Discover wines from Mallorca and taste the excellent Bodega Nave Rover | Britt on Forbes

Share / Like:

Share / Like:

The popularity of Mallorcan wines has surged in recent years. More and more wine estates are established on the island. The wines have improved in quality, appealing to discerning tourists and upscale restaurants. However, there are challenges like high land prices and tourism pressure. The wine production area remains limited to around 1500 to 2000 hectares. Bodega La Nave Rover, is one of the recently established wineries founded by Javier and Ana Oliver. We have tasted a small selection of their wines. But first, a short introduction to wines from Mallorca.

Wines from Mallorca are getting attention nowadays. The number of wine estates on the popular holiday island has grown explosively in the last 20-25 years.

This is a longer version of an article published on

Vineyards and mountains in Mallorca, Spain
Vineyards and mountains in Mallorca, Spain, copyright BKWine Photography

Quick introduction to Mallorca wines

Now there are around 100 wine producers on Mallorca. They share some 2000 hectares of wines planted on the island today. There are two recognised wine regions, DO or DOP, on the island, Binissalem and Plà i Llevant.

Binissalem is close to Palma, a short drive northeast. It was the first DO in Mallorca, recognised as such in 1990. It covers some 600 hectares. Pla I Llevant is further away and was given the DO/DOP status a few years later, in 1999. It’s the area towards the eastern shore and extends over 500 hectares.

There are also three main regional designations, IGPs (“vi de la terra”): Mallorca (covering the whole island), Serra de Tramuntana-Costa Nord (the northwest coast) and Illes Balears (all the islands).

One should perhaps not focus too much on the specific regions but more on the producers.

Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, the cathedral in Palma, Spain
Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, the cathedral in Palma, Spain, copyright BKWine Photography

The vineyards are mainly planted with classic Spanish and international grape varieties, tempranillo, monastrell, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and parellada, macabeo, moscatel de alejandría, moscatel, chardonnay. But there is also a number of more or less unique grape varieties that are particularly worth noting: manto negro, callet, gorgollassa, moll (prensal blanc), giró ros.

Wine production must have a challenging time under the pressure of tourism. Palma de Mallorca is one of Europe’s busiest airports (more passengers than Moscow today). One hopes that the tourists also take the time to discover some of the wines of the island. They should; nothing is more than an hour’s drive from Palma, and today some great discoveries await the wine enthusiast.

No doubt there has been great progress in the quality of the wines. Tourists today are more demanding, and ambitious restaurants want local wines of good quality. There is still not so much wine from Mallorca. High land prices and pressure from holiday resorts will probably keep the quantity down in the future as well.

But now, let’s take a look at one of the recent winery projects in Mallorca, and its wines, Bodega Nave Rover.

Road signs in Mallorca, Algaida, Santa Maria, Palma, Spain
Road signs in Mallorca, Algaida, Santa Maria, Palma, Spain, copyright BKWine Photography

Bodega Nave Rover

We have tasted wines from Bodegas La Nave Rover, an organic winery that runs entirely on solar energy. Keeping the business sustainable is important to the owners, and the winery uses no irrigation. The winery is in the small village of Algaida, 25-25 kilometres due east of Palma. It is a whole new adventure. The first wines were bottled in 2019. But already in 2007, Javier Oliver, who comes from a wine family on the island, decided to plant a vineyard with only the local grape manto negro.

Manto negro is the most planted grape in Mallorca. Their wines tend to be light in structure and can benefit from the addition of some backbone from more structural grapes. They can have a very appealing, slightly aromatic character. It is a crossing of the almost extinct sabaté and callet cas concos (negrella) grapes.

A vineyard in Mallorca planted with the indigenous grape mantonegro
A vineyard in Mallorca planted with the indigenous grape mantonegro, copyright BKWine Photography

This grape was later supplemented with syrah, cabernet sauvignon, muscat des petits grains, chardonnay, and viognier. In 2013, he and his wife Ana teamed up with their friends Sonja and Thomas Pachman to start the production.

They now make 3,000 bottles of dry white wine, 3,800 bottles of red wine and 1,500 bottles of the Rover nº1 red wine. They have enough grapes also to make a small amount of sweet wine. La Nave Rover’s wines are an exciting discovery, and so is the native grape manto negro which produces relatively light and pleasantly aromatic and fruity wines.

The wines from Bodega La Nave

Bodega La Nave Rover Blanco 2020, Majorca

The grape here is 100% muscat à petit grain. It was interesting to taste this wine blind, as we did, without the preconceived notions one easily has about muscat wines. The wine is aromatic, of course, but there is also a pleasant taste of stone fruit, white flowers, and roses. The flavour is complex with good body and concentration. You can feel the warm climate, and it has a relatively low acidity, but a pleasant bitterness refreshes the end. A delicious and unusual dry muscat. (~14 euros)

Bodega Nave Rover Blanco, Mallorca, Spain
Bodega Nave Rover Blanco, Mallorca, Spain, copyright BKWine Photography

Bodega La Nave Rover Tinto 2020, Majorca

100% syrah. A rather unusual syrah with ripe fruit, red berries, and cherries. The wine is not as powerful as one might expect with 100 % syrah. It is pleasantly light in style with some typical characteristics of the grape and soft tannins. The wine has aged in American, French, and Bulgarian oak. A syrah wine with a personal touch. (~20 euros)

Bodega Nave Rover, Number One and Tinto, Mallorca, Spain
Bodega Nave Rover, Number One and Tinto, Mallorca, Spain, copyright BKWine Photography

Rover No 1 2020, Bodega La Nave Rover, Mallorca

The grapes are 75% syrah and 25% manto negro. The wine is nicely rounded with lots of fruit, ripe berries, and a discreet spiciness. It is soft in the attack but has quite a tannic finish. The oak is balanced on the palate. Long and very cool fermentation (13-14 degrees C for 30 days) in steel tanks and 12 months of oak ageing, and another 12 months in the bottle before sale. (~25 euros)

If you have not yet discovered the wines of Mallorca, and the Bodega Nave Rover, you have something to look forward to.

Road signs in a small town in Mallorca, Palma, Bunyola, Consell, Spain
Road signs in a small town in Mallorca, Palma, Bunyola, Consell, Spain, copyright BKWine Photography

Chose your language. Read the article in:



Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  Subscribe to comments:

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Related posts:

Explore more from BKWine:


25,000 subscribers get wine news every month. You too?