Mallorca may be better known for its beaches and sunshine, but sampling local Mallorca food and wine is another great reason to spend a holiday on the island.
Mallorca is a gorgeous holiday destination, with stunning landscapes, beaches and mountains, a groovy capital city and charming villages, not to mention amazing weather all year round. There is however another very good reason to visit island and if you are thinking of renting a holiday villa in Mallorca, you will be delighted to find delicious local food and wine, local food markets and a lively cafe and restaurant culture packed with sumptuous local produce and wines.
But let us not forget that you have just rented a fabulous holiday villa in the north of the island and that really, you have no real desire to leave it for a moment.
Cooking local food at your villa is another wonderful way to fully enjoy Mallorcan cuisine in the tranquillity of a shaded terrace and a table spread with local delicacies and bottles of local wines.
Weekly food markets offer seasonal fruit and vegetables; olives and cheese, flowers, cold cuts, bread and wine while in the villages, delicatessen shops stock all the more exquisite island food and wines from Mallorca.
Mallorca’s economy was mainly agricultural until fairly recently. In fact it wasn’t until the advent of mass tourism in the 70s that the island began to change. Many of the ancient vineyards were lost and the wineries that did continue, scaled down.
Small wineries and artisanal production methods lead to small quantities of very high quality wines. You may find the prices are higher too, and as most local Mallorca wine isn’t exported, it is enjoyed primarily on the island.
If you would like to visit the wineries and see the wine making process first-hand the two main wine making D.O. (Denomination of Origin) areas are Binissalem and Pla I Llevant, though there are many equally interesting wineries which opt out of this and choose to call themselves Vi de la Terra.
To make it really easy and as a first introduction to Mallorca wine, you can take the Mallorca wine tours. This is a local company run by wine makers that works with two ancient wineries in the Binissalem area and offers a whole variety of tours; cycling, by train, in Palma and gourmet wine tours.
There are 65 wine estates in total in Mallorca, the D.O. designated wine regions are Binissalem, in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains and Pla i Llevant in the central plain, with 13 wineries in each, and the remaining are regionally designated wine regions mostly in the northern Tramuntana Mountains.
Rental homes and holiday villas in the northern corner of the island provide the base for wine tours, wine tasting and exploring Mallorca´s offering of food and wine.
Renting a holiday villa in the north of Mallorca for a week or two gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in some thorough winery visits, wine tasting and wine and gastronomy tours of the island.
We have covered the wine tour side of things, at least on an introductory level, but what about food tours?
Food markets are a great start and you will find there is a market going on somewhere every day of the week. Pollensa weekly market is on Sunday mornings and Puerto Pollensa is every Wednesday.
There are also specialist agricultural and artisan fairs throughout the Autumn months, with olive fairs, oil fairs, almond, herbs and cheese fairs, melon, figs and seafood fair and a multitude of others which combine different seasonal produce.
Alternatively, visit an olive oil press, go wine tasting at the winery, tour Palma on the weekly evening tapas crawls or simply pop to the local bakery for fresh bread and Mallorcan pastries and surprise everyone back at the villa with breakfast in the sunshine.
Mallorca has long seen visitors arrive onto its balmy coasts and the spread has been varied, often eclectic and always warmly welcomed. The revival of Mallorca´s wine industry and a growing interest in its traditional artisan products and food delicacies has begun to draw a whole new type of tourism to the island and Mallorca is now gaining ground in gastronome circles as a must-visit food and wine destination.