10% Chardonnay. The result is a light, metallic-colored wine.
The native grapes are crisp and refreshing and add a smooth citrus taste. The Chardonnay of the blend adds thicker banana and vanilla to the nose. I feel sweet pineapple in the back of the throat and saline minerality across the roof of the mouth. The pureness of the Biniagual agricultural project perfectly refreshes the senses with this wine.
Recommended Vintage: 2018
The Red Ice may not be the most complex red on Biniagual’s list, but its unique concept is highly appreciated come the heat of summer. Red Ice is a blend of Mantonegro, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon and is served chilled. It is a robust wine with a noticeably oaky taste from the 12 months spent inside barrels. It is as refreshing as it is bold and a sure crowd-pleaser on a warm summer night.
Biniagual Events and Tours
Visiting the resurrected hamlet of Biniagual is intriguing unto itself. Combing the trip down history lane with wine tasting on the bodega’s expansive backdoor patio or in one of their stately tasting rooms is incomparable.
Biniagual makes tasting their wines an easy and enjoyable experience. And the food provided, compared to other tastings I have done, is second to none. One can stop by to enjoy a single glass or a whole bottle or choose from one of three tasting options:
- Taste six wines accompanied by bread and local olive oil for 31€ per person.
- Taste six wines with extensive plates of Mallorcan tapas for 42.50€ per person.
- Take a full tour to learn about the history of the hamlet and Biniagual’s regenerative wine-making processes that culminate in tasting six wines with tapas for 65€ per person.
The latter two experiences necessitate a reservation at least 48 hours in advance. But I recommend calling ahead of time and reserving a table any time you plan a visit, as the tasting areas can be pretty full, and the bodega will close for special events.
Beyond the tastings, Biniagual can host your big day! What better place to gather hundreds of your friends and family in a resurrected 13th-century hamlet and taste the local flavors? The luxuriously cozy tasting room and patio can hold up to 50 people for a reception of your choice.
For parties larger than 50, Biniagual will close the entire hamlet down and hold your wedding, reception, or any other event worth remembering forever. The bodega can supply wine, but all other services must be contracted elsewhere. Remember that the premises have no accommodation, but your party could always stay in a neighboring town such as Binissalem.
How to Get to Biniagual
Biniagual—as a tiny, isolated hamlet—necessitates a vehicle to reach.
Heading out of Palma, get on the Ma-13 highway. This highway will take you to the heart of Mallorcan wine country, Binissalem. When you get to Binissalem on the Ma-13, you will take a right on Camí de Biniagual until you reach the resting hamlet.
If you are planning a full wine tasting, taxis can also be ordered to ensure a safe round trip. The winery can help with the reservation of taxis.