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Grape expectations on Mallorca

Wine enthusiasts might be surprised to learn that the Spanish island of Mallorca is home to some 60 wineries, or bodegas, which produce a total of around 300 different wines. For visitors to the island’s Fira del Vi – the wine fair held each spring in the north of Mallorca  – there’s a chance to meet the producers and discover why their wines are increasingly being recognised in international competitions, and finding new export markets. The 2013 wine fair is the 10th of its kind and takes place over the weekend of 20th and 21st April, in the atmospheric Santo Domingo cloister in the town of Pollensa. Wine enthusiasts and sector professionals flock to the event, where typically up to 40 Balearic bodegas present their wines. Visitors pay an entry fee (less than 10€ in 2012), and receive a carrier bag containing a booklet with details of participating bodegas, and a tasting glass, and can try as many wines as they like while at the fair. Opening hours are Saturday, 10:00- 20:30hrs, and Sunday, 10:00-14:00hrs. Insider tip: Saturday evening is usually very busy, so it’s worth coming during the day if you want to spend time talking to the wine-makers. The 5-star Son Brull Hotel & Spa is a luxurious and relaxing place to stay, less than a ten-minute taxi ride into the countryside from Pollensa, and not far from the nine-hole Pollensa Golf Club. A member of Relais & Chateaux, Son Brull is a former 18th Century Jesuit monastery, converted into a stylish and comfortable contemporary hotel with 23 rooms and suites. The property sits in 40 acres of land, including an olive grove, vineyard, and a garden that’s the source of certified organic vegetables and fruit used in the cuisine of the hotel’s 3/65 restaurant. Son Brull’s rooms are very comfortably appointed, with Bang & Olufsen TV, DVD, CD and telephones, a pillow and sheets menu (100% linen is an option), and a safe large enough to hold a laptop, with socket for charging mobile devices. There’s another Mallorcan wine to try at Son Brull: their extensive list of national and international labels includes the red Negre Son Brull – produced from grapes grown on the estate.

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