Spanish Wines

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Lanzarote this week, a tour of the vineyards had to be on the agenda.Lanzarote is just a short hop over on the ferry to Playa Blanca. A good day out of your holiday.If your idea of a vineyard is rolling green hills and plush vines, re think. Lanzarote consists of angular volcanoes that replace the rolling hills and black picon replaces the expected green patchwork fields.   The picon absorbs moisture from the air, releases it into the ground and prevents evaporation. This method of dry cultivation is unique to Lanzarote.

Viniculture here is labour intensive employing about 1,500 people on the island. As mentioned in my last write up most of the wine, about 75% is white, the “malvasia” grape. However some stunning reds have materialised.
One vineyard visited was “El Grifo” This also houses a museum, which makes for interesting viewing.

One of these new red wines being “Ariana”, my favourite “new find” 70% black listan grape 30% syrah. A superb wine that has just won a gold medal award. (trust me to like it) However I was greatly impressed by the price; 8€ from the vineyard direct.
Their other gold medal was the El Grifo “rose” wine. Also made from the black listan grape. 7€
These wines are only available in the vineyard or selected restaurants at the moment. Although the white El Grifo can be found in our local supermarkets. This will of course carry a price premium.
Being a lover of French wines this selection has come as a pleasant surprise and an enticing price. I enjoy a good French champagne but could quite happily sit with a bottle of their sparkly brut cava at 12€.
If popping over the sea sounds just too daunting I suggest asking the restaurant owners here what they have from El Grifo and enjoy.
Good to support wines produced in the Canary Islands. Even Shakespeare quotes canary wines in many of his plays. “ Oh knight thou lackest a cup of canary, when did I see thee so put down?” (Twelfth night) to mention just one of them. I guess if it was good enough for Shakespeare it is good enough for me.
Cheers Penny

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