Lanzarote does at least two things brilliantly: tourism and wine, and recently the two have been coming together like never before. Wine is now joining sun, sand and sea as one of the reasons to visit this amazing little island.
First published July 1st in the Gazette Life magazine.
The wine industry here has adapted rapidly to new realities. A well-kept secret not so long ago, Lanzarote’s bodegas are rapidly learning the advantages of appealing to tourism, and more and more of them are opening their doors to the public.
Volcanic wines are having a moment in the wine world right now and Lanzarote’s methods of wine cultivation are widely hailed as unique, responsible for one of the most strange and beautiful landscapes in Europe.
It’s also a vibrant, rapidly expanding field – five years ago, just 14 bodegas were included in Lanzarote’s Denomination of Origin; now it’s 21. More and more bodegas are learning that opening their doors to the public makes business sense.
Oliver Horton runs Wine Tours Lanzarote, and regularly takes clients on trips to Lanzarote bodegas. “We like to offer a range,” he told us, “A tour may include a trip to one of the big, established wineries such as El Grifo; a smaller, newer operation, and also perhaps an artisan winemaker. This way, we can show people the living tradition of winemaking on the island.”
Our clients are all types,” says Oliver, “We’ve had everyone from wine masters to people who’ve never tried wine before. Most enjoy wine and are interested in finding out more – we’re not snobbish about it at all.”
One highlight of wine tourism on the island is the annual festival at La Geria on August 15th, which recreates older methods of wine production, with camels carrying the grapes from the fields in wooden panniers, ancient scales weighing the harvest and then a fragrant session of wine-trading in a large stone vat.
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