Enjoying Wine Tasting On Lanzarote In The Canary Islands
We booked a tour for wine tasting on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. On our first visit to Lanzarote, we saw much of this colourful island and got a small sample of local wines. So on this trip we wanted to enjoy more of the volcanic wines produced in Lanzarote. This was the only tour we planned for wine tasting on our cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon with Oceania Cruises.
Our tour took us to three different wineries – La Geria, Bodega Suarez and El Grifo. The first two wine stops were quick and we got small taste tests. Our visit to El Grifo was much longer and we got some great samples of the the very mineral rich volcanic wines produced on Lanzarote.
A Return Visit To Lanzarote
Our bus tour guide was determined to fill every minute of our driving time to the wineries and we learned much about this Canary Island. She reinforced that Lanzarote was largely dependant on tourism. And the pandemic was very hard on the island. So they were vary happy to see tourists arrive at the large airport or by cruise ship.
When David and I heard there were over 300 days of sunshine and almost no rain, we knew this was a spot for us. On the day we visited the sky was blue. But we did get a taste of the almost constant winds that course over the island.
Lanzarote was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993. Our guide talked about the environment of the island as we were directed to look out the windows.
Although the island had more than 110 volcanos, none were active. So we could enjoy the sights without fear of eruptions on this Canary Island. On our last visit, we explored the Timanfaya volcano that erupted in the 1730’s. So much of the island still bore the remains of the lava flows.
We enjoyed views of the traditional white houses in Lanzarote. The famous artist César Manrique was largely responsible for driving a set of architectural principles that created the very characteristic look of low white houses. He lobbied for development of “sympathetic tourism” that created this very simple aesthetic.
When we hit one of the major roundabouts, the bus went around for a full circle. We saw the fun wind chime that dominated the centre of the road. At another point we saw camel sculptures that drew visitors for camel rides.
On a tour for wine tasting on Lanzarote we saw much on the island while in transit.
A First Stop At La Geria Winery
It was evident when we entered the wine growing region. On our first visit to Lanzarote we learned about the wine growing practice of placing the grape vine in the centre of a lava rock protected area. The roots grew down through the layer of black ash on the surface to the soil below. And the rock border protected the plants from the constant winds.
Three large tour buses pulled up as we arrived at La Geria. We were rushed in for a very small wine tasting of the traditional Malvasia wine. This was much drier than either of us liked. And the red wine was not to our taste either.
After the wine tasting, we wandered around the property at La Geria and got a closer look at the vineyard. On the horizon we saw the multiple colours of the volcanic hills. On a quick look at the production facility we saw the array of stainless steel tanks used for fermentation.
Our first stop wine tasting on Lanzarote had us wanting more.
Wine Tasting On Lanzarote At Bodega Suarez
We re-boarded the bus and moved just down the road to the Bodega Suarez. While the island could not sustain sheep because of the dry climate, goats were found on the island. So we got a sample of goat cheese that went quite well with the sweeter wine.
We settled first into the tasting room for a small sample of the Malvasia white and sweeter “dulce” wines. These wines were certainly priced for easy sale!
After the wine tasting we wandered around the property. The white buildings had a very traditional design.
The first two stops wine tasting on Lanzarote were quick ones with small samples.
A Long Stop At El Grifo Winery
The El Grifo Winery was the largest on the island and accounted for about 80% of the wine produced. When we pulled up the Griffen logo was evident immediately. And it was repeated around the property.
We were a bit early for our wine tasting so we enjoyed a short time in the cactus garden. Cactus were quite plentiful and we enjoyed the wide variety we saw. And we even found a few very colourful flowers in bloom.
Our guide then took us for a walk closer to the vineyard. Unlike the traditional circular planting area, the vineyards went up the hill in straight rows.
We were also told that both grapes and other fruits trees were planted deep in the crevices of lava flows. As we walked around the fields we got a close up look at the crevice and plant.
It was interesting to start with a walk around the grounds at El Grifo Winery. But when it was time, we headed indoors for more wine tasting in Lanzarote.
Wine Tasting at El Grifo
We walked in through a large tasting bar to a separate room for our group. For this wine tasting someone from the shop walked us through the tasting and told us more about each wine. We started with the traditional Malvasia white wine. It was a much lighter taste that the ones we had earlier on our tour.
We then sampled a red wine and were pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was. We were told it was a good one to serve chilled in the summer. It did not need food to enhance its flavours.
The last wine we sampled was another sweeter wine. David made sure he did that tasting. Although this time he found it to be a drier taste. On another table there was a bowl of crackers and some local fruit preserves. A tasty addition to this wine tasting stop.
The wine tasting stop at El Grifo felt more like a traditional stop on a wine tour and a great way to experience wine tasting on Lanzarote.
The Wine Museum At El Grifo
The last stop on our stop at El Grifo was the museum. We wandered on our own and looked at a variety of displays. It was interesting to see the different exhibits. But with no commentary we did not really learn much from the museum.
Our guide gathered up our group and we headed back to the bus. We were done wine tasting on Lanzarote for this trip.
A Quick Stop At Casa Museo del Campesino
So much of the island of Lanzarote was influenced by the artist César Manrique. His art was everywhere. The bus pulled in at Casa Museo del Campesino and we saw one of his famous pieces. The 15 metre sculpture of ‘Fecundidad’ or ‘Fertility’ dominated the scenery. We remembered this stop from our first visit to Lanzarote.
The sculpture was constructed in 1968 by Jésus Soto from old water tanks following Manrique’s design. The sculpture sat on top of rocks left by the last volcanic activity. It looked different as we moved about and saw it from different sides.
On our first visit to Casa Museo del Campesino we explored more of the property and had lunch. But this time it was just a quick stop to see the interesting sculptures. It was fun to finish our wine tasting on Lanzarote with a look at the interesting art.
A Fun Day Wine Tasting On Lanzarote In The Canary Islands
Our day wine tasting on Lanzarote took us to three wineries – La Geria, Bodega Suarez and El Grifo. We tried three different versions of both the traditional Malvasia dry white wine and the sweeter wine. At El Grifo we even tasted an interesting red wine.
We love wine tasting when we head out on our own. But when several cruise ships send large buses to the same wineries, things were more rushed and we learned less. We were glad we had a much longer and more in-depth stop at El Grifo.
We enjoyed our day as we wandered around the properties and saw the unique way that wine was grown on Lanzarote. And the winery buildings gave us a close look at the architecture of Lanzarote. From Lazarote we headed for a return visit to Tenerife. We had such variety planned for this visit to the Canary Islands.
Have you been wine tasting on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands? Did you find a new favourite wine?
Copyright Notice: All material on this travel blog site is the sole property of RetiredAndTravelling. This includes blog posts, pages, design and all photos (whether watermarked or not). Any use of materials from this site without express written consent will be considered copyright infringement.