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Home > Mallorca Lifestyle > Visits and wines in Lanzarote

Visits and wines in Lanzarote

Part 2


I am very thankful to Fátima from Bodegas Loher in Tenerife for putting me in contact with the two wineries we visited.  Her enthusiasm for wine and her passion for Canarian wine, in particular, is an inspiration.  Without her, we probably would have visited other wineries, but we would not have had the same level of personal experience.

Having arrived on the island and settled in, we drove to the Tisalaya winery in a rusty 4×4 that was lent to us for the weekend.  This car proved to be a bit of a godsend, despite my physical battles with it (dodgy brakes and a very tricky fifth gear).  Once there, in the small hamlet of Tajaste, we met Miguel Morales.  His winery doesn’t have any superstar architect design, far from it. It is an old converted garage with a wooden beam coming out of one of the walls.  When we met Miguel he was hands-on cleaning and preparing for the harvest.  After a lengthy introduction to his project and a long chat about his winemaking methods and techniques, we knew we were in front of no ordinary man.  He made his winepress, and the large wooden beam we had noticed earlier was part of it.


His family owns the vineyards he now manages, and for some reason in Tinajo, the region where his vineyards are located, the most planted grape is Diego (or Vijariego as it is known in the rest of the Canaries).  As far as the grape varieties were concerned, he had little influence.  Upon checking certain records, Miguel and his family discovered that the vines were at least 100 years old.  We tried some of his wines, which are as rare as a unicorn, as some years his production can be less than 1000 bottles.  The Tisalaya white is a glyceric but fresh and acidic wine designed by him to last some time.  We tried his last bottle of the 2020 vintage.  Miguel reckons the wine will be even better by 2023.  He also gave us a taste of his red wine Las Veguetas and a few other wines from other islands in the Canary Islands. Then we all headed out to visit his vineyards about 5km away.

Although we are only about 100km from the Sahara Desert, the Alisios winds were blowing strong and we felt cold walking around the grape vines and ‘hoyos’, even though it was late August.  Miguel invited me to get close to one of the vines to check the grapes and the leaves.  Once inside the ‘hoyo’, he asked me to duck and the sheltering effect was amazing.  The wind disappeared and it was at least 4 or 5 degrees warmer near the vine.  After further inspection of the vines, you could tell this summer had taken its toll.  Some of the grapes and leaves were damaged or simply burnt due to the extreme temperatures and the lack of water.

Diego is a white grape.  The grape bunches are very big, and when we saw them they were ripe enough to taste.  I always find tasting wine grapes fascinating.  Somehow everything makes sense when you taste a certain grape variety.  Diego grapes are meaty, dense, and a bit blunt, but also refreshing, just like the wine.

Walking around we could fully appreciate how strong the winds can be in Lanzarote and how the locals have learned to use what little they have in their favour.

The second winery visit was quite unexpected.  I had not planned to meet up with Dani Ramírez from Titerok Akaet as he and his family had gone to Gran Canaria for a short holiday.  However, Dani works on many projects, and there was an emergency related to one of them, so he made a flash visit to Lanzarote and managed to accommodate me too.


We met in La Geria, the most renowned wine region in Lanzarote.  All of the historical wineries are based here, including El Grifo, which was established in 1775 and they have been making wine since then.  Dani and his team manage a small plot in La Geria.  Here, the ‘hoyos’ are deep and the terrain slopes up from the road to a rounded top volcano.  Most of the grapes here are Malvasía, but there are some others like Listán Blanco, Listán Negro, and Diego.  Dani told me that they found this vineyard completely abandoned. They could hardly see the green shoots of the vines as the action of the wind had buried most of them.  Every vine had to be dug out by hand and this job took them about a day’s work per vine.  I can understand how he feels when he told me that a lot of these labour-intensive vineyards are being abandoned for new easier-to-manage vineyards with irrigation systems.  Traditions and quality grapes are becoming lost in favour of more productive vineyards, which is a great pity!

We drove away from La Geria to a nearby vineyard in the Masdache region, where Dani and Marta look after a very impressive ‘chaboco’.  Seeing the cracks in its walls and the depth of it reminded me how much of a volcanic landscape we were walking on.  The second vineyard had a combination of trenches and ‘hoyos’.  The ‘hoyos’ were not as deep or wide as before, so there were more vines here.  The vines here are a mix of varieties, but Dani has no record of their age.

On the last vineyard of the day, we moved on to the Guatisea volcano.  On a slope next to the bottom of this volcano, we looked down at a small plot of 100% Malvasía.  With these grapes, Dani produces a single plot wine called Finca Guatisea.  Every year just enough is made to fill up one amphora, meaning approximately 400 bottles.  If I think about how much work goes into managing a vineyard that only produces 400 bottles, I am sure that we do not pay enough.



Dani seems like a very busy man as he has a few different jobs, a family, and his micro-winery to look after.  He gave me a few bottles of their wine to taste as he didn’t have time to taste them with me.  That same evening we opened their YE-YÉ wine, which is a lovely light red made with Listán Negro that comes from a vineyard in the north of the island, near a town called Ye.  It is fruity and light-bodied, and we enjoyed it slightly chilled, with a meat and cheese platter, and shared with good friends. It was the perfect moment to enjoy this wine, while we were still on this enchanting island.  The other bottle of wine made its way to Mallorca, and I’m pretty sure it won’t last…

If Lanzarote has been on your radar as a holiday destination, and you are a wine lover, I urge you to go there and take some time to explore some of the vineyards and dip into discovering their wines.  The only way we will make sure these vines survive is by drinking these unique Lanzarote wines!!


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