Those seeking an extraordinary wine tour should head to the vineyards in Lanzarote. The mention of vineyards conjures images of lush greenery, located usually in serene locations, where the tourists can savor the fine quality wine while enjoying the sunsets amidst serenity. This is what you can find in famous winery destinations like Napa, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, and Tuscany. However, with time, people opting for wine tour packages are seeking variety.
Lanzarote, the Spanish vineyard with a twist
Lanzarote is a unique wine-producing region in Spain, but it is not located on the mainland. You have to head to the remote Canary Islands off the western coast of Africa where several prized artisan wines of Spain were created. The landscape is something one hardly expects in a vineyard. The region is known for its volcanic history. The moonlike landscape amazes viewers with its bizarre rock formations, craters, and soil with varying hues. The gently sloping mountains are also alluring. Amidst all the volcanic terrain, there blossom the grapevines.
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The history of Lanzarote
During the 18th century, Lanzarote had lush vegetation and the agriculture industry was robust. A series of volcanic eruptions ravaged the farmland severely in the 1730s. The farming communities were shattered at the development. However, they soon found out that the nutrient-laden volcanic soil was good for growing specific types of crops. The spongy consistency has enhanced water absorption capacity and the volcanic ash serves as an insulating material. They figured out grapes can be grown in the soil.
The soil and climate
The ashy soil is ideal for harvesting grapes. The high slopes of the island make growing grapes easier as well. Besides, the mix of warm wind from the African mainland and the cool breeze of the Atlantic create an atmosphere that is ideal for growing vineyards. The days are warm while the nights are quite cool.
For the majority of tourists visiting Lanzarote, the sight of vineyards growing in vast stretches of dark volcanic soil is nothing short of a visual extravaganza. The landscape is barren otherwise. The vineyards are located in the middle of the island, mostly.
Coping with the hurdles
While growing vineyards at Lanzarote was not very hard, the farmers had to cope with a number of hurdles. The plants have to deal with the winds flowing in from the Atlantic, consistently. The young vines get uprooted often. The local farmers have come up with a solution for this. They dig wide, shallow holes and put young vines inside. The volcanic stones are put around the edges of the holes to ensure the wind can’t harm the vines. However, they still ensure the plants receive the desired amount of sunlight. Each Lanzarote vineyard harvests plants using this method. The unique grape varieties grown here include Malvasia Volcánica, Listán Blanco, and Listán Negro.
The success story
The major wine-growing region in Lanzarote is named La Geria. The wineries set up on the hillsides make their own products. They do not outsource production. The wines produced at Lanzarote are sold in the Canary Islands and mainland Spain. Rarely are they sold in European countries or the U.S. La Geria is spread over 13,000 acres and its position beneath the Timanfaya National Park makes it a must-visit spot for tourists.
Not all the wineries in Lanzarote are ancient. There are a few new contenders too. However, all of these resort to the tried and tested hole-and-wall method for growing vines.
Wine tours in Lanzarote
To add an amount of elegance and interest to the wine tours in Lanzarote, the tourists are given the option of arriving at the vineyards riding on camels! The animals, brought from the Sahara, can maneuver through the soft, sandy soil well. There are a few wineries that use camels to fetch newly harvested grapes to the processing plants too.