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The island of fantastic wines

The island of fantastic wines
25. March 2023

Lanzarote boasts some of the oldest vines in Europe. There is great diversity in terms of grapes grown on the island. However, the most common and critically acclaimed is the volcanic Malvasia. Traditionally sweet and enjoyed by European aristocracy.

The island of fantastic wines

Lanzarote boasts some of the oldest vines in Europe. There is great diversity in terms of grapes grown on the island. However, the most common and critically acclaimed is the volcanic Malvasia. Traditionally sweet and enjoyed by European aristocracy.

In fact, wine originating from the Canary Islands was incredibly popular in the UK from as far back, as the 13th century.

I love how Shakespeare mentioned and indeed praised ‘malmsey’ or ‘sack’. References crop up in thirty of his literacy works. However, as poet laureate, he enjoyed an annual allowance of 268 gallons from the Crown, free of charge.

The history and cultivation of the grape has changed considerably throughout the ages. In 1730, disaster struck the island. There were several volcanic eruptions covering much of the once golden and fertile soil with a thick layer of lava.

However, the farmers were not dismayed and as time passed, they discovered that the newly formed layer of ash, known as picon, had a huge benefit to the growing of wine in Lanzarote.

The many wineries on the island, offer a fantastic experience. A mixture of wine, art, and traditional cuisine. So, if you haven’t experienced a wine tasting session or a fascinating tour, I would highly recommend it.

Most of the vineyards are located relatively close to each other in an area known as La Geria.

The actual appearance of these vineyards is stunning. This type of farming is an art form. The vine stocks are individually planted in craters dug to around a metre in depth. They are then covered in picon and protected further by the semi-circular zocos.

The only downside to this method of cultivation for wine producers is that everything has to be done by hand and at harvest time, all of the grapes are handpicked. But this undoubtedly, contributes to its fabulous and unmistakeable taste.

If you, like Shakespeare would like to enjoy ‘a cup of canary’ and I have aroused your curiosity.

Why not try some for yourself?

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