When I recently visited Mallorca for the Traverse travel blogging conference, I knew that it would be a fun week. Hundreds of travel bloggers descending on a tiny island like Mallorca is very exciting for local businesses, who are eager to promote themselves and get their name out there.
One of these businesses was Mesquida Mora, a biodynamic winery in the Mallorcan countryside, and when the owner Barbara invited myself and a group of other travel bloggers to a traditional Mallorcan lunch and wine pairing in a 16th century windmill, we jumped at the chance.
If you’re curious about trying Mallorcan wine and food, you like drinking good wine and the idea of doing both things in majestic old windmill sounds fun, then just keep reading about my visit to Mesquida Mora, because that’s exactly what it involved.
Mesquida Mora – Mallorcan Food and Wine in a 16th Century Windmill
Mesquida Mora – A Brief Introduction
Located close to the town of Porreres on the island of Mallorca, Mesquida Mora is owned and ran by Barbara, a fourth-generation winemaker who grew up on vineyards and ran her family’s winery from 2004 until 2012.
In 2012, she decided it was time for something new, and so Mesquida Mora was born, a project that Barbara doesn’t see as a business, but as her life project.
Referring to herself as ‘CEO, manager, cleaner, winemaker and everything else,’ Barbara’s approach is hands on to say the least.
She welcomed my fellow bloggers and I to one of her eight plots of land (Mesquida Mora spans 20 hectares across two villages) with open arms and immediately began telling us about her history as a winemaker, her vision with Mesquida Mora, and her passion for creating biodynamic wines.
What are biodynamic wines?
The process of making biodynamic wine is an alternative form of viticulture that takes a spiritual, ethical and ecological approach.
It views the vineyard as one solid organism, with each element being connected, and equally as important as one another.
Barbara is most passionate about the soil, and she told us how soil has provided food for hundreds of years to countless humans and animals, and so we have a duty to respect it and care for it.
This is part of the reason why she recently planted over 100 fruit trees – by adding to the biodiversity, she is contributing to the regeneration of the soil, ensuring that the vineyard will eventually be passed down to her daughter in a better condition than she found it in.
Biodynamic winemaking also does not involve the use of chemical sprays, pesticides or fertilisers, as these things can also damage the soil. Instead, natural composts and fertilisers are used.
A biodynamic approach also takes spiritual factors such as astrology and lunar activity into account.
The more Barbara talked, the more animated she became, and when she told us that she had been passionate about organic and biodynamic viticulture for over 20 years, it was clear that she wasn’t exaggerating.
She finished by proudly telling us that all of her wines are bio-certified.
The Wine at Mesquida Mora
Before we ventured inside the beautiful 16th century windmill to actually try some wine, Barbara told us a bit more about her personal approach to the art of winemaking, as well as explaining the reasons why behind things are the way they are at Mesquida Mora.
First, Mesquida Mora only produces 85 – 90 thousand bottles of wine each year. This is because Barbara has very few people working for her and she wants to keep everything completely under her control, again stressing the point that this is a passion project for her rather than a commercial enterprise.
Barbara’s family have been making wine in Mallorca since 1945, and her parents were actually the first people to bring foreign grape varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay to the island.
However, as Barbara is so proud of her homeland and its produce, she always combines these grapes with Mallorcan varieties such as Prensal, Callet, Manta Negro, Giró Blanc, and Gorgollasa, giving Mesquida Mora wines a unique Mallorcan twist.
None of the grapes used in Mesquida Mora’s wine are purchased from suppliers, all being grown under the close supervision of Barbara.
A Traditional Mallorcan Lunch and Wine Pairing
When she’d finished telling us all about Mesquida Mora and its wine, Barbara led us inside the windmill to a gorgeous dimly-lit room with two long tables set for lunch.
A local village woman would be preparing all the food from scratch, and Barbara explained that we would be trying a variety of traditional Mallorcan foods, as well as two of her favourite wines.
Apologetically, she told us that we would usually be able to try more wine, but a mildew illness in 2020 meant that her 2021 wines are not ready just yet.
First up was the Sincronia Negre, a red wine that blends six different grapes, both local and foreign varieties. It is a light and fruity wine with a slight spice, and very easy to drink.
With the Sincronia came some classic Mallorcan snacks.
First, panadas. Panadas look and taste very similar to a classic British pork pie. With thick pastry lined with lard and a filling of pork and green peas, they are super tasty (they can also be filled with lamb, and sometimes sobrasada is added for extra tastiness).
We also enjoyed some tortilla, the traditional Spanish omelette made with potato and onion and served at room temperature.
Living in Valencia, I love tortilla, and so I was really happy when these plates came out!
Our next wine was the Trispol 2019, which translates to ‘the floor.’
The reason behind the name is that when Barbara began her project, she had the vineyards, but nothing else, not even a ceiling nor a floor (Barbara produces another wine named Sotil, meaning ‘ceiling!’).
Using Callet, Syrah and Cabernet grapes, Trispol is a full-bodied wine that lingers on the palette, with notes of spicy red fruits, vanilla and cocoa.
To eat, we were introduced to Coca Mallorquina, a kind of hard Spanish pizza bread which can be topped with a variety of things before being baked in the oven. We were able to try four different varieties – spinach and codfish, a typical ‘coca de trempó’ with chopped onions, red bell peppers and tomatoes, fig and caramelised onion, and roasted yellow and red bell peppers with pork.
We also tried some cocarrois, little half-moon shaped pastries stuffed with vegetables and seasoned with pine kernals and paprika.
Next on our foray into Mallorcan food was something very unique – a cremadillo de bacalao.
Now, I consider myself to be a pretty adventurous eater. I’ve tried crickets in Vietnam, spleen and lung sandwiches in Sicily, tripe soup in Poland and a whole host of other weird and wonderful delicacies from around the world.
The cremadillo de bacalao, a sweet and flaky pastry with caramelised sugar with salted cod and red pepper inside did not do it for me.
Nope. I’m sorry.
Salted cod inside sweet pastry is just not for me, although I will say that everybody else seemed to like it.
Our final savoury dish was a large bowl of pilotes, small meatballs made from minced pork and beef and cooked in a tomato and herb sauce, served with hunks of thick crusty bread. This dish was hearty, meaty, and the kind of thing that warms up your soul from the inside out.
Of course, it helped that Barbara kept coming around to top up our glasses when she saw we were getting low!
When we’d finished mopping up the sauce with our bread, Barbara cleared the plates and brought out some cremadillos dolces, sweet pastries filled with either chocolate cream or apricot jam (not codfish, thank god!), as well as bowls of fresh oranges and almond nuts.
Mesquida Mora – Mallorcan Food and Wine in a 16th Century Windmill | Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed our lunch at Mesquida Mora with Barbara’s favourite wines. Barbara was a charming host, and it’s obvious from the moment you meet her how genuinely passionate she is about her project, which is so lovely to see.
Not only that but it was really fun trying traditional Mallorcan foods that I hadn’t yet come across, and with a setting as beautiful as we had, who could complain?
If you want to enjoy a lunch and wine pairing at Mesquida Mora, you can visit their website here.
Barbara opens specifically for her bookings and every lunch is a private affair (meaning you will have the whole place to yourself), so she asks for a minimum of 8 people and a maximum of 20 per booking.
If you are a smaller group and still want to visit, it’s worth getting in touch anyway to see what Barbara can do – if she happens to have another small group interested then she can host both parties.
So, that’s about it for today but as always, if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and I will get back to you!
Until next time,
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