Volcanic Wines: Why are they special?
Wines produced in volcanic soils are getting popular around the Globe. Held in San Francisco, the Volcanic Wines International Conference might have something to do with the increasing acceptance of these particular wines. “Peeling Back the Lava Layers” is a special workshop held at the Conference and hosted by the author of “Volcanic Wines…Salt, Grit and Power”, John Szabo. Szabo is sure that the future of Volcanic Wines is promising and based on strong foundations.
Apart from our Canary Islands, we can find volcanic wine production on the Greek Santorini Islands, in Sicily, on the Azores Islands, Madeira, near Mount Vesuvius in Campania and in some places that once had a volcanic activity like the Lake County in California or Somlo in Hungary.
In The Canary Islands, the north of Tenerife is the centre of volcanic wine production, laying at the feet of Mount Teide (the highest point of Spain). The last eruption of Mount Teide was only a century ago, covering the mountain’s slopes with lava and forcing the local vegetation to adapt to make the soils fertile again. The particularities of these soils are the high porosity and strong mineral content. This results in wines with a strong personality and ready to compete with its original taste against traditional international wines. Which are its keys to success?
1. Unique grape varieties.
The isolation of the Islands encourages the development of different plant species as well as the cultivation of singular wine crops from vine-growers with a long family tradition. Inherited from our ancestors, our winery in Tenerife produces native varieties such as the Listán Negro, Negramoll, Bastardo, Vijariego and Tintilla grapes. The taste of these local productions differs widely from the wines we can find in the mainland of Spain or the taste of famous international grapes like cabernet, merlot or chardonnay. Most of the continental grapes suffered from phylloxera, while the Canary Islands plantations remained untouched.
The Listán Negro variety we use in most of our red wines is part of the protected DOP Canary Islands – Canary Wine. Its dark red ruby colour is not only appealing to the eye, its particular flavour makes it unique. The elaboration processes of our wines also have some particularities such as the ageing in oak barrels or the carbonic maceration process we use to produce our Hollera Wine.
2. Demanding Nature
The abrupt landscape with steep slopes has challenged Tenerifes growers to be creative in the disposition of the plantations. Carving wide terraces in high altitudes and protecting the vineyards from the salty sea winds.
Our Vineyards are located in El Sauzal, where you can breathe fresh air from the Atlantic Sea with direct views of the ocean from the mountains. The humidity and the 600 metres in height give our plantations a special character. Combined with the intense sunlight, we get a unique microclimate.
3. A romantic adventure.
Born from dust and ash like a Phoenix, volcanic wines evoke romanticism and mystery without any marketing strategies. To be honest, these wines taste the best with some typical tapas and the incredible views of Mount Teide from our terrace, but you can have a glimmer of it buying it online at our wine store from wherever you are. We assure you, these wines don’t taste like a typical Spanish red wine.