The wines of La Gomera

By | Category: Travel destinations

wine from La Gomera

Spain has a long tradition of winemaking but many people think that the best wines are limited to the Spanish mainland.

This isn’t necessarily the case. Take the small island of La Gomera in the Canary Isles. Wine has been made here for hundreds of years and, partly because of the volcanic soil and old vines, complex wines are produced.

The island has a rugged landscape so many vineyards are cultivated on steep and terraced hillsides. The steeper the slopes, the smaller the terraces, and many of these crop-growing areas are propped up by solid stone walls. Some can be as much as 1,500 metres above sea level. In these small vineyards, most of the work is still done by hand. Traditionally, the vines were left to grow along the ground but are now trained along trellises.

Since 2003, La Gomera’s wines are protected by the Guarantee of Origin, “Denominación de Origen La Gomera.” These wines are smooth, aromatic and balanced with exclusive characteristics which owe much to the combination of the island’s distinctive features, including its mountain topography, volcanic soil, micro-climates and human factor.

In particular, the altitude lends itself to the production of dry, acidic whites. These are made from Forastera Gomera grapes, which account for 90% of the island’s vines but aren’t grown anywhere else in the world. Forastera grapes have grown here for more than four hundred years, and from a winemaking point of view, it is the most valued variety on the island due to its notably acidic nature, which gives it a fresh, balanced taste.

La Gomera’s red wines, on the other hand, are made from Listan Negro grapes typical of the Canary Islands or blended with Tintilla, Tempranillo, Negro Molle and other varieties.

Today, the La Gomera wine region consists of 13 vineyards (bodegas), which produce 30,000 litres of wine every year.  Easily found on the island, throughout the Canaries and in Spain, they are less easily found in the UK.

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