Vivo – Wines

Filed in Farming, Fishing by on December 13, 2018 0 Comments

Lanzarote is the eastern most island of the Canarian archipelago, and is in close proximity to Africa.  Coupled with the cool breeze from the Atlantic Ocean, the arid desert type climate and volcanic soil gives the Lanzarote grapes a unique environment for growth. During the day the temperature rises and at night-time the temperature can plummet. This daily temperature variation is a positive attribute for grape-growing. There is no doubt, in a dessert habitat climate, such as in Lanzarote, coupled with the scorching sun &  Saharan winds and in a land of volcanic nature, that the promotion of the viticulture as a living requires visual acuity, tenacity and originality. This form of cultivation makes the survival of vines in the volcanic soil viable, and has allowed the presence of a native variety, the volcanic malvasia, and the adaptation of the varieties that provide wine in which the balance between volcanic-mineral and acidity is achieved perfectly, and constitutes the differentiating feature of the wine of Lanzarote.

The harvest of grapes is amongst the earliest in Europe.  The month of July is the start of the harvest season of the grape. Malvasia, volcanic wine stands out worldwide with its unique flavour.

The practice of cultivation of the vine at Lanzarote is unique where the soil is covered by a thick layer of LAPILLI (Volcanic ash) to give its wines a rich, dry flavour. At Lanzarote the vineyards concentrate on the production of white wines, of the dry, medium dry, medium sweet, liquors, vintages and sparkling variety. Lanzarote is also famous for its excellent rosé and red wines. Lanzarote wines have won many national and international awards year after year This is the best proof of their great quality.

The process to develop cultivation consists of opening a hole of about 3m in diameter by 2 -2.5m deep until  the roots find fertile land. The planting of vines thus develops roots which are strong and reaches the buried fertile soil. Frequently, the hole is accompanied by a stone structure that acts like a “wind cutter” that protects the plant and together with the hole composes a viticulture landscape of Lanzarote and its maximum expression reaches in La Geria. All of the above structures is cushioned by a layer of volcanic ash (picon or lapilli) in order to retain the humidity from the atmosphere.

This form of cultivation does not allow the use of machinery, so the work is carried out manually, which in addition makes it impossible to employ high planting density. It results in a low  yield output, however of a high quality.

The wines with the designation of origin Lanzarote are characterized by a marked flavour, volcanic-mineral and are perfectly balanced, with relatively high acidity. There is great diversity of varieties with predominance of the white varieties, and within these, the volcanic malvasia is its most important representative.

Malvasia wine reigns supreme in Lanzarote, accounting for 75% of vineyard plantings. It produces a variety of wines, the most famous of which is a lusciously sweet style historically known as ‘Malmsey’, which is rich in texture and almost like a well-aged Madeira. Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez also produce quality sweet wines here. Light, young (joven) white, rosé and red wines are made, from grape varieties such as Burrablanca (Airen), Breval (Verdelho) and Listan Blanco (Palomino) for whites and Listan Negro and Tinta Negra Mole for reds and rosés. Lanzarote’s wines typically exhibit mineral characteristics which gives them a distinctive personality. Lanzarote wine is “Vino Vivo” (Living Wine), slow letting the wines to age in bottles gives the wines a noble heritage.

 

Wines of Lanzarote

 

The resilience of the Lanzarote Vine growers stems from the fact that there is very little rain and  thus even the last / smallest drop of water is conserved to its grapes. Lanzarote wines  and its isolated position also has advantages  in the 1850s, a North American insect, the grape phylloxera, crossed over the Atlantic and annihilated 40% of French grape vines over a 15-year period, endangering every European vineyard. Except those in the Canaries where the likes of Malvasía and Listán Blanco survive right up to this very day.

The wines once bottled are stored in cases often upto ten meters deep is the old soil, to retain the flavour.

The wine cellars of the different manufacturers are all quite close to one another.

Lanzarote has about 18 commercial vineyards with thousands of private growers tending patches of vines across the island too. Lanzarote, wine is on sale not only at Canary Islands and Spain but in many parts of Europe too. many of the wines are available for sale only at very few outlets, and the furthest most of them travel is to neighbouring islands in the Canaries, though Europe is beginning to get a look in. Lanzarote has its own denomination system where in each makers bottle is uniquely classified according to the class and year of produce.

La Geria has the largest concentration of vineyards on the road between San Bartolomé and Playa Blanca,  The vine is grown in the lap of a range of brooding volcanoes. Vines were first planted on Lanzarote in the 18th century after a series of devastating eruptions made it impossible to cultivate much else. You don’t have to like wine to enjoy this extraordinary landscape; the eerie black fields are dressed with small crescents of stone that cradle the green vines.

More interesting is a tour of Lanzarote’s newest vineyard, Stratvs, a modern complex that opened in 2009 with a large winery, two restaurants, and a shop. There, you can take a guided tour and learn from an expert about how the vines are planted, the varieties grown – malvasia and moscatel dominate – and see where the grapes are processed.

Rivalling Tenerife in terms of calibre of wine produced, Lanzarote boasts a proud history of viniculture. You’ll find the majority of wineries in the centre of the island; in La Geria. Here, in our humble opinion and in no particular order, are the best bodegas to visit on Lanzarote.

1.) Bodega Vulcano de Lanzarote

Bodega Vulcano de Lanzarote. Is one of the  youngest wineries on the island in operation only since 2009. Located in the Tías district is amongst the few .where they produe wine throughout the year. The production volume is however low, of 50,000 bottles annually, the focus in on quality over quantity.

This Vine yard produces five different labels:

Vulcano de Lanzarote

Malvasía Volcánica Seco (dry),

Malvasía Volcánica Semidulce (semi-sweet),

Rosado (rosé), Tinto Joven (young red),

and Vulcano Dolce Moscatel (dessert wine).

 

The wineyards own boutique winery open Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Every Friday evenings they serve wine with tapas.

2.) Bodegas El Grifo

Bodegas El Grifo’s is Lanzarote ‘s oldest and Canary islands oldest vine yard.  Established in 1775 is also amongst the 10 oldest in Full of Spain. El Grifo is still amongst the most well known wine of Lanzarote and most widely distributed wine of Lanzarote. Located just 20 minutes from the airport, and just 3 kms from the famous Monumento al Campesino in the direction of Uga on LZ 30. The La Geria complex of El Grifo is spread over 60 hectares, and houses a museum, production facilities and large ware house with a capacity to store over 1.2 Million litres of Wine.

It’s a traditional method of planting that is now losing favour; today regimented lines, as seen around the El Grifo winery, are preferred because they promise to increase the yield threefold.

El Grifo may be harnessing new techniques, but it’s also the Canaries’ first vineyard, founded in 1775, and one of the oldest in Spain. With a nod to its longevity, the winery hosts a museum in its old wine cellar, where you can see some of the tools used for viticulture over the centuries. But it must be said, this is a dull info-lite exhibition that desperately needs updating for a 21st-century audience and is barely worth the €4 (£3.50) entrance fee apart from the tasting at the end.

The El Grifo museum is open from 10:30am to 6:30pm every day (including public holidays). Guided tours take place Monday through to Sunday at 11.00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, and 5:00pm. Included in this is a tour of the museum,  the volcanic vineyard ending with wine tasting. Tours need to be booked in advance for a small entrance fee.

Address :  Lugar El Grifo-Carretera Teguise-Uga, LZ-30, Km.11 . 35.550,   San Bartolomé

Tel: 928 524 036

 

3.) Bodega La Geria

Located in Lanzarote’s main wine growing region La Geria. Bodega La Geria’s one of the most visited wineries in Spain. Bodega La Geria produces vine in the traditional form The pictured stone walls, called los zocos, protect the vines from the area’s wind. Vines are planted in holes excavated in the island’s volcanic rock, which are then refilled with “PICON”  (volcanic ash) to trap the overnight dew. The volcanic ash helps conserve moisture and the underlying soil’s sponginess.

Grapes grown are hand picked  as the rocky and the areas  slope and tricky terrain makes the use of machinery impossible. In olden times no wonder the farmers used camels to transport the produce.

Bodega La Geria’s open to the public Monday to Sunday from 9:30am to 7:00pm. You can reserve a guided tour starting at 1:00pm Monday to Friday by phoning (+34) 928 173 178 or emailing bodega@lageria.com. The winery’s restaurant is open 7 days a week Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30 hours.

Address:  Crta. La Geria, Km. 19. 35570,  Yaiza

Tel: 928 173 178

 

4.) Bodegas La Guigan

Bodegas Guigan is a small family run vinery founded in 1948. The name is taken from the  local volcanic crater.  The Pacheco Quintero brothers continue to run the winery their parents established. The vinery ‘s wine range from the lychee-tasting dry white to the raspberry traditional red wine.

A big plus of a visit to this Vineyard is the Lookout (Mirador) from which you can see the slopes of the volcanic crater (Caldera). Local myth has it that a young 9 year old shepherdess Juana Rafaela saw a lady in black, the mysterious figure on the slopes of the caldera in 1774. The locals build a hermitage dedicated to the virgin, Our Lady of Sorrows, in recognition of her stopping the flow of lava during the last volcanic eruption.

Address:  Avenida Los Volcanes, nº 116 . 35.560,  Tinajo

Tel: 928840715 / 659971555

 

5.) Bodegas Rubicon

Combining tradition with the latest technology, this vineyard dates back three centuries, Bodegas Rubicon offer visitors a free, open-house entry to their Yaiza winery. You can visit to see the barrel, exhibition, and tasting rooms, along with the old family home. Larger groups can get in touch with the bodega in advance to arrange a guided visit.

Sample the internationally-renowned Rubicon wines in the bodega’s cellar. You can also enjoy tapas in the winery’s restaurant, open daily from 10:00am to 11:00pm (except Wednesday when it closes at 8:00pm). A big plus is the great  views the vineyard has over La Geria and the volcanic landscape of the Timanyfaya National Park.

Address: Carretera La Geria,2 Yaiza, Lanzarote

Tel: 928173708

 

6.) Bodegas Vega de Yuco

It is one of the newer Vineries in Lanzarote, Bodegas Vega de Yuco started in 1997. Situated on the grounds of a family finca (farm house) in Masdache. Its hillside location houses a botanical  garden where 60 varieties of flora endemic to the island.

Off the tourist map, tours of this winery are by appointment only. Although, the shop is open to drop-in visitors. The bodega’s (vineyard) a deliberate low-yield operation, with production restricted to not exceeding 200,000 bottles each year to maintain its exclusivity. The vinery makes up in quality What it lacks in numbers.

7.) Bodega Los Bermejos

Opened newly in 2001, however in an typical 18th century Canarian property belonging to one of Lanzarote’s most important family houses.  Bodega Los Bermejos is located slightly north east of El Grifo. This bodega’s opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 7:30 hours to 15:30 hours.

Address: Camino a los Bermejos, No 7 . 35.550,  La Florida San Bartolome

Tel: 928522463 / 627963654

 

8) Bodegas La Florida

Address: C. La Florida,89 San Bartolomé ,Lanzarote

Tel: 928 593001 / 637491747

 

 

9) Bodegas La Grieta

Address: Bodegas La Grieta C/ Aulaga, 14 Punta Mujeres , Haría

Tel: 928 848 110 / 616 908 484

 

 

10) Bodegas Martinon

Address:  Camino del Mentidero, nº 2 . 35.572,  Masdache Tías

Tel: 928834160 / 606325705

 

11) Bodegas Reymar

Address:  Plaza de Los Dolores, No 19 . 35.560,  Mancha Blanca Tinajo Teléfono:928840737 / 649993096

12) Bodegas Stratvs

Carretera La Geria, km 18 Yaiza,

Tel: 928809977

 

13) Bodegas Tierra de Volcanes

Address:  Bodegas Tierra de Volcanes C/ Las Vistas,18 Yaiza,Lanzarote

Tel: 630889454

 

14) Bodegas Vega De Yuco

Address:    Camino del Cabezo, s/n 35.572,  Tías

Tel: 928524316 / 609217011

 

15) Bodega Vulcano

Address: Calle Victor Fernández Gopar, 8, 35572, Tias

Tel: 928524459 / 639204633

 

Wine Route

As you leave the Monumento de Campaseno take a half turn round the roundabout and take the Tinajo direction. At only 200 meters you should make your first stop where you see the sign of Mozaga Winery, one of the oldest and with the largest production of the island. Then take the  road towards the direction of Tinajo again, and after ½ km,  turn left at the Vegueta por el Penon sign. As a curiosity, during the walk, notice the strange patterns that the terrain makes and how, because of extractions of the volcanic gravel used for sanding the farms and for construction, what was La Morra de San Andres eventually disappears.

Let yourself be carried on by the path ahead until you have in front of you La Casa del Indiano, of a yellow-ocher colour, that built leaning against a rock, seems taken from a postcard of Colonial Cuba, where the friendly visitor is welcomed.

Exit and follow the road to La Vegueta. Cross the road and walk across the heart of this small town in which there are still several large houses as a sign of its past splendor and reach the Pago de Yuco. From any point of view in Yuco you can see the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rule, patron of The Vegueta and the Bay of Havana, whose image was brought to Cuba by the Indiano D. Borges martial in thanks to the favours received.

Continue along the asphalt road and when you turn into the first bend to the right you will have before you a path of palms that enters the Finca Fajardo of which its small winery, until recently, only produced wine for the family.

Stretch 3

Exit the highway that leads you to Mancha Blanca and on your right, in a straight line less than a kilometer away you’ll find the Tinache winery.

Bodega Tinache

Stretch 4

Following the same direction, very close to these wineries is the small pago de Mancha Blanca where the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows is, patron saint of the island with the title of Queen of the Volcanoes and Mother of Lanzarote because, according to legend, it was exactly in the place of the religious construction where the lava of the volcano that erupted in 1824 was halted, after the Virgin appeared to the shepherdess Joanna Rafaela and took heed of her pleads to stop the progress of the lava. Each year, in September, they celebrate the festival in her honor. Do not pass it by. Rejoice in its beautiful lantern.

Return to the path and follow the direction of the pretty village of Tinajo, the last point of this first tour that we have proposed. When you arrive, go to the square opposite the church of San Roque, sit on a bench and contemplate with Agustín Espinosa the fine chimneys of its houses from where the Byzantine style of Tinajo, is fundamentally divided into four addends: church, priest, domed houses, chimneys. All the chimneys in Tinajo an identical domed formula. The great Byzantine dome of high mansion of Juan Cabrera looks from his vantage point at countless Tinajo chimneys and imposes on them their brand name.

This ideal space of development is La Geria, a protected landscape that overcomes 5.200 hectares of extension and that is drawn by volcanoes, solitary palms, large houses of the 18th century and grapevines that are harvested in a handcrafted way. It is the principal zone of production of the wines with Lanzarote´s P.D.O

El Grifo is the winery which is the oldest in Canary Islands and also one of the oldest in Spain the most famous. It is family run since 1775.

In these crepuscular areas, the wine runner lives in harmony with his environment. His existence is not understood of the one without the other one.

His work was recognized in 1993 by the UNESCO, which granted to the island the title and environmental protection of the Reserve of the Biosphere for his perfect symbiosis among the men and women, and the nature

Characteristics

You will distinguish them for the sheen in their eyes. Because they have not lost the ability to get excited about. They use the knowledge inherited from parents, grandparents and older generations and combine it with the new technologies of the their era.

The Control Board of the Designation of Origin “LANZAROTE” get that name on December 14, 1993 and the purpose of it is to certify the origin and quality assurance of the wines produced on this island.

For this, a thorough survey was carried out from the harvest to bottling, through rigorous analytical and organoleptic tests.

Thus a favorable rating is certified, in view of the consumer, with a numbered and our distinctive.

Following the adoption of the new statutes, published in the B.O.C. number 33 of February 14, 2008, the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin Wines of Lanzarote becomes a public law corporation with its own legal personality and full capacity to fulfill its public and private purposes intended the management of that designation of origin, its purpose being the representation, defense, security, research and market development and promotion, both wines protected and the level of protection and the provision of services related to these activities.

Control and food security Canary wines in general and Lanzarote in particular is assumed by the Canarian Institute of Agrifood Quality, attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Canary Islands Government public body.

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