Canary islands

Canary Islands

Vulcanism. This is the key term when we face a bottle of wine from one of the Canary Islands. Of course, the word carries with it a touch of informality to refer to wines marked, eminently, by the characteristics of the volcanic soils, but I think it describes, in general terms and very graphically, one of the main features of Canary Island wines.

Canary Island wines, in general, are mineral wines, with volcanic notes, due to the geological influence, but they are also fresh and with good acidity, largely due to the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, the trade winds and the uniform temperature they enjoy throughout the year. These singularities give them a marked personality.

Other great characteristics of Canary Island wines are the system of vine training using braided cordon and, of course, the existence of a large number of native varieties, such as listán blanco, marmajuelo, albillo criollo, malvasía or torrontés, among others, in whites, and listán negro, baboso negro, vijariego, castellana negra or negramoll in reds. There are many other varieties, so I have only mentioned those most frequently used in winemaking. An important number that can result in excellent wines that, in the end, the consumer is the lucky one.

Although the wines of Tenerife or Lanzarote are the iconic reference point, there are vineyards on all the islands, including Fuerteventura. However, let us remember that the quality of the wine is not determined by the place where it is made, but by the application of the terroir philosophy. And in the Canary Islands, despite the tradition and uniqueness of the islands, there is still a long way to go to make the most of the quality that their volcanic orography has to offer. Nevertheless, there are more and more young winemakers who are doing an excellent job, such as Borja Pérez and Suertes del Marqués, in Tenerife; Puro Rofe in Lanzarote; Matías y Torres, in La Palma; Bimbache, in El Hierro; and so on. The wines of these producers are a faithful reflection of the landscape of the islands I try to visit once a year. Such is my passion for them.

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