The Wine Route of Tenerife
Did you know that wine production in the Canary Islands started over 500 years ago?
Yes, history has it that the trade began in the 15th century following an introduction of vine grapes to the islands by the Spanish. Wine from the islands went on to become a popular tipple even among European royalties in the 16th century. The islands have continued to produce some of the world’s most unique and fantastic wines.
Tenerife produces most of the Canary Islands’ wines. It is, in fact, the only island with five DO regions (Denominacion de Origen). The Designation of Origin is a much-coveted status, which is monitored and regulated, guaranteeing high standards of wine and grape production. There are more than 70 bodegas in Tenerife alone, producing outstanding wine, most of which, however, never leaves the Canary Islands.
What makes the wines of Tenerife so special?
Several factors, but key among them is the fantastic climate in the islands. There are several micro-climates all over Tenerife, which combine warmth, sunshine, and a variety of fertile volcanic soils. In fact, many of the vineyards in Tenerife are on Mount Teide’s fertile slopes. The volcano sits at the centre of the island, reaching an elevation of 12,200 feet.
Tenerife also boasts of a wide range of grape varieties native to the Canary Islands. In the 19th century, a plant epidemic called phylloxera swept across Europe and destroyed many European vines. However, the epidemic never reached the Canary Islands, and therefore, all the vines here are all on the original rootstock. Some of the grape varieties in the island include Listan Negro, Listan Blanco, and such white varieties as Malvasia, Sabro, Albillo, Marmajuelo, Gual, among others. Red grapes include Tintilla, Malvasia Rosada, Prieto, Moscatel Negro, and Negramoll.
Tenerife’s Wine Regions
The vineyards in Tenerife are divided into five groups: Abona, Yconden-Daute-Isora, Valle de la Orotava, Tacoronte-Acentejo, and Valle de Guimar. The most important Tenerife wine routes are, however, found in the Northern parts of the island. Most of these regions are shaped by the volcanic Mount Teide, and as noted earlier, many of the vineyards are on the volcano’s lower slopes. The fertile volcanic soils on which the grapes are grown, lend Tenerife’s wines a special character.
The quality of the wines of Tenerife has improved steadily, and they have regularly won top awards at some of the world’s most prestigious wine award events. The fact that contemporary winemakers continue to favour local grape varieties sees to it that the quality of the wines of Tenerife is maintained. It’s the combination of the native grapes, high altitudes, and fertile volcanic soil that will keep giving us the unique wines from the Canaries.
Discovering Tenerife through its wines is a lovely way to travel around the north of the island, for both residents and tourists alike. If you are visiting the island with a view of buying a property on Tenerife, be sure to travel down the wine route.