Wines: Eivissa VT

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Wines: Eivissa VT

Ibiza VT is a Vino de la Tierra title used since 2003 on the Spanish island of of the same name (called Eivissa in the native Catalan language). The island forms the western-most edge of the Balearic archipelago, approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the Iberian Peninsula.

White, red and rosé wines can all be produced under the Ibiza / Eivissa VT. Macabeo, Parellada, Malvasia, Chardonnay and Moscatel (Muscat) make up the list of white wine grape varieties. The best white wines are Macabeo-dominant, with apple and floral notes and a freshness on the palate. They must contain a minimum of 11 percent alcohol.

Monastrell, Tempranillo (known locally as Ull de Llebre), Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are the only authorized red grape varieties. Monastrell (France's Mourvèdre) produces distinctive examples here, exhibiting ripe strawberry and red-fruit flavors. Red wines from the island seem to show hints of thyme, which was traditionally used to stop vats from blocking up but which now seems to affect the aromas derived from the grapes.

Today Ibiza is perhaps best known for its nightlife, tourist trade and idyllic Mediterranean beaches, but the Balearic Islands to which it belongs have a rich history of winemaking. The Phoenicians are thought to have brought viticulture to the island around the 7th Century BC. During this period it is thought that much of the wine consumed in the region now known as Valencia was produced on Eivissa / Ibiza. The Phoenicians were skilled vinegrowers and winemakers and some historians have credited them with introducing vines to nearby mainland areas as well.