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I do love vineyard. There’s nothing fairly like gazing out at a winery on a sunny day, with a glass of wine in hand. On my journey to Lanzarote, I used to be stunned to find that the island really has its personal wine rising area referred to as La Geria, which is residence to numerous artisan wineries and bodegas simply ready to be found.
The mix of the excessive slopes, ashy soil, heat days and funky nights creates the best local weather for rising grapes. It’s odd to see grapevines rising in opposition to the black, ashy panorama, however it undoubtedly makes for some attention-grabbing images.
Whereas driving across the island, I made a decision to pay a cease at Bodegas El Grifo, which is the oldest vineyard within the Canary Islands and the fifth oldest in Spain. Courting again to 1775, the winery has been producing malvasia wines uninterrupted for over 250 years, and produces roughly half one million bottles of wine yearly.
On this quick information I’ll let you know a bit extra concerning the historical past of Bodegas el Grifo and what to anticipate out of your go to.
An Introduction to Lanzarote Wines
Between 1730 and 1736 a collection of volcanic eruptions left the fertile area of La Geria coated with lava and ash. At first this was devastating for the farmers, however they quickly realized that the soil was good for rising several types of crops. The ash supplied loads of vitamins and retained moisture, whereas additionally stored the soil temperature constant.
A short while after the eruptions, wine manufacturing in Lanzarote started to take off, and the primary vines have been planted. Generally holes needed to be drilled into the lava rock so as to have the ability to attain the soil and domesticate the grapevines.
The hearth, wind and rock create excessive circumstances that give Lanzarote wines their marked character. Lanzarote’s winemakers did have one difficulty to cope with although – the fixed tradewinds coming in off the Atlantic. To cease the vines from being blown over, extensive, shallow holes are dug into the soil and the vines are positioned inside. Giant volcanic stones are then positioned across the edge that faces the wind, making a protecting wall.
Lanzarote has numerous small bodegas that produce and bottle their very own wines. The amount produced is small, which is why you don’t see them everywhere in the world. These artisan wines are often offered on the bodegas themselves and at institutions all through the Canary Islands. Generally you may also discover them in mainland Spain, Europe and the US.
Find out how to Get to Bodegas El Grifo
To get to Bodegas El Grifo you’ll must lease a automobile, or you’ll be able to e-book a wine tour that features a go to to this explicit vineyard. El Grifo is situated on the LZ-30 street; entry to the vineyard is thru the Monument to the Griffin Chicken made by César Manrique. The perfect automobile rental firm on Lanzarote is AutoRisen.
Historical past of Bodegas El Grifo
Right here’s a fast historical past of Bodegas El Grifo:
1775-1817 – Antonio de Torres Ribera inherited among the fields of El Grifo from his dad and mom. After the volcanic eruptions of 1730, he organized the planting of the primary grapevines. He additionally constructed the coated wine press, the primitive bodega and home. When Antonio de Torres died, El Grifo was handed on to his nephew, underneath the situation that he erect a chaplaincy of mass prayer in El Grifo. Gabriella de Torres, a niece of Antonio who lived in Cuba, filed a authorized dispute in opposition to Bartolomé. She laid declare to the land, alleging that he hadn’t fulfilled the necessities of his uncle’s will and testomony.
1817-1833 – Fearing the end result of the authorized declare, Bartolomé de Torres offered the property surreptitiously to the De Castro household, between the years 1817 and 1824. The plantation was acquired by Ginés De Castro Estevez, who was twice mayor of Arrecife.
1820-1880 – The de Castro household owned El Grifo for roughly 60 years and three generations. It was handed on to Ginés’ sisters, after which to their inheritors.
1880 onwards – Manuel García Durán started buying components of the El Grifo from the de Castro household inheritors over a interval of ten years between 1870 and 1880. The present household has owned El Grifo for over 5 generations. They constructed the present bodega subsequent to the older buildings, which have been changed into a museum.
Wine Tasting at Bodegas El Grifo
The vines at El Grifo are ripened on the mountainside within the protected space of La Geria and are manually handpicked, one-by-one. The vineyard produces a combination of whites, reds and candy wines, which can be found for tasting.
A lot of the wines price round €4 or €4.50 per glass, though there are some which can be costlier. El Grifo additionally provides three completely different wine tasting experiences, referred to as “Malvasia Expertise”, “Black Grape Expertise” and “Candy Expertise”.
The wine flights price between €10 and €14. On the menu you’ll additionally discover a collection of snacks, together with Iberian ham and Canarian cheeses. You possibly can view the total menu right here.
El Grifo additionally has a present store the place you should buy bottles and unique merchandise to take residence.
Bodegas El Grifo Tickets & Excursions
Bodegas El Grifo provides a number of several types of tickets and excursions. I opted to do “El Grifo your manner”, which incorporates an audio information so that you could uncover El Grifo at your personal tempo.
“El Grifo Your Means” Audio Tour – €7 per grownup, 45 minutes
This self-guide audio tour takes you on a tour of El Grifo’s museum and vineyards. As you stroll by means of the museum you’ll see among the authentic tanks and gear, in addition to a duplicate workshop, the place the unique instruments and previous wood barrels have been made.
The tour additionally contains entrance to the vineyard’s wine-bar the place you’ll be able to style a collection of wines and native merchandise. Wine tastings aren’t included in your ticket, so that you’ll should pay for these individually.
“El Grifo Most Modern” – €15 per grownup, €5 euro per baby, 60 minutes
“El Grifo’s Most Modern” is a guided tour of the present vineyard and its cutting-edge applied sciences. You’ll see how the Malvasía wines, Muscatel wines and glowing wines are made, earlier than taking a stroll by means of El Grifo’s centuries-old vineyards. After the tour, you’ll be capable of entry the wine museum and style three wines from the menu. The three wines are included within the ticket worth.
“El Grifo Travels Via Time” – €20 per grownup, €5 per baby, 60 minutes
This guided tour focuses on the historical past of the vineyard, taking guests to see the founding home of the household vineyard. You’ll additionally go to the library and archive, which homes a collection of oenology books and preserves greater than 5,000 volumes on the historical past of Lanzarote and the Canary Islands. Your ticket additionally contains entry to the vineyards, the museum and the tasting room.
El Grifo wine lovers – €35 per grownup, 120 minutes
That is essentially the most in-depth wine tasting expertise at Bodegas El Grifo. It contains guided visits to the library and the vineyards, in addition to an expert-led wine tasting expertise. You’ll have the chance to style 5 very particular and distinctive wines chosen by the vineyard, mixed with domestically produced cheese boards and appetizers. One of many wines accessible is the award-winning Malvasía Canari, which is aged greater than 65 years.
Bodegas El Grifo Opening Hours
Museum and Wine-Bar opening hours are : Monday to Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to five:30 p.m.
Retailer opening hours are Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to six:00 p.m.
A Last Phrase…
The surroundings in Lanzarote is like no different place on Earth, with moonlike landscapes, black sand seashores. It’s definitely attention-grabbing to see the intense inexperienced grapevines rising out of the darkish, ashy soil. In case you have the time, undoubtedly embrace a go to to Bodegas El Grifo in your itinerary, or presumably e-book a wine tour to have somebody present you across the area. For extra inspiration on issues to do on the island, try my 4-day Lanzarote itinerary.