The Island of Lanzarote has its very own wine-making region, called La Geria. It is located near Parque Nacional de Timanfaya (Timanfaya National Park) [see our previous post]. Like the parkland, Bodega la Geria (wine-making region), is entirely made up of volcanic soil. Declared a protected area, the valley stretches from Masdache to Uga all the way to the volcanic slopes. The landscape here makes it possible to grow vines in high winds, and the Lanzaroteños created an ingenious method of growing grapes from the arid ground, to create a wide variety of red, white and rose wines. The range of dry, medium and sweet wines produced are known to be very good to excellent.
Shakespeare was known for his love of the sweet fortified wine (then called malmsey) produced on Lanzarote, La Palma, and Tenerife Islands from the Malvasia grape (which originated in Greece and grows widely along the coast of Croatia). Shakespeare referred to Malmsey wine as “Canary” and he was inspired to include it in his writing. It is not known if he actually visited the islands himself, but 20 million litres of Malmsey was imported into London during the 15th century via the new world trade routes before a dispute ended the import.
“O knight, thou lackest a cup of Canary. When did I see thee so put down? — Twelfth Night, Sir Toby Betch