The wine cultivation techniques in the Canaries are artisanal and traditional. They enclose unique practices that have been forged in accordance with the singularity of the land, the climate diversity and the wide variety of grapes that can be found in this territory.
The Canary Islands are per se, a continent in miniature. As evidence, in such reduced territories, the Canaries host a large quantity of denomination of origin. Each of them possesses characteristics, types of landscape and grape variety that give way to a large variety of exclusive wine.
Due to the limited availability of cultivated land, all techniques have been deployed to maximize the use of the land. Among them we can describe the following techniques:
The vineyards in traced lines: held by wooden fork, elevated at approximately 70 cm from the ground, the vines are aligned, planted with a separation of 1 to 1.20 meters between each plant and 6 to 8 meters of separation between lines. As the elevated vines free land space, this technique allows for the cultivation of other culture such as potatoes, wheat and other vegetables.
Nowadays, winemakers only dedicate their land to grape cultivation and depending on their location they cultivate their vineyard using a trellis system, which simplifies pruning, provides better control and facilitates in general the cultivation operation, and collection process.
In hillsides and mountain areas, we can appreciate a unique form of cultivation technique: Twisted cord vines, where the vines are designed with curious forms. This technique optimizes the production of fruit of the variety that is cultivated in these areas. In addition, the vines elevated from the ground with extendable wooden forks while its full length can be moved and rotated up to a 45º angle to leave free space for other culture.
Vines perched in high pergolas, or planted around a perimeter to free the center for other cultivation; vineyard covered with volcanic ashes in more deserted areas allowing the conservation of humidity are such techniques that can also be found as we moved from one denomination of origin to the other.
Finally an astonishing technique, famous for leaving breathtaking landscape. In the island of Lanzarote, the grapes grow in fields prepared with volcanic lava, where the ground is carved forming small craters, 3 meters deep to reach the vegetable soil. These conical structures protect the vines from strong winds that are common in this Island. With no irrigation in the vineyard, this cultivation technique allows to capture and maintain the moisture that emerges from the ocean winds and it is sufficient to make the vines grow.
All these techniques and diversity make the Canary wine, a lost treasure to discover.