So on my recent trip to Lanzarote, I was keen to go to one of vineyards on the 2,000 hectares of land cultivated for wine growing. However, it transpired that my hotel was around 20 kilometres from the nearest vineyard and my brother kind of put me off going.
An example of a Vineyard in Lanzarote
However, I was delighted when we managed to book a tour to the Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote that included a trip to one of the vineyards. It meant I got to visit a vineyard without too much hassle or making a specific journey.
On the tour, I learned that the wine grows, thanks to the unique way they cultivate their vines. Each plant is grown in a hole that is about a meter deep and wide and surrounded by a small protective wall called a Zocos. The pit protects the plant from the constant winds that blow across the island and helps create humidity around the plant, meaning it receives enough water to grow.
Barrels outside the Bodega Barreto in Lanzarote
The tour took us to the Bodega Barreto and we were told we would be trying two types of wine. Apparently this family run business has been producing wine for over 100 years and several of their wines have won prizes. Most of their wines are produced from the Malvasia grape, which I had never tried before and which grows very well on the island.
The Malvasia at Bodega Barreto, Lanzarote
We tasted the Masdache Malvasia Seco and the Masdache Moscatel. There was also a Masdache Tinto and another couple of wines that we were not permitted to taste. The Malvasia Seco was not that dry and had quite a strong taste of vinegar, whilst the Moscatel had a nice taste, but was slightly grainy. Needless to say, I didn't buy any and I didn't see anyone make a purchase, even though they were quite reasonably priced.
I feel a bit guilty about this review, as probably, if I had gone to the winery directly as an individual, I would have got a different experience. But on this particular tour, it really wasn't great.
Enjoying a glass of El Grifo wine in Teguise, Lanzarote
When I asked the waiter what it was, I was expecting it to be Italian. However, it was a local wine called El Grifo and it was the Colleccion Malvasia variety, which the waiter assured us was the best. It had an almost green, pale colour and a very dry, floral taste. Absolutely delicious!
So, if I went to Lanzarote again, I would definitely visit a vineyard. However, I wouldn't do it as part of a tour (you don't get enough wine!) and I would pay a visit to the El Grifo winery.