Monthly Archives: June 2015

Wines of Lanzarote

Lanzarote, a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve and one of the seven paradisiac Canary Islands off the coast of Spain, is ever spring-like. One might describe it as the Hawaii of Europe. But, does this weather create an interesting wine? A grapevine needs stress, and this is usually accommodated with cool nights and warm days. In Lanzarote, trade winds cause stress, and in an effort to protect the grapevines, the use of volcanic stones are arranged in a scallop shape as a barrier to the direction of the wind, as pictured above.

La Geria is where you’ll find vineyards that grow some fabulous grapes: Malvasía, Listán Blanca, Diego or Muscatel, the latter a late harvest. This winery creates some interesting DOC Lanzarote wines, including some tasty white wines that pair well with the fish and shellfish of the island. But you may want to try out a red wine — a red tinto once macerated with the branch of the grapevine — to go with some goat meat or black canary pork. This black Liston is not my favorite taste, so I’ll stick with the whites and dessert wine. But I did only visit one winery, and there are 18 in Lanzarote, 13 notable wineries.

I would have never known such beauty existed in a land that emerged so long ago (500 B.C.) if I had not been so tired of the cold raw winter in Paris. Lanzarote offers a sunny escape for Europeans who do not want to travel far. I stayed at the luxurious Arrecife Gran Hotel & Spa, a tall skyscraper next to the beach, and a resort that has nothing to do with the César Manrique design throughout the island that incorporates the lava stones and landscape within interior design, but it was central and convenient.

The coastline is one to absorb, and my sights were set on the peculiar sight of “Calima,” a blanket of fog-like dust of Africa that wades across the sea to filter what would be a perfect view of Morocco. The structures I view as I tour the island are of mountains dusted with lichens that provide food for the island birds. The flora of Lanzarote complements stretches of white, gold- and black-sand beaches from the north and south, all connecting to impressive views of rock formations knifing out from the waves. And then there’s Timanfaya, a national park in the Fire Mountains open for touring since 1972, covered with voluminous volcanic structures and a breathtaking scene where a trail of camels offer humpback rides for the ultimate view of a vista extraordinaire. You can also taste dishes cooked in the heat of the volcano.

Visit Lanzarote. Seriously, it is worth your time.