The wines of Tenerife are simply unique, not only because of their volcanic character, but also because of their very special history. Shakespeare loved the wine of the largest Canary Island, and historians even suspect that a Malvasia of Tenerife was offered at the Declaration of Independence of the United States.
White, rosé and red wines
Today all colour varieties and wines are produced in Tenerife, although the ones initially grown on the island were white. The vines were brought by Portuguese settlers from Extremadura to La Mancha and Andalusia. Here are the roots of our wine today.
The Malvasia was initially the main economic engine of the island. It was a highly valued wine in Europe, called “canary sack”, and was exported in large quantities to the Old Continent. Shakespeare once mentioned this wine in his historical drama “Henry IV”. It was a wine that “perfumed the blood” while drinking it.
Although it is not the only variety of wines on the island. The Listán Blanco, Listán Negro, Verdello or Albillo are highly valued by the winemakers. Currently, the wines in the category “premium” have been positioned very well. They have more structure and are more intense in flavour without losing their originality.
Denominations of Origin of Tenerife, vineyards from north to south
There are five traditional denominations of origin in Tenerife, pioneered by Tacoronte-Acentejo, founded in 1992.
Influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and cultivated in one of Tenerife’s most beautiful landscapes, the wines of Tacoronte-Acentejo in the north of the island comprise up to 9 different municipalities, sometimes over 1,000 metres above sea level. They stand out for their aromatic and fruity character, especially red wines, which make up 80% of the production in this area.
The many hours of sunshine in the south of Tenerife favour the varieties of white wine that are grown in the region of Abona, especially the exquisite Listán Blanco grape. In this area, Spain’s highest wine varieties are grown at 1,700 metres in the municipality of Vilaflor. They have a soft and fruity aroma and include nuances of almond blossom, mango and banana.
The valley of Güímar
With shades ranging from pale yellow to golden, the wines of Valle de Güímar are primarily white, with touches of fruit and fresh herbs. The rosé wines, on the other hand, have a touch of red fruit, while the reds have earthy notes.
La Orotava valley
In the La Orotava valley, the place that inspired the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, wines are cultivated with a special aroma influenced by the pleasant climate and the trade winds.
Slightly bitter and fruity aromas, especially highlight the variety of white wines in this región. The rosé wines also play an important role with their raspberry colour and an aroma reminiscent of wild fruits. The red wines of the region have a soft and varied aroma with a bitter touch on the palate.
The wines of Ycoden-Daute-Isora look clear and pure, especially the Malvasia wine. Its colour is golden and its fruity and floral aroma gives the palate sweet and sour notes. Special mention deserves the rosé wines because their taste is very tropical thanks to their subtle pineapple and strawberry notes.
November and December, the ideal months for wines in Tenerife
Towards the end of the year is the best time to taste the wine of Tenerife, as you can already enjoy the first wines of the new harvest. At the end of November (at the same time as the San Andrés celebrations), winemakers open their bodegas (wine cellars) to meet with loyal customers and gain new customers. Just follow the smell of roasted chestnuts, the sound of celebrating people, the happiness and joy… Then you will certainly find the Tenerife wines.