There is a good deal of foreign interest in Mallorca's wine industry, and projects for four new bodegas with foreign backing are currently being carried out or being processed.
Two of these are in Alaro; the others are in Santa Eugenia and Sencelles. Although Alaro isn't covered by the Binissalem Designation of Origin council (Santa Eugenia and Sencelles are), it nevertheless falls within the general Binissalem wine region.
Alaro's mayor, Llorenç Perelló, says that there are two bodegas with foreign investment, one of which is the transformation of the old Vinyes d'Alaro, which was acquired by a Swedish investor. Located on a hillside next to the old road from Alaro to Santa Maria, the vineyards have been expanded with the replanting of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon on the highest terraces. In addition, new facilities are due to be built.
The most advanced of the projects is in Biniali (Sencelles). The Dane Soren Svenningsen is behind the future Binivista bodega, which will operate according to a business model whereby members of a club contribute one thousand euros a year. For this, they can acquire wines and participate in the production process. There will also be cycling events linked to the bodega.
Controversy surrounds the project backed by a Czech investor in Santa Eugenia. The environmentalists GOB have criticised the impact on the landscape of a building that will be more than twelve metres high, when the usual maximum height is four metres. Margalida Ramis, the GOB spokesperson, says that exemption from the normal development parameters has been sought from the ministry of agriculture.
The Balearic Environment Commission has accepted the environmental impact analysis, but Santa Eugenia town hall believes that the project is disproportionate. Mayor Pep Lluís Urraca says that the town hall is not against new bodegas, "but we will not give permission unless the impact is reduced, as it must be in harmony with the rural environment".