25 Jul MALVASIA, LANZAROTE’S TRENDIEST WINE
Lanzarote has great things to offer and they all make it exceptional and unique. As an unusual volcanic island, Lanzarote has been able to go beyond any boundaries thanks to the vision of artist César Manrique, who turned it into a genuine gem. However, Lanzarote is not only about dreamlike landscapes, beaches and art, it also has an important local gastronomy. The denomination of origin (DO) wine from Lanzarote «Malvasia», is renowned all over the world thanks to its flavour and features. This wine, in vogue among the greatest Spanish chefs, has many followers, such as the internationally renowned chef Rafa Morales, 2 Michelin stars, who worked many years with Ferrá Adrià, and who has said the following about the wine: “The grape’s exclusiveness of the wines from Lanzarote means they’re up to standard to compete all over the world, because it is produced only there, and that’s where its success lies.”
He is not the only one who praises Malvasía’s wine, the Roca brothers, recently visited the Canary Islands to meet farmers and wine producers first hand, as well as to see how their work gets to the final product. Their well-known 3-Michelin-star restaurant’s menu in Girona, includes around twenty references to wines from the Canary Islands.
But what makes this wine so remarkable? To begin with, its grapes, rosé malvasía and volcanic malvasía, grown on the volcanic crops of Lanzarote and resulting in unusual hints on the grapes, which provide the wine with a volcanic-mineral flavour in contrast with the sharpness of the grapes.
The vines used to be grown traditionally, since the type of ground made it impossible for it to be done any other way, although now machines are being used to collect the crops. The traditional way generally used in vineyards has now been discarded, and now holes called «zocos» are used, on the picón (volcanic ash) protecting the holes with walls to keep the grapes sheltered from the sun and wind. The volcanic ground retains the ground’s humidity, which allows the crops to be kept in ideal conditions.
These vineyards seem strange for those who visit them for the first time, because they look pretty surreal. Some areas, like La Geria, almost the largest in the North of Lanzarote, are even protected by The Government of the Canary Islands. That area is where the main wineries are located, such as La Bodega el Grifo, well-known for being the oldest winery in the Canary Islands, opened in 1775. Tinajo and Haría are areas that are also nearby.
«Malvasía» has an annual production that mostly includes dry white wines, semi sweet wines, sweet and even sparkling wine, although lately these last few have had an increasing number of followers and the production has grown accordingly. The same has happened to rosé and red wines.