The sounds and smells of the winery have been part of my life ever since I was a child. The grape harvest, the juice-infused air, racking, the barrels, the wines, the ploughed ground and vine pruning are part of that atmosphere of wine that has always dominated the everyday language spoken at home.
It was my father; Miguel Monje, who taught me to love the land, its vines, its wines and its people; just as he learnt from his forefathers, Agustina Monje, Sebastián Monje Ocampos, Miguel Monje García, Isabel Monje, Justo García de León, Miguel Gutiérrez Monje, Jerónimo Monje, José González, Yumar, Ángel Monje, Isabel Monje García, Sebastián González Monje and Ángel Monje. Their winemaker’s passion has been passed down through the generations ever since 1750.
It is now my turn today to uphold the family tradition. I am the fifth generation of Monjes whose vocation lies in the fascinating world of wine. I hope these pages will give you an insight into who we are and what we do; as every single bottle we produce is the living proof of our family’s hard work and the spirit that guides us.
The landscape surrounding the winery is a delight to behold: vineyards, mountains, the sea and the sun. It is a perfect spot to live and nurture our wines. Built by my father back in 1956, the winery was modernised in 1983 but still holds the original oak barrels where the traditional red wine is left to ferment and mature. It is here that we combine age-old practices with modern-day technology.
The winery accommodates our grape harvesting requirements with a capacity of 160,000 litres. Our dedicated ten-person team, works tirelessly to maintain the guiding principles and the loving care that this vocation so deservedly demands.
In the town of El Sauzal, our vineyard stands some 600 meters above sea level in a spot known as La Hollera. The steep, stony yet rich volcanic terrain makes mechanised cultivation unfeasible and because of this, each and every one of our vines is tended to by hand. This region boasts a very special microclimate due to the perfect balance of sunshine and gentle sea breeze, making it the perfect wine making area.
Producing 1,500 vines per hectare with an average age of 50, our vines grow along the ground for eight months before being raised up onto wooden stakes that support them until the grapes are picked. We grow Listán Negro, Listán Blanco and Negramoll, three varieties of grapes that give our wines their original characteristics. We also experiment with a great many other pre-phylloxera varieties bequeathed to us by our forbearers.
The use of volcanic soil and traditional grape varieties is reflected in the unique, fresh taste of our wines. We mostly produce red wines, which possess an original personality making them quite difficult to classify at times. Our wines are all bursting with life and possess an attractive colour with fresh, full and fruity aromas.
Our wines truly reflect the area in which they are produced. All of our wine varieties are part of a limited production of wine that is bottled and individually numbered under the “Denominación de Origen Tacoronte-Acentejo”.
This local supervisory body is responsible for quality control at both the production and bottling stage and endorses the wines through a back label on the bottle that guarantees the origin and quality of the wine within.