Vi negro from Callet

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Ànima Negra grapes are originally from Felanitx. The vine variety is callet, although it can sometimes include a part of fogoneu and mantonegro (both local varieties). These plants grow in the middle of vineyards and amount to 5 or 10 percent according to the year. These vineyards are peculiar not only for their age (between 40 and 70), but also for the soil characteristics of this small area, which produces a callet whose wine structure and mineral content is nowhere else to be found on the island. These soils are usually very poor, full of minerals and iron oxide (call vermell), with underground calcareous rocks which make it difficult for vine roots to grow in depth, while they are also often forced to get away from the roots of other fruit trees planted in the middle of the vineyards. Production is very limited and grapes are selected manually in the cellar. Vinegrowing respects the environment as it is based on traditional copper and sulphur treatments instead of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. Grape stalks and skins are used to make compost which, together with the dung of sheep fed throughout the year with rejected grapes, is given back to the soil. Dead plants are replaced following a long and unprofitable process, starting from non-grafted plants and using the shoots of the adjacent grapevines. At the same time some plants which will not be harvested are selected, so as to use their seeds directly. After three years, it will be possible to plant the first vines with a new genetically original plant. We are aware of the risks of this process, but we cannot miss the opportunity to understand the original nature of these plants, to improve our knowledge of them and work with greater accuracy and respect. Ànima negra wine is processed in outdoor concrete warehouses and then macerated indoor, again in concrete warehouses. It ages in French oak barriques selected in cooperation with wood experts. For the callet variety, the origins of wood are selected, as well as a grain which allows a natural long drying up process. The roasting curve is adapted to the variety, so as to preserve aromas with the support of wood. Every three or four years, the soil is laboured and cereals, mustard, broad beans etc. are planted in the vineyards to integrate any soil deficiencies. Pruning is carried out in January and February and the cut parts are mixed with the soil. This variety is traditionally grown in Felantix, Mallorca. Callet and fogoneu varieties have been grown on the island for centuries, enjoying great fortune in the last decades of the 19th century when, from Porto Colom harbour, up to over 14 million litres were exported to France. Winemaking has continued in the Cooperative founded in 1918, up to the 1980’s. At that time most of the vines were eradicated to replace them with more commonly used international varieties. References to Mallorca vineyards date back to the Roman invasion, when they were appreciated and compared to the best vines of those times. After the conquest by James I and as a result of his exploitation policies, central and south-eastern areas were occupied.

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