To find a volcanic vineyard in your luxury travels is a truly rare and fascinating experience. In summer the bright green vines emerge startlingly from the pitch black volcanic soil. It makes an arresting view and the way the vines are grown is intriguing.
Lanzarote’s geographical location is found in the Atlantic around 125km from the coast of Morocco, with its largest concentration of vineyards set in a bowl beneath the Fire Mountains. These were a group of volcanoes that erupted in the 18th century. If the back story of the local folks is to be believed, it is the farmers’ persistence to plant vines which contributes to the extraordinary landscape the place has today. Most of the vines are grown in volcanic pits as deep as three meters (nine feet). The method of digging these pits, each taking between one and three vines, was devised when residents, exiled by extreme volcanic activity for six years from 1730 to 1736, came back and worked their way up to resume farming in the place which wore a dramatically altered landscape by then. The pits guard the place against the northerly trade winds and each one is reinforced with semi-circular protective walls built from the volcanic clinker. The distinctive walls help to stop the volcanic soil sliding down and burying the vines, even so, twice a year, when pruning and after harvest, workers have to drive out extra picón, the vehement volcanic lava, so the vines stay intact and are not buried under. Working the vines was and remains extremely labor intensive – in the past camels were used on the island to transport tools and to bring in the harvest.
La Geria wine route
Most of Lanzarote’s 2,000 hectares (3,000 acres) of vineyards and its 18 wineries are in the La Geria zone, below the Timanfaya National Park. As an island which enjoys the sub-tropical climate, the difference between day and night temperatures is miniscule. There is very low rainfall, but the picón acts as a sponge, retaining the evening humidity. Vintage volumes vary widely according to how much rainfall there is, but yields are very low indeed, averaging 1.5 tons per hectare. As a Wine Travel Destination, the island has some of the best produce of grapes. The five varieties are dominated by a form of Malvasía named Malvasía Volcánica or Malvasía de Lanzarote. Besides these varieties, there are three more chief whites namely Listán Blanco, Diego and Moscatel de Alexandria. The latter vines date back much as 200 years old as the phylloxera pest has never reached the island. The reason is that rosés and reds Listán Negro are the main grapes. The five wineries on the official wine route are easy to reach by car (rental or taxi) from either the capital Arrecife or Puerto del Carmen, the most popular beach resort of the region. We visited three of the most important bodegas, La Geria, El Grifo and Los Bermejos, and also drank very drinkable wines from two others – Rubicón (no relation to the California winery) and Vega de Yuko.
Being part of such wine travel and tour can turn out to be a enthralling as well as a journey which can have your senses unwind. To book your wine travel, contact Luxury travel operators in Gurgaon.
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