If you were to ask me, “What was the best part of your holiday in Lanzarote?”
I would tell you… “The wine!”
If you were to ask my friend Ollie, who I traveled with, he would say, “The wine…and the cheese!”
Our week-long visit to the Canary Islands was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can read all about the exciting activities we tried in my previous posts. In this article, I’m just focusing on the wine.
Yes, because the amazing wine tours Lanzarote has to offer deserve an entire post of their own. First, I’ll talk you through the unique Canary Island landscape where these tasty grapes grow. Then I’ll give you the details of our fun Lanzarote wine tour and where you can go for your own tastings.
Sounds good? Let’s get to it then.
What to Know About Lanzarote Vineyards
On arrival in Lanzarote, and upon first glimpse of the rough, dry terrain, you would have to wonder how on earth there could be vineyards growing on an island covered in volcanic rock. An island that is hot and sunny all year round, gets minimal rainfall, and has strong winds blowing through that could almost pick you right up off the ground!
Firstly, it turns out that the volcanic eruptions, and subsequent fields of lava and rock, that almost ruined agriculture on the island 300 years ago are now proving to be an amazing fertilizer. The small grains of volcanic rock serve as porous mulch, drawing moisture from the air, releasing it into the ground, and preventing evaporation; thus enabling vines to grow in this otherwise warm, dry climate.
Secondly, they have invented something quite ingenious to protect plants from the wind. The vines are planted in deep hollows surrounded by small, semi-circular walls which are hand-built stone by stone. These little ‘zocos’, as they’re called, protect the vines from the strong Atlantic winds and are absolutely spectacular to look at. Agriculture in Lanzarote seems to be a real test of Man vs Nature, where man seems to be miraculously winning!
Our Lanzarote Wine Tour | Museum, Vineyard & Winery
But enough about the technical stuff. Let’s talk about wine. Sweet, sweet wine.
On one of the cloudy days of our holiday, we booked a day-long hop-on-hop-off bus tour, which gave you the option to hop off at any of Lanzarote’s top attractions. These included beach resorts, museums, monuments, tiny villages, and last but definitely not least, some wineries.
Being the typical alcohol-loving Irish youths that we are, Ollie and I opted for not one but two wine stops. Everything else on the Lanzarote bus tour, we agreed, could be skipped. Glad we had our priorities parked in the same place!
El Grifo Wine Tour
The first—and best—stop was at the El Grifo Wine Museum. Depending on the guided tour you choose, you will get to see the old cellar, current winery, and the unique Lanzarote vineyards.
We spent half an hour wandering around a seemingly quiet, empty, and dusty museum—I know, I know, but we’re just not that into history. For those of you who are interested, we did learn that this is the oldest winery in the Canary Islands, dating back to 1775. You can check out all the old wine tools they have on display in their museum.
Then we got to the good part of the wine tour—we got to taste a platter of pure goodness. This heavenly platter included six wines of our choice, two different types of goat’s cheese, and some delicious homemade cranberry sauce. A feast for one’s palate.
We simply could not get enough of the El Grifo Semi-Dulce (semi-sweet). It was sweet, but not too sweet. Just sweet enough for you to want another glass. And maybe just one more.
We bought one bottle in the vineyard and about 5 more on return to Puerto Del Carmen. In fact, I think Ollie may even have bought 1 or 2 extra at the airport—much to the delight of his friends and family back home, no doubt. El Grifo also makes amazing aged sweet wine, although this was too expensive for our pocket to take home.
La Geria Winery
The second Lanzarote winery, Bodega La Geria, is located in Lanzarote’s main area of wine production, the valley of La Geria. If you have more time, you can take this vineyards hiking tour to explore the region and taste its incredible white wines.
Our tour went directly to the Bodega La Geria. While nice, it felt a lot more like a cattle mart than a peaceful winery. Tourists were herded on and off buses and into the shop on the hour, every hour, and there was nowhere to sit down and enjoy the wine. There was also no cheese tasting—a huge crime in Ollie’s eyes. Wine and no cheese? What sort of devilment is this?
Despite the rush (and lack of cheese), we really enjoyed La Geria’s famous sweet Muscat wine. The views from the winery were also incredible! We could see for miles across the volcanic landscapes.
I think next time, for a slower-paced experience, we want to try a camel ride and tour of Timanfaya National Park along with the La Geria winery visit.
More Stunning Lanzarote Wineries
Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit all the vineyards and wineries in Lanzarote, although we would have loved the chance to drink even more wine! I did some research and found a few great places that are definitely going on my bucket list for next time. I’ll leave the information here for you.
Vega de Yuco Vineyards
The Vega de Yuco winery is located in the Masdache region. Their whitewashed buildings make for a picture-perfect look against the dark volcanic soil. For guided tours of their vineyards, you need to book ahead through their website.
Or, you can just walk in and visit their small shop Monday to Friday and buy some of their signature blue bottles of wine. I know I’d like to try their +Dach range of sparkling wines—it’s completely handmade and apparently has a very unique taste.
I already scouted out a lovely place close by where I’d like to stay: Finca Malvasia. These self-catering vineyard villas look absolutely gorgeous! There’s a pool on the terrace so you can enjoy views of the surrounding volcanoes and vineyards. It’s also located close to Bodegas El Grifo—the perfect way to fit two wine tours into one day.
Los Bermejos Wine Tour
The Los Bermejos wine farm has an interesting story. Although the land had been used as a winery for centuries, it fell into inactivity. Then, in 2001, production started again under new management.
Thanks to their careful work by hand and sustainability goals, these vineyards of Lanzarote are once again successful. Los Bermejos is open from Monday to Friday. You can pop in at their wine shop or go for a tasting—Ollie checked, and they serve cheese with the wine!
If you want a guided tour of their winery and vineyards, you need to book ahead on their website.
I found the perfect place to stay for our future visit to Los Bermejos. The Casa Bermejo apartments sit right opposite the winery—it’s literally less than 5-minutes’ drive away. They have a swimming pool, a garden, and even a bar if you haven’t had your fill at the wine farm.
La Florida Winery
This vineyard complex sits almost smack in the middle of the Lanzarote island. And it is quite an estate, let me tell you! Besides the winery, gourmet shop, and vineyards, La Florida also boasts beautiful gardens and conference rooms. It is quite a popular spot for weddings and other large events.
Their tasting sounds totally delicious—you get some of their house wines along with artisanal cheese or cured ham. The sweet Muscat goes particularly well with their Canary-style cheese board, or so Ollie tells me.
I’m also super curious to explore their grounds. There’s a cave called a ‘jameo’ that was formed from a collapsed lava tube, as well as an ancient dragon tree, and a hundred-year-old Indian laurel. Sounds like a trip back in time, but with tantalizing wine to accompany you!
To completely immerse yourself in this trip, I suggest booking at the Hotel Rural Finca de La Florida. This traditional farmhouse-style hotel is surrounded by vineyards and has its own restaurant. You can enjoy your evening lounging on the terrace with a glass of Lanzarote wine. It’s also located close to the Bermejos, El Grifo and La Florida wineries—ready to go on a triple wine tour?
Wrapping Up Wine Tours in Lanzarote
If you make it to Lanzarote but for some strange reason don’t make it on a wine tasting tour, fear not. Just ensure that you order a bottle of wine with dinner. And lunch. Every day. You’re sure to find one that you like—we sure did.
If you want to learn more about the Canary Islands, Spain, and wine, take a look at my article about the craziest festivals in Spain. You’ll quickly see that the Spaniards really, really love their wines!