Canary Island wines are of excellent quality. To ensure maximum quality protection, Denomination of Origin Boards have been set up. A denomination of origin label guarantees the origin and quality of a wine.
On Tenerife grape vines was planted in ancient times. People began to make wine early on and as centuries passed by, vintners learned to produce wines of consistent quality and distinct features. Those wines ranked high among many others made in the wine-growing regions of Europe and other continents. The wine-making tradition dates back to the 16th century and has Spanish and Portuguese roots. In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries Tenerife-made wines were exported in large quantities to Europe and America, and their quality was appreciated in the remotest corners of the planet. Those merchant operations drove the urban development of some important communities and even brought along a temporary colonisation by settlers from England who to a large degree took over control of the export business. As far as the people of Tenerife are concerned, wine means a lot more to them than just an important subsistence factor for a segment of the population. This product represents an important part of the cultural heritage associated with the extensive dissemination of knowledge and oenological traditions.
Wines carrying the region's denomination of origin labels are indeed diverse. They include whites, reds, rosés, dry and semi-dry, sweet and semisweet, barriques, liqueurs, sparkling, quality wines, tannic, vintage, reserve, gran reserve, young, wines made by carbonic maceration, crianza (aged in oak barrels) and semi-crianza (semi-aged). A large percentage of the locals distinguish between these wines by discerning their distinctive characteristics, they know how to drink them, and these magic elixirs add a little extra to their joie de vivre. Thousand of people outside the Canaries relish these wines and experience similar emotions.
Denomination of origin Abona
Abona, with eleven wineries associated in the Board, is situated in the southern part of Tenerife, which is the sunniest area of the island and one with the least precipitation.
The area comprises the communities of Adeje, Arona, Vilaflor, San Miguel, Granadilla and Arico y Fasnia; it descends to the coast and produces grapes with the highest alcohol content. Vilaflor, an area situated more inland, is home to Europe's most elevated vineyards, lying at altitudes of up to 1600 metres. The area is also typical for its back soil. Grape vines are grown in the shape of irregular vessels (vasos), yields are relatively low and, therefore, they produce quality grapes. The conditions associated with this denomination, which enable combinations of grapes grown at various elevations, make it possible to properly balance the alcohol content by volume. At lower altitudes, 200 to 600 above see level, vines are grown on trellises. These produce higher yields of somewhat lesser quality. The prevailing grape varieties here are Listán Blanca (white), accounting for 80% of the vineyards area and Listán Negra (black), grown in the remaining vineyards. Is appears that, much as in the other areas of Tenerife, many wineries sprang up spontaneously, reflecting the boom experienced by Canary Island wines and, especially, domestic demand. Those wineries took on board modern technologies, implementing excellent production, stabilisation and bottling methods on Tenerife.
Denomination of origin Valle de la Orotava
Valle de la Orotava covers approximately 1000 ha of vineyards spread across this sprawling and extremely beautiful valley, which starts at the foothills and extends all the way to the seaside, its majestic colours formed by an alternating terrain, natural vegetation and plantations, water bodies, hamlets and the occasional bowery. Valle de la Orotava comprises the communities of La Orotava, Los Realejos and Puerto de la Cruz. Grape vines are grown on slopes and trained along fixed 60 centimetre trellises in shapes resembling braided 8 metre long or even longer twines, arousing the curiosity of viticulture fans. The area produces eleven varieties of white and seven varieties of black grapes.
Those are processed into roughly the same proportion of white and red wines, and somewhat lesser quantities of rosés. In 2001 gross production totalled 554,358 litres. The Winery Registry book keeps records of 52 wineries producing to the standards of this denomination of origin; out of which 22 wineries both process and bottle wine, while 30 only process it. In this region about 70% of wine is not bottled, and 30% is bottled wine. Since 1994 the region has been awarded 8 international, 16 national and 65 regional prizes and 20 honorary mention awards.
Denomination of origin Tacoronte-Acentejo
The area lies on the northern slopes of Tenerife. It is burrowed by deep ravines coming down from the mountain range. This a beautiful land with hillsides and valleys studded by vineyards, which surround villages and settlements and rise from the seaside to elevations of 1000 metres. At present the area is home to 1080 ha of vineyards. The wine-growing zone spreads from sea level to elevations of up to 1000 metres. The climate is moderate with characteristic northern winds and constant temperatures, which become less stable at higher altitudes. It should be pointed out that amendments were made to the denomination of origin regulations following the establishment of Anaga, a sub-zone whose surface area is equal to the rural park of the same name extending between the municipalities of La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Tegueste. Under the regulations, in addition to the varieties deemed exclusive to the area (Listán Negra and Negra Moll), the following varieties are recognised: the whites made from Gual, rosés from Malvasía Rosada as well as the whites Pedro Ximénez, Moscatel, Verdello, Vijariego, Forastera Blanca and Torrontés. Similarly, the characteristics have been defined of traditional white wines (confined to the Anaga sub-zone), traditional macerated white wines and classical malvasías.
Denomination of origin Ycodén-Daute-Isora
In 1991 a group of young vintners and vineyard owners, aware of the dire situation of the regional wines, the ever-increasing decline in consumption and obsolete technology and cognizant of the enormous quality potential which had been associated with the regional wines in the past, set up the Tenerife Northwest Association (Asociación del Noroeste de Tenerife). After establishing their Association, they set about winning the Denomination of Origin and in 1994 achieved their goal. This is a vast picturesque region in the northwest of the island, with vineyards extending from San Juan de la Rambla all the way to Guía de Isora and in the lower areas of the islands along the communities already mentioned as well as others, such La Guancha, Icod de los Vinos, Garachico, Los Silos, Buenavista del Norte, El tanque and Santiago del Teide. Grape vines are grown on steep slopes along the coast at elevations of up to 1400 metres. The climate in this area is influenced by the Atlantic and trade winds. In vineyards at higher elevations volcanic soil prevails, while at lower elevations clay soil is more typical. The most common variety is Listán Blanca, accounting for 70% of vineyards and producing the highest yields, followed by Listán Negra grown in 20% of the vineyards. Less frequent, although their plantings are on the rise, are the grape varieties Negramoll, Malvasía, Gual, Verdello, Marmajuelo, Moscatel, Pedro Ximénez, Sabro, Torrontés, Vijariego, Tintilla, Bastardo Blanco and Bastardo Negro.
Denomination of origin - Valle de Güímar
On 12 October 1996 the Ministry of Agriculture approved regulations laying down the Denomination of Origin Valle de Güimar and its Regulatory Board. The Board launched a number of projects to promote local wines, advance training programs and offered support and subsidies to the winegrowers of the region. Valle de Güimar lies in the southeast of Tenerife. In fact, it constitutes the continuation of the Denomination of Origin Abona in the north-eastern direction. The Regulatory Board oversees 670 hectares of vineyards in the area comprising the communities of Arafo, Candelaria and Güimar. The vineyards extend from near the coast to elevations of up to 1400 metres. Characteristically, there are considerable elevation gradients in such a small geographic area.
Substantial daytime and night time temperature differences constitute another major factor, enabling to combine grape varieties with varying acidity. The principal grape variety is Listán Blanca, accounting for 82.5% of the vineyards. It is followed by Listán Negra, with a 13.5% share. The varieties Negramoll, Malvasía, Gual and Vijariega are less common, although their production has been on the rise.
1 Denomination of origin Abona
2 Denomination of origin Valle de la Orotava
3 Denomination of origin Tacoronte-Acentejo
4 Denomination of origin Ycodén-Daute-Isora
5 Denomination of origin - Valle de Güímar
Intersting way of cultivation vine on the island Lanzarote
perspecitve of volcanic hillside
low wall protect vine against wind
vine in lowland is growing only in tufa holes
detailed look on vine Listán and malmsey, volcanic footwall, smooth climate, that is great base of excellent white and red wine.
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