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Historia Bodegas El Grifo Lanzarote

250 YEARS OF INNOVATION

A history of winemaking tradition and modernity

visita-museo-el-grifo

YESTERDAY'S ACHIEVEMENTS...

A milestone, a relic for historians and visitors. The indoor wine press dates back to 1775, according to the foundational inscription. We maintain wines from 1881, the year when the winery was run by Don Manuel García Durán. 19th-century Moscatel vines still stand.

These primitive facilities today constitute our wine museum, an unmissable destination to understand the beginnings of winemaking in Lanzarote and the Canary Islands.

Vendimia de invierno Bodegas El Grifo Lanzarote

… AND TODAY'S PROGRESS

We are pioneers in the Canary Islands in wine bottling, since 1935, with cutting-edge machinery. And since 1950, winemaking has been handled by professionals.

Starting in the 80s, we revolutionized by introducing stainless steel, cold equipment and membrane presses. We also started the production of natural sparkling wine.

We maintain the ancient, ancestral methods in the production of Canari and Glas, as dictated by the bibliography that we treasure in our illustrious library.

In 2022, we were pioneers in Europe by bottling the first edition of our renowned "Vendimia de Invierno" (Winter Harvest).

We have been making wines uninterruptedly since 1775.

The ownership of the winery has fallen to three successive families: the Riberas, the De Castros and, since 1880, the descendants of Manuel García Durán.

The history of EL GRIFO has walked parallel to historical milestones and other indelible events.

EL GRIFO 1730-1736

1730-1736

This is where it all begins. The Timanfaya eruptions occur, covering the central part of the island of Lanzarote with lava and volcanic sand. Where there were pastures and cereal crops, nothing was left.

LA GERIA 1740

1740

The people of Lanzarote, still without finishing the eruptions, begin to remove the sand to reach the organic soil and cultivate vineyards and fruit trees. Farmers found the vine to be the most suitable crop for the new reality of the island.

The parish priest of Yaiza, Don Andrés Lorenzo Curbelo, is the greatest winegrower on the island. The musts were in high demand by merchants to distill them in Arrecife and send the spirit to Tenerife.

1775

Four decades after the complete transformation of the land, they planted vineyards and produced musts, which were sent to Arrecife to be distilled into brandy. Don Antonio continued expanding the current estate through successive purchases.

Then, in 1775, he built the original wine press, where the original inscription is found, marking the beginning of the winery. El Grifo is born.

EL GRIFO LANZAROTE 1807-1820

1807-1820

Don Antonio's nephew and heir, Bartolomé de Torres, breaches the testamentary clauses and, faced with the risk of losing the inheritance, claimed judicially by his cousin, sells EL GRIFO in a private document, around 1820, to Ginés de Castro y Álvarez, lieutenant colonel of the Lanzarote militias, Mayor and chronicler of the 1824 eruption. The second family begins.

On May 2, 1808, the Madrid Uprising took place against Napoleon's French invasion.

EL GRIFO LANZAROTE 1880

1880

The two great-nephews of Ginés de Castro, then owners of EL GRIFO, sold it in public deeds in 1778 and 1886 to Manuel García Durán, great-grandfather of the current owners. The third family enters the scene, maintaining the property to the present day.

In our old winery we preserve barrels with Malvasía Volcánica wine from 1881.

Einstein

1905

García Durán acquires by public deed German properties and machinery belonging to the 'Los Alemanes' (The Germans) winery, which had been started in 1903 in Lanzarote. The large hydraulic press, the beam pump, and the destemmer… it was time to retire the beam press.

Albert Einstein publishes his famous articles "Annus Mirabilis", forming the basis of theoretical physics.

Manuela García Parrilla | Bodegas El Grifo

1912

Manuel García Durán dies. Although the promoter of the winery and his father-in-law's right-hand man was Domingo Lorenzo Viera (married to his daughter Rafaela), in the testamentary distribution EL GRIFO corresponded to the first-born daughter Manuela García Parrilla, grandmother of the current owners.

Casa-calle-Fajardo -arrecife

1923

The construction of the house and winery on Fajardo Street, 5 in Arrecife, completed in 1923, is completed. It was the commercial center of the winery and where the wine from EL GRIFO was unloaded for sale and shipment through the Port of Arrecife.

etiqueta-vino-malvasia

1935

First labels where not the name of the owner, as was customary (in this case, Manuela), but that of her husband, Fermín Rodríguez-Béthéncourt, appears. Don Fermín studied Medicine in Madrid and obtained his doctorate in Paris, dedicating himself to practicing his profession in Lanzarote.

la-geria-anos-40

1948

Doña Manuela, married to the doctor Fermín Rodríguez-Béthéncourt, personally and directly managed the winery. At the end of the forties, their son, Mr. Manuel Rodríguez-Bethencourt, despite residing in Madrid practicing medicine, directed EL GRIFO, giving it a great boost.

The first professional oenologists are hired and bottling resumes.

historia

1965

After the testamentary period of the inheritance of Dª Manuela and D. Fermín, the property of El Grifo passes to their daughter Antonia Rodríguez-Bethencourt, married to the Navarrese Juan José Otamendi Soravilla, parents of the current owners.

The Arrecife house belongs to his daughter Dª Manuela, married to D. Nicolás Manrique de Lara; the family house of Mozaga to Dr. Bethencourt, married to Ms. Mª Encarnación Codes, and the vineyard estates of Testeina and Conil to Ms. Concha Rosa, married to Mr. Felipe Gómez Ullate.

In Liverpool the fever begins with four musicians from Liverpool. Beatlemania breaks out.

El-grifo-familia-otamendi

1975

The owner's sons, Juan José (1944) and Fermín Otamendi Rodríguez-Bethencourt (1956) begin to get involved in the running of the winery.

Dª Antonia is completing her latest changes in the winery, which already had stainless steel tanks (the first for wine in the Canary Islands), a generator set for the electrification of the winery, a horizontal press and a Marrodán and Rezola destemming machine. The camels still carry the vintage boxes.

Enólogo Felipe Blanco con César Manrique | Bodegas El Grifo

1980

In 1980, the commercial company El Grifo S.A. was established, and Doña Antonia transferred her shares to both sons. The Otamendi brothers hired Felipe Blanco as their oenologist, who would begin his full-time work the following year.

Malvasía Seco El Grifo 1984

1984

The first phase of the new winery, begun in 1982, next to the old one, concludes. EL GRIFO wine is sold exclusively bottled. The new tanks are all made of stainless steel, cold equipment, new horizontal presses and a Vaslin destemmer are installed.

The first international recognition is obtained: Gold Medal for Malvasía Seco at the VII International Oenological Competition of Milan.

El Grifo César Manrique 1986

1986

The renovation works for the future museum began as the best way to preserve the old winery, with advice from César Manrique, a family friend.

César, after designing the label for the Malvasía Semidulce (pictured), his favorite wine, as well as the winery's logo and corporate emblem, created the Monument to the Griffin Bird at the entrance of the estate. During these works, the foundation stone of the covered wine press from 1775 was discovered.

Antonia Rodríguez Bethencourt | Bodegas El Grifo Lanzarote

2018

Antonia Rodríguez-Béthéncourt, mother of the Otamendi brothers, dies at the age of 104.

An important batch of Malvasía de Lías is bottled, intended to be the commemorative wine for the 250th Anniversary of EL GRIFO.

el-grifo-lanzarote-250

2025

EL GRIFO will celebrate its 250th anniversary.


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