For Eve Weiler Kanne and Kristy Kate Brooks, whose wine expertise hails from Napa and Central Valley, California, Mallorca is home from home. The two Californians have set up a bespoke wine concierge service called 2Birds Wine Tasting on the island and business is flourishing.
Eve’s speciality, as a wine company owner, is sourcing unique and very special Mallorcan wines, while Kristy is a sommelier/entrepreneur, who qualified at the Balearic hostelry school at the university after years of working in the wine sector in the United States. 2Birds takes an innovative approach to wine tasting that extends beyond ‘Can you smell the stone fruit?’.
They explore the impact of nature versus nurture, demystifying how these powers contribute to the cultivation of wine. How does the collaboration between the winemaker’s toolbox and nature’s forces guide the final product? How do winemakers’ choices about harvest timing, types of barrels for aging, and varieties of yeast for fermentation influence a wine? The nature versus nurture dance begins before bud burst and continues until the wine is in the bottle.
And apart from the great variety of wines and vineyards in Mallorca, they both feel a deep connection to the island.
“One has to take into account that the first grapes in California were brought over from Mallorca and Spain by the Mallorcan priest Fray Juniper Serra in the 1700s. These established California’s first vineyards alongside the missions, plus he also brought a lot of flora and fauna. So, when we arrived in Mallorca we both felt very much at home because the environment and climate felt so similar to back in California,” Eve says.
Kristy moved to the island some years ago while Eve has been in Mallorca for three years. After they eventually crossed paths, they decided that instead of competing with each other, they should join forces and set up the exclusive wine concierge service.
“There is so much great wine on the island, but what is also extremely exciting and interesting is that there is a large number of small vineyards producing wine the old school way - traditionally as opposed to using the latest technology and using other products or ingredients to enhance their wines. That makes our job much easier. We provide a wide range of services from home wine tasting to organising private events at vineyards to supplying yachts and villas and providing advice on the best foods to accompany the wines. We have our own English chef Sarah Ayres to help with that.
“For example, we have clients who give us their wine preferences and we will make sure that when they arrive at their villa or on board their yacht, the wine cellars are fully stocked with wines we know they will enjoy and will suit their palate. We also get asked for advice on which wines will go best with certain dishes by people hosting dinner parties or special events.”
Eve, who is a Chief Olfactory Officer, says: “I love that wine is a living, changing thing. You can see, smell and taste its past, present and future in one moment. It’s magic, weaving time into tastes and it just makes life a bit better.”
Kristy, whose passion for wine began while working at a fine dining restaurant with a world class wine collection and who is also a tasting curator and cellar manager, says that she realised that the study of wine is actually a full-bodied blend of history, geology, geography, anthropology, economics, chemistry, psychology, gastronomy, agriculture, climatology, art and more. It should be sipped slowly, daily, and is inevitably a lifetime of learning.
And all this experience is being channelled into their bespoke services.
“What is so interesting in Mallorca is not only the wide variety of wines but also the rich history of wine production on the island. There are still many little vineyards which may produce a couple of thousand bottles of wine every harvest, but the quality is exceptional and new vineyards are continuing to crop up.
“The quality of Mallorcan wine is recognised across the world, with some of the vineyards having won top international awards; the export market is growing. What is also very important is that Mallorcan wines offer great value for money. Some of the great local wines which retail for around 50 euros, for example, would cost the best part of 200 dollars in the States and, to be honest, Mallorcan wines are better. They are made from the original grapes in the traditional fashion, unlike in the States.
“What is also exciting is that there are Mallorcan vineyards which are reviving old wines which have been dead for decades. Ancient varieties of grapes are being recovered and brought back to life, which means we are constantly discovering new wines, smells and tastes all around the island.
“Having seen how the relatively young wine industry has expanded and transformed into a major tourist industry in the States, just like other parts of Europe, we strongly believe that Mallorca could become a world-leading wine destination.
“We know that the industry is always looking for new tourism products and markets. and wine would be perfect. Everyone has done a great job in promoting the island’s gastronomy with its excellent restaurants, so the obvious next step would be to do the same with Mallorca’s wines and vineyards. Everything is in place, there is so much potential, it just needs to be uncorked.”