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Canary Islands

Canary islands (GB)
Islas Canarias (ES)
Isole Canarie (I)
Îles Canaries (F)
Ilhas Canárias (PO)
Canarische Eilanden (N)

The too Spain counting archipelago Canary Islands (Span. Canarias) with about 7,500 km² is located in the Atlantic off the northwest coast of Africa. This is 1,100 km from mainland Spain, but the easternmost island of Lanzarote is only 100 kilometers from Africa ( Morocco ) away. When the Romans in the antiquity On the island of Fuerteventura, they found numerous packs of wild dogs, so they called the island "Insula Canaria" (dog island). In 1402 a Spanish ship landed on Gran Canaria and found there the indigenous people of the Guanches, this people still lived as in the Stone Age. The Spaniards and port giants brought with them their native grape varieties until the end of this century and established viticulture. At that time sweet, alcoholic wines were popular, which were pressed from the white varieties Moscatel and Malvasia. The wine was called "Canary bag "And in large quantities after England and Northern Europe exports. At the time of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the island wine was already famous, in "What you want" Sir Toby Belch calls for "a cup of canary".

The seven main islands are Fuerteventura, La Gomera, Gran Canaria, El Hierro, Lanzarote, La Palma and Tenerife; Viticulture is practiced at all. These are volcanic islands, the last eruption took place on La Palma in 1971. For this reason prevails volcanic, suitable for viticulture perfectly suitable soil. The subtropical and pleasant throughout the year climate has earned the archipelago the epithet "Islands of Eternal Spring". The flora is characterized by a high biodiversity and a high proportion autochthonous Plant species. The vineyards cover about 9,000 hectares of vineyards. A special feature are the exclusively ungrafted Vines, since the archipelago of the phylloxera largely spared.

The most important red grape variety is Almuñeco ( Listán Negro ) with over 4,500 hectares. Others are Baboso Negro ( Alfrocheiro ) Cabernet Sauvignon, Castellana Negra ( Rufete ), Moscatel Negro ( Listán Prieto ) Negramoll. Pinot Noir. Syrah. Tempranillo, Tintilla ( Trousseau Noir ) and Vijariego Negro ( Sumoll ). The most important white grape variety is Listán Blanco ( Palomino ), others are Albillo Criollo, Baboso Blanco ( Cayetana Blanca ), Burra Blanca ( Airén ), Forastera Blanca ( Chelva ), Gual ( Malvasia Fina ), Malvasia de la Palma ( Malvasia di Lipari ) Malvasía de Lanzarote. Marmajuelo, Moscatel ( Muscat Blanc ) Pedro Ximénez. Verdello and Vijariego, Both the red and the white wines draw a light, but clearly tastable mineral Note off.

Canary Islands - Map

El Hierro

Here the Englishman John Hill planted vines for the first time in 1626. The terraced Vineyards of the same DO area with nearly 300 hectares of vineyards reach up to 700 meters above sea level. It is mainly known for white wines from the variety Vijariego Blanco. These make up around 70% of the production and are also produced from the other Canarian varieties. The red wines are mainly pressed from Listán Negro and Negramoll. The best sweet wines are made from noble rotten grapes.

Gran Canaria

The DO area of the same name covers around 450 hectares of vineyards up to 850 meters above sea level (the former second DO area Monte Lentiscal has been abandoned or integrated). The vineyards are located around the capital Las Palmas and in the northeast of the island. The most famous wine, which also established the DO status, is "Listino Negro" Tinto del Monte.

La Gomera

With 370 km² the second smallest island. The eponymous DO area covers about 100 hectares of vineyards on steeply terraced slopes, which are fortified with stone walls.


In 1730 there was a six-year volcanic eruption that covered the entire island with a lapilli and black ash layer. The entire DO island area covers approximately 2,300 hectares of vineyards in the five municipalities of Haría, San Bartolomé, Teguise, Tinajo and Yaiza. It is divided into the four subzones La Geria in the south, San Bartolomé -Tías in the center, Tinajo in the west and Haría - Ye in the north. There is an extremely dry climate. The vines are planted in artificially created up to three-meter-deep hollows (Hoyos) and bounded by semicircular stone walls of basaltic lava rocks to protect them from the northeast trade winds and dehydration. A specialty fortified, strong alcohol Sweet wines, The best wines are made from vines that are up to one hundred years old. The Bodega "El Grifo", founded in 1775, runs a remarkable wine museum and is famous for its Malvasia wines,

Canary Islands - Lanzarote - Vines in Mulden (Hoyos)

La Palma

This is also called "La Isla Bonita" (the beautiful island). The same-named DO area with over 1,000 hectares of vineyards consists of the three sub-zones Fuencaliente - Las Manchas, Hoyo de Mazo and Norte del Palma. To 80% of white wines from the classic varieties are pressed. From botrytis Berries produced sweet wines are partially gespritet. A specialty is the white wine "Vino de Tea" from Albillo. It is named after a native pine species, from which the 500-liter barrels are made for the expansion.


With almost 2,000 km² the largest of the Canary Islands. There are five DO areas here. The southern DO area Abona covers 2,200 hectares at up to 1,800 meters above sea level. The Tacoronte-Acentejo DO area on the west coast covers 1,800 hectares and is named after the villages of Tacoronte and La Victoria de Acentejo. The climatically hottest DO area Ycoden-Daute-Isora covers the entire green northwest of the island. He is named after the ancient Guanche kingdoms Ycode and Daute, as well as the kingdom of Princess Isora. The steep vineyards at 1,400 meters above sea level cover 1,600 hectares. Garachico became the main export port of the famous Canary Sack. The DO area Valle de Güímar covers 750 hectares and is named after the valley of the same name. The vineyards are located here up to 1,400 meters above sea level. The DO area Valle de la Orotava covers 700 hectares and is named after the city of Orotava on the northwest coast.


Well-known producers in the Canary Islands include Bodega Comarcal Valle de Güimar, Bodegas El Grifo, Bodega El Lomo, Bodega El Níspero, Bodegas Flores, Bodegas Insulares Tenerife, Bodega Llanovid, Bodegas Monje, Bodegas Mozaga, Bodegas Reverón, Bodega Tajinaste, Bodega Tomás Guzmán Mesa Rodríguez, Bodega Viña Chagua, Bodegas Viñátigo, Coop. Cumbres de Abona and Juan Jesús Méndez Siverio.

Map: Bernd Ramm Goruma
Lanzarote vineyards: © Dr. med. Peter Bezold

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