The village of La Geria and the Wine Route in Lanzarote
|The village of La Geria is located in the middle of the wine region of La Geria; The village is located 7 km east of the town of Yaiza, on the Wine Route, among other wine villages of Uga and Masdache.
|The wine region of La Geria
|La Geria is the main wine growing region of the island of Lanzarote; but in the north of the island, in the Malpaís de la Corona, there is also a wine production. The vineyards of La Geria has an area of 5 255 hectares (about 52 km²), spanning the municipalities of Yaiza, Tías, Tinajo, San Bartolomé and Teguise and including the villages of Uga, La Geria, La Asomada, Vega de Tegoyo, Conil, Masdache, El Islote - Casas de la Florida and Mozaga; it is the largest vineyard of the Canary Islands.
The plain of La Geria is bordered to the northwest by the Volcanoes Park, itself surrounding the National Park Timanfaya; this is volcanic projections of these volcanoes - between the years 1730 and 1736 - that covered the plain of La Geria with a layer of 1 to 2.5 meters thick slag and lapilli or pozzolan (locally named picón). These pozzolan are black and not red because little oxidized, due to the proximity of volcanoes that issued them; this is what gives a rather dark look at the plain of La Geria.
|These volcanic phenomena have led farmers to adopt ingenious forms of culture. The vineyards of La Geria are grown in pits, funnel-shaped cut into the lapilli, which achieve the fertile soil to plant the vines; these pits are called “gerias”. The region of La Geria over 10,000 gerias; each pit contains a single vine. These pits are themselves protected from the prevailing winds by dry stone walls, circular or semi-circular shaped half-moon; these walls made of volcanic scoria and basalt lava stones are called “zocos”; they also prevent the wind to fill the pit with lapilli.
The layer of lapilli can retain the low local rainfall - mainly winter - from 100 to 200 mm per year. Pozzolan, because of their low capillarity and low thermal conductivity, reduce evaporation and retains heat from the ground, and, because of their coarse pores, reduce stormwater runoff and soil erosion. It is also thought that the pozzolan absorb moisture from the air, the dew of the night, and transmit to the plants; their black color absorbs maximum heat from the sun.
This technique of dry farming (arenado) proved so effective that the region of La Geria operates small quarry pozzolan which are exported to other parts of the island, where they are used in mulch 10 cm thickness for growing vegetables.
|The vineyards of La Geria is mainly planted with malvasia grapes (malvasía), and a few grape muscat (moscatel). According to connoisseurs, wine quality La Geria is not excellent because the wine growers give preference to performance rather than quality and have no trouble selling their produce in the warehouses of the region; However, the yields are quite low: 1 000 kg to 1 500 kg per hectare. The winemakers of Lanzarote produce about five million liters of wine per year.
The production of malvasia in Lanzarote - and, more generally, in the Canaries - is not new. It is said that this variety - which produces a dry white wine or medium dry - was introduced to the Canaries, from Crete, from the late fifteenth century; in the early seventeenth century playwright Shakespeare sang the praises of Canarian Malvasia, who was also appreciated by the English court; but the Malvasia Canary was soon challenged by the Andalusian sherry (sherry). At the end of the seventeenth century, fashion fell on the port, following the marriage of King Charles II of England with the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza in 1661, this marriage to strengthen the alliance of Portugal and England against Spain. The Malvasia Canary distant gradually fell into oblivion; the vineyard disappeared almost completely in the nineteenth century following the attacks of mildew, but was spared by the phylloxera. In the 1960s, with the rise of tourism, wine production began to grow.
In 1987 La Geria was declared a Natural Park, but reclassified in 1994 as a Protected Landscape (Paisaje Protegido), Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA) and ecological sensitivity zone. The protected area also includes the Natural Monument Cave Naturalists (Cueva de los Naturalistas), a natural volcanic hose large, 1.5 km north of Masdache on the LZ-58 highway.
|The Wine Routes (Rutas del Vino)
|The Wine Route of La Geria stretches twenty kilometers from the charming village of Uga, southwest, and Mozaga, in the center of the island; it is primarily the LZ-30 highway, but secondary roads attached to it. The Wine Route to discover the strange landscape of La Geria and original methods of local viticulture, not without some test samples of wines from La Geria, including malvasia and muscat (licor de moscatel). Several cellars (bodegas) have shops where you can taste and buy local wines, but prices are very low; these wineries are generally open from 10 am 30-18 am.
If we approach La Geria from the south - from Playa Blanca for example - the first bodega encountered is the Bodega La Geria, left the road, and on the other side of the road, Bodegas Rubicón; these bodegas have a shop and a tavern. Two hundred meters away, a track off to the right and leads to the Bodega El Chupadero, which does not offer tasting, but has a good tapas bar where you can enjoy its wine production.
At 6 km we can make a foray to the village of La Asomada taking on the right road LZ-501 and LZ-502 road; from the hill overlooking the village was the best view of the plain of La Geria which vines climb to conquer the slopes of volcanoes. Green vines and palms, and white houses, contrasts dramatically with black volcanic ash. Continuing along the LZ-502 road we reached the village of Mácher where little lies Bodega Timanfaya, known for its red wine called tinto barrica; the winery is open to the public only on Saturday mornings.
Back on the LZ-30 highway is quickly coming to Bodega Stratvs, modern facilities, but currently closed. After 10 minutes drive, and after crossing the village of Masdache, one discovers on the left of the road the Bodega El Grifo, which houses a wine museum. In Masdache is also the Bodegas Vega de Yuco.
Continuing to Mozaga, we find the Bodega Mozaga, established since 1880 and produces high quality wines, often winning; it turns left on the LZ-20 highway towards Tiagua, where little lies Bodega Tinache specializing in white wine. Continuing until Mancha Blanca, we find the Bodegas Reymar. We can then return to Mozaga then continue on the LZ-20 highway to San Bartolomé which are - in the historic center, behind the Town Hall, Calle Guadarfía, 2 - the Bodegas Barreto, whose wines are sold under brand El Campesino, who received major awards. The Bodegas Barreto have a branch in Masdache, Carretera del Centro, 64.
|The winery La Geria (Bodega La Geria)
|The winery La Geria is located 5 km northeast of Uga, at Km 19 of the LZ-30 highway. This is a traditional architecture building built at the end of the nineteenth century by the family Rijo. La Bodega La Geria was the first winery of the island to have sold wine to visitors. It claims to be the most visited winery in Spain, with about 300,000 visitors a year. It has modern facilities with stainless steel tanks and some oak barrels. Its annual output is about 4000 hectoliters.
Since its area was a beautiful view of the vineyards of La Geria.
The bodega has a shop, a good restaurant (La Cepa) and offers guided tours by reservation (in August and September 30 at 10 am, 11 am and 12 pm 30 30; duration: 40 minutes; price: 8 €, tasting included).
Dry Malvasia of 9 to 12 €; moscatel around € 12.
Opening hours: daily from 9 am to 18 pm
Phone: 00 34 928 173 178
Site on the Web: www.lageria.com (with online store).
|The winery Rubicón (Bodegas Rubicón)
|The Bodegas Rubicón are across the road from the Bodega La Geria. They are installed in a former farm, El Cortijo de La Geria, the late seventeenth century who cultivated cereals (wheat, barley and rye) and was buried under the cinders from the first eruptions years 1730-1736. It took several decades (1769) for the lands were exploited again, this time for viticulture and fruit growing.
The buildings have been carefully restored. One can visit the cellar and taste its wine production. The bodega has a shop and a good restaurant (open daily from 10 am to 23 pm Wednesday 10 am to 20 pm).
Hours: daily, 10 am to 20 pm.
Phone: 00 34 928 173 708
Site on the Web: www.vinosrubicon.com
|The Stratvs winery (Bodega Stratvs)
|La Bodega Stratvs is a new and very modern, inaugurated in 2008, located at Km 18 of the LZ-30 highway; it is located 1 km after the bodegas La Geria and Rubicón. La Bodega Stratvs is a building of fine architecture and equipped with the most modern facilities. After only a few years of production, its wines have won numerous awards. The winery also has an elegant tasting room, a shop where you can buy not only wine but also branded cheeses “Finca de Uga”, including goats cheese made with goat milk the bodega, and a gourmet restaurant, El Aljibe del Obispo, open from 19 pm.
La Bodega Stratvs organizes guided tours several times a day on reservation, with tours of the cellars and wine tasting and cheese (duration: 1 hour price: 10 €).
Phone: 00 34 928 809 977
Site on the Web: www.stratvs.com
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 20 pm.
Since December 2013, the Bodega Statvs is closed and placed under seal by court: among other irregularities, the bodega was illegally built partly on land not owned by it. The owner of the bodega is a real estate mogul in Lanzarote, also owner of the Marina Rubicón and Hotel Princesa Yaiza in Playa Blanca, this hotel has also been built - like others - in illegal conditions. La Bodega Statvs must remain closed until the court has ruled definitively. The sale continues in the shop located at No. 16 Calle Real in Arrecife.
|Bodega El Chupadero
|This rustic restaurant is located in the back of a bodega (cellar), with a terrace overlooking the vineyards; it owes its name to a local volcano, Montaña del Chupadero. The inner room of the restaurant, whitewashed and covered with a floor with exposed beams, is pleasantly cool in summer.
The owner is German, but the food is Spanish and local wines (malvasia).
Good tapas and house wines, but prices high enough (8-9 € the tapa).
Address: south of La Geria, taking a track to the right of the LZ-30 road at Km 4.
Phone: 00 34 928 173 115 / 00 34 659 596 178
Site on the Web: www.el-chupadero.com