The first vineyards to be established on the island in the 16th century brought a rich variety of vines from their original locations. The volcanic earth and the fact that the vines were perfectly adapted to the many microclimates experienced by the island have made Tenerife an exceptional wine-growing area.
In order to guarantee the knowledge and promotion of these wines, The Casa del Vino de Tenerife was founded in 1992. It is situated at the Municipality of El Sauzal.
Wine forms an important part of the island’s cultural heritage, with local wines enjoying lasting popularity. Knowledge and practices of viticultural traditions have expanded greatly, giving rise to a fabulous diversity of high quality wines.
This uniquely wide variety is currently protected by five Denomination of Origin certifications that cover the island: Abona, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de Güimar, Valle de La Orotava and Ycoden-Daute-Isora, that certify the provenance and the quality of the wine produced on the island – a quality that is reflected by the many prizes and widespread recognition, national and international.
These Denominations of Origin are administered and regulated by their respective Regulatory Bodies, responsible for monitoring and guaranteeing grape and wine production on the island:
Abona: This Denomination of Origin covers the towns of Adeje, Arona, Vilaflor, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla, Arico and Fasnia, in the south of the island. The vineyards in this region can be separated into a lower area dominated by white volcanic sand, giving the wine a very distinctive character, and a higher area where dark earth is more dominant, giving the wines a unique nose and flavour. The constant influence of the trade winds cools the temperatures, considerably bringing forward the date of the grape harvest in the lower areas. The juice from these grapes has a high sugar content, with a lot of acidity and nose. The white varieties make up 80% of the grape harvest in this region. The most heavily cultivated grape is the Listán Blanco. Only 20% of the grapes here are the red varieties grown on higher ground that has more clay content.
Tacoronte-Acentejo: The Tacoronte-Acentejo region is located on the northern slopes of Tenerife, representing 40% of the cultivated land on the island and 20% of the wine-producing land in the Canary Islands. It is the most densely cultivated area of vines in the Canarian archipelago. The vineyards are located between 100 and 1000 metres above sea level, and benefit from the sun and the volcanic earth in which they grow. The vines are planted in terraces on steep slopes facing north towards the Atlantic Ocean. The earth is reddish in colour, rich in organic matter, with little lime and an abundance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Sun, fresh breezes and the volcanic earth next to the ocean in a varied, benign and stable climate – these are the unique, natural ingredients that combine to create the surprising character of our wines.
Valle de Güímar: The wine-growing area of Valle de Güimar is located in the south-eastern part of the island of Tenerife, and covers the towns of Arafo, Candelaria and Güímar. In this region, the vineyard extends from the areas by the coast right up to almost 1500 metres above sea level. The volcanic earth the predominating trade winds make their mark on the character and the personality of the wine. The varieties authorised by the Denomination of Origin are as follows, in order of the size of their area: WHITES: Listán blanco. Gual, Malvasía, Moscatel, Vijariego and Verdello
REDS: Listán negro, Negramoll and Tintilla. The following varieties are also authorised, but only small quantities of them are produced: Malvasía tinta, Moscatel negro and Vijariego negro.
Valle de La Orotava: the wine-producing area protected by the “Valle de Orotava” Denomination of Origin is made up of cultivated land in the municipal districts of La Orotava, Los Realejos and Puerto de la Cruz. These towns lie in the north of the island and their vineyards run along the coast at an altitude of between 250 and 700 metres above sea level. The earth used for growing the vines is often light, permeable, rich in mineral nutrients and with a slightly acidic pH – a result of its naturally volcanic origins. White and red wines are produced in roughly equal proportions, along with a small amount of rosé.
Ycoden-Daute-Isora: this area covers the wide, green space in the north-east of Tenerife, including the towns of San Juan de la Rambla, La Guancha, Icod de los Vinos, Garachico, Los Silos, Buenavista del Norte, El Tanque, Santiago del Teide and Guía de Isora. The area is a geographical link between the north and the south of the island. The vines sit on volcanic rock and ash in localised parcels of land between 50 and 1400 metres altitude. They enjoy a climate that enables the development of a quality viticulture, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and caressed by the trade winds, with an average temperature of 19ºC. The parcels of land given over to cultivating vines are generally small, on steep slopes and do not permit much in the way of modern mechanised techniques. There are twenty authorised varieties, with listán blanco, listán negro and negramol the most frequently used. These varieties have extraordinary properties, due to the edaphoclimatic features of the region.
Malvasía wine merits a special mention. This is a high quality sweet wine which brought fame to Canarian wines throughout the world in the second half of the 16th century. This is a choice product, with limit production and is ideal for drinking with cheese, paté, cakes and sweets, as an aperitif or as an after dinner wine.