Lanzarote's long history of viniculture has resulted in a rich diversity of Bodegas, with over twenty still producing wine on the island. Here we explore some of Lanzarote´s leading producers. Most of which are open to the public and are located on the LZ30 that runs from the Museo del Campesino in Mozaga through the La Geria wine region.
The bodega at El Grifo has an impeccable pedigree, as it is the oldest bodega in the Canary Islands and one of the ten oldest in the whole of Spain, having been founded in 1775. Thanks to the inventiveness of island farmers, vines began to be cultivated in the volcanic lapilli which covered much of Lanzarote after the eruptions of 1730-36, once it had been discovered that the black gravel retains moisture overnight.
The vineyard of some 50 hectares surrounds the El Grifo wine museum, which attracts approximately 45,000 visitors a year.
Their award winning wines are sold as far afield as Germany and the United States and bear the beautiful logo of a griffin, designed by César Manrique.
Situated on the road connecting the village of Masdache with Tias, the Barreto family has over one hundred years experience of producing wine and the bodega is still fronted by Angel Barreto Viera.
The Bodega Barreto was started in 1950, when their harvest yielded a modest 200 litres but over the years the production has increased, with the Liquor de Moscatel and Liquor de Malvasia winning plaudits and prizes in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Their range of wines is offered under the brand name, El Campesino, and also includes a semi-sweet and a dry white Malvasia and a young red. The vast majority of the wines to come from Bodega Barreto are distributed locally and on the other islands in the Canarian archipelago.
Castillo de Guanapay
Named after the volcano where the Castillo de Santa Barbara overlooks Teguise, the Bodega of Castillo de Guanapay is actually located in the pretty hillside village of La Asomada.
Using Malvasia grapes harvested from various parts of the island, the label is well known for producing a Liquor de Moscatel, as well as white, rosé and red Malvasia wines.
The Bodega Rubicon is right in the heart of La Geria and dates back to the middle of the 18th century, although major renovations in 2000 have introduced new technologies into the production of their wines.
The bodegas courtyard is shaded by a large eucalyptus tree (pictured), whilst the building has been carefully restored so that it retains much of its colonial style, with a large wooden balcony running along the upper floor.
Bodega La Geria remains one of the most important vineyards on the island, with an annual production capacity of 300,000 litres. Six wines ranging from dry, semi-sweet and sweet Malvasia are produced under the La Geria label. The bodega is open every day and tours of the facilities can be arranged by prior appointment.
In 2001 the Bodega Los Bermejos underwent a transformation, with the introduction of the latest technologies in wine production and the repackaging of their wines which has met with great success.
In order to produce high quality wines, the bodega carefully monitors the development, health and maturation of its grapes, using single varieties to produce dry, sweet and semi-sweet Malvasia wines, a cask-aged red and a rosé.
The most recent arrival to the La Geria region is the Bodega Stratvs. Opened in 2007, the bodega has implemented the latest technologies to create a range of wines of distinction.
After several years research at leading vineyards round the world, the director Alberto Gonzalez Plasencia brought together the most cutting edge methodologies to combine with the traditional style of cultivation used in Lanzarote.
The results speak for themselves, as several of the wines produced by Stratvs have already won prizes at prestigious wine societies, such as the Open Wine Assembly in Madrid. The bodega is open to the public, with guided tours available of the installations, wine tasting and a restaurant on site. The wines on offer include a dry Malvasia, a fruity red with flavours of mulberry and a sweet Moscatel.