An island of unique vineyards
Lanzarote has an area of 862 km2 and is the northernmost of the Canary Islands. The highest point is at 671 m above sea level, the average temperature in winter is 18 degrees Celsius and in summer 23 degrees Celsius. These are the basic attributes that make Lanzarote not only a popular tourist destination, but also predestine the island to grow vines.
There are 2,000 hectares of vineyards in Lanzarote and local winemakers produce wines that win international competitions. The local climate means that the harvest of grapes starts here first compared to European wine regions. The first grapes usually go to the winery in early July. It is not an easy job, machine collection is not possible due to the nature of the vineyards and their location. Typical varieties of the Canary Islands thrive on volcanic soil. Undoubtedly the most famous is Malvásia, from which dry, semi-dry and sweet wines are prepared. Of the other varieties, Listán Blanc, Listán Negro, Moscatel, Diego and Negra Mulata are most often represented.
Between 1730 and 1736, massive volcanic eruptions took place on Lanzarote, which determined the further life of the locals. The basis for growing vines is therefore lava mass. This has the great advantage that it binds moisture from the air at night.
The vine growing system is completely different from ours. There are no supports and plant guides, the vines are literally crawling on the ground and the grapes are in direct contact with the volcanic soil.
Another typical phenomenon here is the constant wind, which brings moisture from the Atlantic. In order to protect the vines against strong winds, they are often planted in depressions and another protective element is stone ties of various shapes. All this creates a characteristic appearance of the local wine landscape.
The wineries are set in a volcanic landscape, full of volcanic cones, to which vineyards with protective tents stretch.
The Bodega Antonio Suarez winery is located in the main wine region in the La Gería Valley. Typically, the white color of the façade contrasts sharply with the black volcanic soil, and the exhibited demijohns and wooden barrels invite you to visit and taste.
Although red wines in particular are produced in a traditional way by maturing in wooden barrels, winemakers also have modern technology at their disposal and today use common stainless steel tanks.
The vineyards take advantage of the surrounding landscape. The vines thus often hide in natural lava fissures, in which a certain method of plant management is subsequently used.
Movement through the local vineyards, descent into lava cracks and direct contact with the vines in an attractive volcanic environment will enhance the experience of tasting local wines.
At the foot of the volcano
From the city of Uga, it first leads along the LZ-30 road, later it turns right up the marked GR-131 road. Along it are typical vineyards with vines planted in a depression in the lava terrain with semicircular protective tines.
From the marked path leads a turnoff, a narrow path that ends with a relatively steep climb to the lookout point, the volcanic cone of Montaña de Guardilama, 603 m above sea level
From the top is a circular view of the southern part of the island of Lanzarote. At the same time, we can see from here how the local wine houses are set in the landscape of volcanic vineyards.
Still life with bottles
Wine and viticulture come in various forms.
The main wine region in Lanzarote is the La Gería valley. Right next to the road you can find several wine houses where you can taste local wines.
Unlike modern show rooms, which are gradually being developed in European wine regions, including Moravia and Bohemia, the local interior is full of classic wooden barrels and other objects.
This winery and museum is the oldest winery in the Canary Islands and also the tenth oldest winery in all of Spain. The entrance is decorated with a logo designed by César Manrique, a famous Lanzarote artist and architect. It is called the „Griffin“ bird, a legendary creature with the body, tail and hind legs of a lion, the head and wings of an eagle.
A very interesting exposition is installed in the historic building from the 18th century, which all lovers of good wine should definitely see. There are a large number of old machines and tools that were used in the past to make delicious grape juice.
This winery is not a small company and has recently been gaining more and more awards for its wines on an international scale. In addition to traditional local varieties, coupages are also created here with great success by mixing with world varieties, such as Syrah.
In the generous premises of the winery, you can walk through an old country house with interesting interiors, taste and buy wine, or walk through the vineyards immediately adjacent to the wine house. The Canary Islands are well known for their wines, which have found their way around the world. However, the vineyards on Lanzarote are different from those on the other islands. And the local wines are definitely worth the attention of all lovers of this delicious drink.
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