The Phylloxera plague which affected Europe did not reach the Canary Islands, thus these varietals were preserved. The Lanzarote varieties arrived, after the eruptions of the XVIII century, from other islands in the archipelago. These had arrived in the archipelago at the dawn of the XVI century from Andalucía. The majority of the varieties described in the 1877 report by engineer Barroso written for the National Winegrowers Congress of 1878 have been maintained in Lanzarote. Some are exclusive to Lanzarote, such as the Malvasía Volcánica and the Listán Negro; others, such as the Vijariego, have become endemic, due to the fact that it has practically disappeared from its place of origin, Andalucía.
The absence of Phylloxera permits ground level cultivation, without the need for grafting rootstock, as it has always been grown.
Here we explain the most significant varieties:
This variety is exclusive to the Canaries (not to be confused with Listán Prieto, which does exist in other wine-growing areas.). The Listán Negro has its origin in a gene mutation, or activation of an allele in the genome of the Listán Blanco variety, which gives it colour. In Tenerife, throughout the XIX century, it became the most abundant variety in detriment to the white varieties, which had been more abundant before that.
We produce our red and rosé wines with this variety, as well as our sweet wine George Glas.
This is the most important and abundant variety in Lanzarote. On other islands of the archipelago, from where it had disappeared, it has been undergoing a reintroduction since the end of the XX century. This variety is not found outside the Canary Islands, not even sybollically.
According to our studies (Report La Malvasía Atlántica in NUESTRA INVESTIGACIÓN, in the directory LA BODEGA ), it is the variety with which the ancient wines were made, the Canari Wine, which reigned in Europe from the mid-XVI and all of the XVII centuries, disappearing during the XVIII century substituted by more productive white varieties such as the Listán Blanco.
In Lanzarote, where wine was not produced until the eruptions of the XVIII century made it possible, all of the existing varieties in the Canary Islands were introduced. From the XIX century onwards, Malvasía Volcánica went on to substitute the Listán Blanco, becoming the most abundant variety. We use it to produce all of our monovarietal Malvasía wines: Dry, semisweet, as well as sweet.
This variety was abundant in Andalucía (from where it was brought to the Canaries, with other varieties, from the end of the XV century), as told by Simón de Roxas Clemente in his work of 1807. It almost disappeared there due to the Phylloxera, remaining in a token way in the Granada Alpujarra. In the Canaries it had its importance, although currently more than 60% of its production is now carried out in Lanzarote. Its hard peel makes this variety unappealing to rabbits, and also makes it more resistant to diseases. We use this variety to produce our Vijariego monovarietal.
This variety is very widespread in wine-growing regions, and is known as Muscatel Romano, from Alexandria, or Grano Gordo. Because it is very demanding of water, it does well in the “chabocos”, holes made in the lava layer, or at the edges of the lava layer. They are found in both places at El Grifo. We have some plants dating back to the XIX century.
In the XVIII century this was the most abundant variety, and its juice was used in the production of liquor. Throughout the XIX century it was steadily replaced, although not completely, by Malvasía Volcánica. On the other islands it continues to be the most abundant white grape variety.
We use it, together with a quantity of Muscatel, to produce our Afrutado.