The ingenious wines birthed from black volcanic craters


In Lanzarote, an island in Spain, unique vineyards thrive in the rugged terrain created by volcanic activity. Despite the barren appearance, these vineyards produce exceptional wines through the hard work and ingenuity of generations.

Lanzarote, known as “Volcano Island,” is part of the Canary Islands and is shaped by volcanic eruptions. Its landscape, often compared to the moon’s surface, was dramatically altered by eruptions in the 18th century. The resulting layer of volcanic ash, called picón, became the foundation for the island’s winemaking.

Wine production in Lanzarote dates back to the 15th century when Spanish settlers arrived. However, it wasn’t until the eruptions of the 18th century that locals began cultivating grapes for commercial purposes. The volcanic ash proved to be a blessing in disguise, as it retained moisture and protected the vines from harsh winds.

To overcome the challenges of limited rainfall and strong winds, farmers developed a unique method of cultivation. They dug conical hollows in the ash-covered soil, known as hoyos, to plant their grapevines. These hoyos collect rainwater and dew, while the volcanic ash retains moisture and regulates soil temperature.

The predominant grape variety in Lanzarote is Malvasía Volcánica, known for its crisp acidity and citrus notes. Despite the harsh conditions, the island’s winemakers produce high-quality wines that reflect the terroir and the dedication of the growers.

Farming in Lanzarote is a labor-intensive process, with harvests done by hand due to the rugged terrain. Growers navigate narrow paths between the hoyos, carrying crates of grapes on their shoulders under the scorching sun.

Despite the challenges, young winemakers like Elisa Ludeña and Daniel Martín are optimistic about the future of Lanzarote’s wine industry. They believe that attracting more young growers and adapting to climate change will ensure the continued success of the island’s winemaking tradition.

In essence, Lanzarote’s winemaking story is one of resilience and adaptation, where human determination and nature’s forces come together to create something truly extraordinary.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)