Tenerife gastronomy: The wines

June 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The characteristics of the volcanic soils and special climatic conditions have given rise to a variety of highly-recognised wines, which are difficult to reproduce anywhere else. But, what’s more, this has encouraged a method of cultivation that is generous to the environment, protects the soil and the landscape, uses water frugally and conserves some unique varieties which are at the origin of the rich traditions and culture of the wine of Tenerife.



Currently, the wine production of Tenerife is one of the main bastions of island agriculture, which contributes significantly to the conservation of the landscape. The great range of reds, dry, medium-dry and sweet whites, rosés, sparkling wines and viscous wines that are grown on our Island are very difficult to obtain in any other wine-growing regions of similar size.

In the mid-sixteenth Century the new colonists brought the vine to Tenerife. The first vineyard was in Los Realejos, in the north of the Island, a place which soon became home to a vast number of grapes. To this day, this green tapestry still covers the northern slopes of the Island. For over three centuries, Tenerife was one of the most significant exporters of wine, particularly to England, where they were so famous and popular that even Shakespeare himself mentioned them in his plays.

There are five different areas in which the vine-growers have grouped themselves so as to prepare and guarantee the quality of their products. These are the Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Abona, Valle de la Orotava and Valle de Güímar denominations of origin. Even the most discerning wine-tasters are fascinated at the richness, quality and personality of the wines and have awarded them prizes in numerous competitions in which they have participated around the world.

The whites, which enjoy great prestige, are fresh, aromatic, spirited and joyful and make the perfect accompaniment for fish, salad or pasta. There are others which have more body after a short time in the barrel and are ideal for eating with fowl or soft meats.

There are many great quality reds. Until recently, the variety of grape that was most used was the listán, but now the island’s vinegrowers have built up other varieties which possess maturity and complexity.

Among the viscous wines are both the sweet reds and those that are made with the legendary malmsey grape, which made the “Canary wines” of Tenerife so famous that Shakespeare even praised them in his works. There are true gems that are very much appreciated by expert tasters from all over the world.

The Wine Museum is in El Sauzal, in an old 17th Century mansion, where it is possible to taste wines from the five denominations of origin, which you can then buy from the well-stocked wine collection and shop. This museum also has an exhibition room, a restaurant and tasca, a terrace and an old wine-press in the central courtyard.

It is the vine-growers and cellar owners of Tenerife who, generation after generation, have extracted with their own hands the water and the ancient soil overflowing from Mount Teide, to make the wines one of the true essences of the island. The visitor cannot go home without having enjoyed this unique experience.

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