Worth the Effort Beth Hancock | Posted: 04 May 2013
You can explore the patterned landscape on a walking holiday on Lanzarote
Call in for a tasting after a wonderful day of walking on Lanzarote
Enjoy far-reaching views on a walking holiday in Lanzarote

On the face of it, Lanzarote’s volcanic soil, scarce rainfall and strong summer winds would seem to rule out the cultivation of vines, but all that was needed was a little ingenuity.

Resourcefulness is something that the people of Lanzarote have in spades; it’s essential if you inhabit a small island in the Atlantic. They have, in fact, been producing wine since the early 18th century, and ships en route to Africa or the Americas would stock up on the stuff.

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Lanzarote & La Graciosa

Within the La Geria area of Lanzarote you’ll find various producers which offer degustaciones of their wines, plus an informative museum about viticulture on the island – visit these and enjoy some gentle but very dramatic walks on our holiday on the island.

More about our self-guided walking holiday on Lanzarote >

So how do they do it? To shield the vines from the winds, they plant each one in its own hollow in the ground and surround the pit with a semi-circular dry-stone wall, the downside of which is that mechanisation is impossible – all pruning and harvesting has to be done by hand. To counter the lack of rain, they place a layer of volcanic cinder around the vine’s stem to trap and retain what little moisture there is in the atmosphere, thus irrigating the ground.

The result of all this hard work is deliciously fresh Malvasia wines with overtones of exotic and citrus fruits (a good place to start is with a semi-seco, which those in the know recommend is served at room temperature, rather than chilled, so as to preserve its aromatic properties) – and an extraordinarily patterned landscape in which rows of black, horseshoe-shaped walls stretch as far as the eye can see.

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