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Tasting the Real Ibiza with Bodegas Can Rich

Drive off into the San Antonio countryside to get an authentic taste of what the White Isle tastes like.

When people hear Ibiza, elegantly enjoying wine is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Unlike France and Italy, Ibiza isn't renown for a long-standing wine culture and tradition. That being said, this does not mean that Ibiza is without its own wine culture, if anything it just gets lost in all the noise of the island, and I mean that in both the literal and figurative sense.

Head over to the quaint vineyards of San Antonio's Bodegas Can Rich winery and you will be able to get a sample of what exactly the real Ibiza tastes like. The winery offers a guided tour so you can explore the different wines, spirits and food products the White Isle has to offer for yourself. So with empty stomachs, eager taste buds and a penchant for getting a little buzzed on a beautiful Monday morning, that is just what a few of us at the office did.

Two rich decades

Can Rich rooted its first grape vines two decades ago in 1997 over an expansive 17 hectares of land. This sea of neatly aligned green vines is the first sight you are greeted with upon arrival at the site. The actual winery was not built until two years later in 1999, when Can Rich began to implement a unique set of organic farming techniques. These techniques combined tradition with modernity to preserve the integrity of both the ingredients and the conditions in which they were grown. This is at the core of Can Rich's ethos, respecting the land and farming with minimal intervention to ensure that the end product rightfully reflects Ibiza's particular growing conditions. It is why the winery can boast the honors of owning the only ecological wines on the White Isle. Can Rich has grown considerably since then, expanding its product line to include local liqueur, olive oil and salt, but its ecological, locally-sourced mantra stays the same.

Traditional and imported grapes combined

Can Rich utilizes a combination of both traditional and imported grape varieties to produce its various wines. The winery uses Malvasía and Chardonnay for its whites, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo and Monstrell for its reds, and Syrah for its sparkling wines. Along the tour we were shown in detail how the grapes go from being harvested, to pressed, to fermented and ultimately aged down in its cool cellar. The cellar presented one of the most pleasant parts of the tour where the lovely aroma of reds aging in oak barrels pervaded throughout the atmosphere.

Other famous traditions

The tour did not end here however, as afterwards we were shown how Can Rich produces two of its local liqueurs, Hierbas Ibicencas and Cafe Caleta. If you have not heard of hierbas, it is a liqueur that is local and famous to the island. While everyone has their own unique recipe to making the spirit, the basic procedure is the same: take an aniseed-flavored liqueur and infuse it with a mixture of different herbs and let it age for months at a time. Can Rich utilizes their own concoction of 17 different herbs and infuses it with their own sugarcane alcohol base instead of an aniseed base. The end result is a polished dark liqueur with fragrant herbal tones that go down easier than water after a long night out.

The other local liqueur that Can Rich makes is a called Cafe Caleta, a mixture of coffee, cinnamon, lemon, sugar and brandy that originates from the recipes of old fishermen. It is dark, bold and strong as you would expect a coffee-brandy concoction to be. Nonetheless, it is not rough going down and would be really pleasant around the colder seasons.

Spanish Tapas: The perfect accompaniment

The end of the tour has us see us trying both these liqueur in addition to four different wines, along with an assortment of Spanish tapas. The first was a their Ereso White Wine, made from their Malvasía grapes. This wine was soft and silky, and had hints of apricot and peach in there as well and would be well suited to eating with different cheeses.

The second wine was their Bes Rosé, made from their Monastrell grapes. Very bubbly and effervescent, this rosé has hints of licorice and fennel to compliment its floral notes. There's a tinge of saltiness to this drink, but that does not take away from how bright and refreshing it is upon consumption.

We tried their Rosat Brut Nature next, one of their ecological sparkling wines made out of their Syrah grapes. Like the rosé it has a nice amount of fizz and was ebullient, but had some darker and richer notes to it like fig and sage.

The final wine we had the opportunity to taste was the Red Wine Seleccion, which is derived from their Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This red is smooth and has a very full body, with notes of wood oak from the barrels they are aged in. With the addition of some fruity aromas, this wine just tastes like a red from Ibiza should.

Authentic values

At the end of the day, that is all that Can Rich wants to be. An authentic place for you to taste authentic wine and spirits from this wonderful island. They do not do more than they feel they need to do, and they are not trying to be something they are not. Can Rich not only has a deep understanding of its natural surroundings but it also has a deep understanding of the islands viticulture roots. Understanding that the Phoenicians originally brought viticulture to Ibiza, Can Rich pays them homage by utilizing their horsehead ship as their logo.

In an island that is constantly seeing change, it seems like Can Rich will be a stable rock for quite some time. It is well worth time to tour the charming winery in the San Antonio snacks, but if you can not, picking up your own bottle of any of Can Rich's wine will be sufficient enough to have a real taste of Ibiza. Here's to Can Rich, Cheers!


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