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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 (Spanish Canarias) with about 7,500 km² is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. That is 1,100 km from mainland Spain, but the easternmost island of Lanzarote is only 100 km from Africa ( Morocco ) away. When the Romans in the antiquity When they landed on the island of Fuerteventura, they found numerous packs of wild dogs, which is why they called the island "Insula Canaria" (dog island). In 1402 a Spanish ship landed on Gran Canaria and found the indigenous people of the Guanches there, this people lived as in the Stone Age. The Spaniards and Portgiesen brought their native grape varieties with them until the end of this century and founded winegrowing. At that time, sweet, alcohol-heavy wines were popular, which were made from the white varieties Moscatel and Malvasia. The wine was called "Canary- bag “Inscribed and in large quantities England and exported to Northern Europe. At the time of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) the island wine was already famous, in "What you want" Sir Toby Belch asked 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 on all of them. These are volcanic islands, the last eruption occurred on La Palma in 1971. For this reason, there is volcanic soil that is ideally suited for viticulture. The subtropical and pleasant all year round climate has earned the archipelago the nickname "Islands of Eternal Spring". The flora is characterized by a high biodiversity and a high proportion autochthonous Plant species. The vineyards cover around 9,000 hectares of vineyards. They are a special feature ungrafted Vines since the archipelago of the phylloxera largely spared.

The main red wine 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 main white wine is Listán Blanco ( Palomino ), more are Albillo Criollo, Baboso Blanco ( Cayetana Blanca ), Burra Blanca ( Airén ), Forastera Blanca ( Chelva ), Gual ( Malvasia Fina ), Malvasia de la Palma ( Malvasia di Lipari ) Malvasia de Lanzarote. Marmajuelo, Moscatel ( Muscat Blanc ) Pedro Ximénez. Verdello and Vijariego, Both the red and the white wines are light but clearly palatable mineral Note off.

Canary Islands - map

El Hierro

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

Gran Canaria

The DO area of the same name encompasses around 450 hectares of vineyards up to 850 meters above sea level (the former second DO area, Monte Lentiscal, was abandoned or integrated). The vineyards are located around the capital Las Palmas and in the northeast of the island. The best known wine, which also established the DO status, is "Tinto del Monte" (mountain wine) from the Listán Negro variety.

La Gomera

With 370 km² the second smallest island. The DO area of the same name comprises around 100 hectares of vineyards on steeply terraced slopes that are fortified with stone walls.


In 1730 there was a six-year volcanic eruption that covered the entire island with a layer of lapilli (pebbles) and black ash. The entire DO area encompasses around 2,300 hectares of vines 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. The climate is extremely dry. The vines are planted in man-made hollows (hoyos) up to three meters deep and bordered with semicircular stone walls made of basaltic lava rocks to protect them from the north-east trade wind and drying out. Are a specialty fortified, strong alcohol Sweet wines, The best wines are made from vines that are up to 100 years old. The "El Grifo" bodega, founded in 1775, operates a wine museum that is well worth seeing and is famous for Malvasia wines,

Canary Islands - Lanzarote - Vines in hollows (Hoyos)

La Palma

This is also known as "La Isla Bonita" (the beautiful island). The DO area of the same name with over 1,000 hectares of vineyards consists of the three subzones Fuencaliente-Las Manchas, Hoyo de Mazo and Norte del Palma. 80% of white wines from the classic varieties are pressed. From botrytis Sweet wines produced from berries are partly sprinkled. A specialty is the white wine "Vino de Tea" from Albillo. It is named after a local type of pine from which the 500 liter barrels are made for expansion.


With almost 2,000 km² the largest of the Canary Islands. There are five DO areas here. The southern Abona area comprises 2,200 hectares at an altitude of up to 1,800 meters. The DO area Tacoronte-Acentejo on the west coast covers 1,800 hectares and is named after the towns of Tacoronte and La Victoria de Acentejo. The climatically hottest DO area Ycoden-Daute-Isora covers the entire green northwest of the island. It is named after the ancient Guanche kingdoms of 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 developed into 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 up to 1,400 meters above sea level. The DO area of 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. Peter Bezold

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