20 Mar Discovering Lanzarote: What to do while staying at our villas – La Geria
This week we continue sharing Lanzarote’s treasures with you. This is the sixth in our series on the sights and sounds that await when you come to stay at one of our luxury villas, and today we will move inland and add “tastes” to the sights and sounds—we’re going to the wine region.
Yes, Lanzarote has a wine region. La Geria is Lanzarote’s main grape growing region, comprising about 20 square miles of the south central part of the island. Since our entire island is volcanic, however, these vineyards are unlike any others you have seen. For one thing, the green vines truly stand out in stark contrast to the black lava in which they grow. It’s sort of like growing vines on another planet! Early growers discovered some creative solutions to the problems presented by our hot and arid climate. Vines are planted, in soil, deep within funnel shaped hollows in the coarse volcanic ash, and layers of the ash are put on top of the soil. The ash granules retain overnight dew (as well as rainfall), which then condenses and drips down to water the roots of each vine. Vines are also protected from winds by half-moon shaped low walls of volcanic rocks.
Wines have been produced on Lanzarote for hundreds of years, and this wine growing region is part of our island’s National Heritage Site. The most common grape is the Malvasía grape, one of the oldest known grape varieties, and the traditional wine, made from these grapes for over 500 years, is honey-coloured and very sweet. Shakespeare even wrote about our wine! Nowadays, a much wider variety of white, rosé and red wines, ranging from dry to sweet, are made from Lanzarote’s grapes. When you visit La Geria, you can enjoy strolling through the unusual vineyards and sampling our vintner’s quality handiwork at the bodegas, our local wine shops.
While you are in the area, check out El Grifo Wine Museum, which is housed in the oldest bodega on the island, dating to 1775. The museum was designed by—who else?—our native son César Manrique. While there you will see everything from ancient machinery to gigantic limestone tanks which used to hold the wine as it fermented. The tour concludes with—of course—an opportunity to taste some of our wines, and take a few bottles back with you to your luxury villa.
So when you come to Lanzarote, make sure to sample the atmosphere, history and wines of our lovely, unusual vineyards. Next time we will share another historic area with you. If you contact us now, we will be happy to tell you which wines we like best, and make a reservation for you at one of our luxury villas!