Visiting Lanzarote’s vineyards is definitely one of the island’s most surprising activities.
Given the desert conditions and volcanic soil, it’s fascinating to learn how Lanzarote wines are produced.
Here’s our guide to help you plan your wine route, including the famous La Geria vineyards and the El Grifo museum.
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Lanzarote’s incredible vineyards
Don’t miss them! One of the best things to do in Lanzarote is to discover the unique vineyards on the volcanic soil.
We don’t know about you, but being the good Frenchmen that we are, we love the beautiful landscapes created by vineyards.
But on the island of Lanzarote, these lines of vines are quite unique, especially when there’s a volcano in the background!
Take a look at one of our favorite photos of the island:
Lanzarote’s vineyards are located mainly in the center of the island, between the volcanoes.
It’s quite impressive to see these plants growing on the black soil when there’s nothing else around.
We’ll explain in the next section how the locals are able to grow vines in such a harsh environment.
But for now, we’ll share a few more photos to show you just how unique the views of these vines are. A pleasure to photograph!
How Lanzarote wine grows
Before we tell you how to visit and experience this unique feature of Lanzarote, here’s a summary of the techniques used to make wine on the island.
Let’s remember the conditions:
- No rain – Lanzarote has a semi-desert climate and no high peaks in the middle, so less than 200mm a year, especially along the coast. Consequently, growing anything is a challenge.
- Arid terrain – The Canary Islands are volcanic in nature. Lanzarote had a giant eruption until the 18th century and a small eruption in 1824. A large part of the island is therefore covered by volcanic soil: ash, solidified lava, rocks… Not fertile land!
- Strong wind – Like its neighbor Fuerteventura, Lanzarote gets a lot of wind (sometimes even from the Sahara) and there are no high peaks to stop it.
And here are the solutions that have been found:
- To manage the lack of rain:
The entire floor is covered with ‘picon’, a type of small volcanic ash rock. Depths range from 50cm to 3m, depending on distance from the volcano.
This rock has the unique ability to capture moisture, rain and dew, while preventing evaporation. It provides just enough water to grow grapes because there’s no irrigation in any of the vineyards!
Due to limited water supplies and fertile soils, vines grow mostly close to the ground.
- And to protect against the wind:
What’s more, the locals have built small walls to protect the plants from the trade winds.
Typical protection is semi-circular, but you can also find straight walls that facilitate hand harvesting.
How to visit and taste the wines of Lanzarote
So, would you like to visit them and taste their products?
Here are your options:
Lanzarote wine route – map
Lanzarote has many vineyards of different sizes. Their name is Bodega:
- La Geria, the island’s most popular tourist attraction, located in the main wine-growing valley, where all the coaches stop.
- Rubicon, just opposite Geria
- Bodega Stratvs just north of them (modern winery)
- El Grifo, the oldest in the Canaries and our favorite (more about it later in the article)
- and many smaller ones if you want to discover more: La Querencia, La Floride, Vega de Yuco…
- All are within easy driving distance along the ‘wine route’ (LZ-30). Taste plenty of Lanzarote wines!
- Here is a map to help you find your way:
OUR ADVICE FOR RENTING A CAR IN Lanzarote
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars – one of the best rated sites.
- A small car is all you need.
- But you can also choose a larger one if you wish, as the parking spaces are rather large.
- There’s a lot of demand and it’s an island, so book early.
Excursions to the vineyards of Lanzarote
However, if you don’t intend to rent a car, you can join an organized tour of Lanzarote’s vineyards:
- Lanzarote Discovery Day – For an overview of the island, you can take a full-day excursion that includes Timanfaya National Park and La Geria Valley – See program and book (English-speaking guide).
- Hiking – If you’re in shape, enjoy a magnificent view of the island on this 9 km walk through the Geria valley to reach the 3rd highest point on the island and then relax and enjoy a delicious wine as a reward. See program and book
- Tasting – You can also drive to El Grifo, but book a guided tour with a tasting to learn more – see program and notices (in Spanish, English and Italian).
Take a look at all our favorite Lanzarote excursions on our article here.
La Geria vineyards, Lanzarote
As we said earlier, La Geria is the most visited vineyard on Lanzarote.
Founded in the late 19th century by the Rijo family, it is now run by the Melian family.
It is located in the La Geria Natural Park. Its arid landscape was created by volcanic eruptions in the 18th century.
Its most famous wines are sweet Muscat and Malvaisa.
Access to the store is free.
We’re sorry we didn’t take a better photo of La Geria Lanzarote wines.
But the best part is the view!
From the Bodega building, you have an unobstructed view of the valleys with all their semicircular walls and crops.
Although we don’t think it’s as pretty as the El Grifo vineyards we’ll see later, it’s certainly the most impressive area. It stretches for miles between all the volcanoes.
Take a look at the photos below:
WITH OUR GUIDE PLAN YOUR DREAM TRIP TO lanzarote
All the information you need for your trip:
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El Grifo – Vineyards and Wines
Our favorite vineyard was El Grifo.
Here you’ll find beautiful vineyards and a museum on Lanzarote viticulture.
El Grifo is the oldest winery in the Canary Islands and one of the 10 oldest in Spain.
It’s part of the large protected La Geria Natural Park, but not in the center, where the most visited vineyards are located.
The current owners bought it in 1880. Today, the fifth generation is at the helm.
We love the volcano at the top of the slope with its red color. It was so photogenic!
We love their logo and the way they’ve placed metallic versions of it against the white walls of traditional buildings.
César Manrique created the El Grifo winery logo: a Griffin, a mythological animal half eagle, half lion.
He also designed the label for the semi-sweet wine because it was his favorite.
You can see various structures on the 60 ha of land: semi-circular walls, straight walls and some larger circular structures.
As the Phylloxera parasite has never reached the island, some Muscat plants are between 100 and 200 years old.
Production is low: around 1000 kg per hectare.
Lanzarote wines – tasting at El Grifo
El Grifo wine bottles are beautiful and their products excellent.
Emmanuel, the family wine lover, was really surprised and impressed.
There’s plenty of choice for you:
You can simply visit the store and some of the products, or you can pay to enter the museum and do some tasting.
They offer different entry prices depending on the number of wines you wish to taste.
And best of all, they’ve created different areas for you to sit and enjoy the tasting. It’s very pleasant and not a tourist machine.
You can also book a guided tour with a tasting to learn more – see program and notices (in Spanish, English and Italian).
WHERE TO STAY IN Lanzarote
Option 1: Playa Blanca
To the south, the resort is charming with beautiful beaches. We recommend..:
Option 2: Puerto del Carmen
Main seaside resort with large beaches. We recommend..:
Museum of wine culture in El Grifo
The other advantage of visiting El Grifo winery is that they have their own museum dedicated to Lanzarote’s wine culture.
They’ve put together a wealth of tools for you to discover.
It’s a great activity when it’s very hot and you’re cooling off in the white buildings.
You can visit several buildings with numerous tools and installations used throughout the ages to produce wine.
The museum has, among other things:
- an 18th-century press beam
- a 19th-century vertical press
- Set up with lagar for crushing grapes and lagareta for filtering
- Barrel-making tools and materials
The evolution of tools and techniques is similar to that of other wine-growing regions, but has been delayed by several decades due to the remoteness of the Canary Islands.
A small cactus garden has also been laid out around the museum building. It’s not quite as impressive as Lanzarote’s famous cactus garden(see photos), but it’s still very pleasant, with some fun species.