Our island offers an almost unlimited number of treasures, but today we explore one set that is particularly dear to the hearts of many of our residents at Abama Resort: Canary Islands vineyards. Like the rest of the island, the variety and quality of the product from Tenerife vastly eclipses the size of the island. But once again, our microclimates and unique geography have worked together to produce incredible bounty.
In total, the Canary Islands vineyards have 10 appellations of origin, of which no less than 5 are on Tenerife: Abona, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de Güimar, Valle de la Orotava, and Ycoden-Daute-Isora. The Canary Islands are one of four regions in the world that are completely free of the phylloxera plague, meaning that strains can be planted directly in the land. This gives a subtle mineral touch to all our wines; like most everything else here, the path always seems to lead back to the volcano.
The information in this blog comes directly from our expert sommelier at Martín Berasategui’s Melvin restaurant, located in the social club at Las Terrazas. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to sample the fare, we recommend that you do so as soon as possible, and put yourself in the more than capable hands of our sommelier when it comes time to choose how to accompany your meal. Of the five D.O.s of the island, Melvin serves wine from four: D.O. Abona, D.O. Valle de la Orotava, D.O. Valle de Güimar, and D.O. Tacoronte-Acentejo.
In the region of Abona, in the south of Tenerife, they produce white wines with a lot of body, but also red and rosé wines that deserve this designation of origin. The many hours of sunshine benefit the region and the porosity of the volcanic soil favours the absorption of moisture, key to achieving an exquisite grape, especially Listán Blanca. The vineyards of the region of Abona range from 400 to 1,700 meters above sea level, and the municipality of Vilaflor cultivates vines at the highest altitudes of anywhere in Spain. These enjoy a mild Mediterranean climate with light influences of the trade winds and extraordinary sanitary conditions. The taste of the white wines of D.O. Abona offers shades of almond blossom, mango and banana, which gives them a soft and fruity aroma.
The wines of D.O. Tacoronte-Acentejo are not only born in the beautiful landscape of the north of Tenerife, but because of their proximity to the coast they benefited from the influence of the Atlantic. The complexity of the terrain has the vine crops divided into terraces at up to 1,000 meters above sea level. The prestige enjoyed by the wines of Tacoronte-Acentejo is due above all to their aromatic, fruity character. Especially noteworthy are the red wines, which account for 80% of the production in the area, but also the young whites and rosés. The Tacoronte-Acentejo reds have a bright colour, with cherry and garnet tones. They present fruity touches and clean and balanced sensations on the palate. White wines have a slight balsamic and persistent flavour, while the rosés are sparkling, slightly sweeter, and more acidic. Another product range is the Tacoronte-Acentejo of overripe grapes, which is very intense and naturally sweet.
White wines are the star of the wine production of the Valle de Güímar D.O., accounting for 80% of the production. The colour presents tones between pale yellow and straw, even golden, and the wines are characterized by a fresh and fruity taste. Their aroma is of medium intensity, with touches of fruit and fresh grass. The rosé wines are appreciated for their aroma of red fruits, while the reds are recognized for their earthy notes. Other varieties are their sweet wine, with hints of honey; sparkling wines with a very fine bubble and persistent crown, slightly acidic; and needle wines, slightly spicy and with notes of nuts.
Northern Tenerife wines fall under the D.O. Valle de La Orotava, favoured by the pleasant climate of the area and the influence of the trade winds. The white wines are characteristic of the western area of the Orotava Valley, being slightly bitter and having fruity aromas. The colour of these elegant wines ranges from straw yellow to lemon yellow. The rosé wines are recognisable by their raspberry colour and aroma of wild fruit, while the red wines are soft, with varied aromas and a bitter touch on the palate. Both the rosé and the red wines are elaborated mainly in the central region and east of the Valley of La Orotava. Alongside the banana trees, which are cultivated in the most coastal areas, the vine cultivation creates a beautiful landscape crowned by the silhouette of the Teide and dotted with villages and hamlets. The soil is reddish, loose and fertile, perfect for vineyards attended to with exquisite care between 400 and 800 meters above sea level.
D.O. Ycoden-Daute-Isora produces white and rosé wines with a clean and bright appearance that are very aromatic and have a fresh grape flavour. The dry white wines can be recognized by their pale-yellow hue and the mixture of sweet and sour sensations they produce on the palate. The malvasías, on the other hand, are golden, with fruity and floral aromas, made with overripe grapes that give them sweet and sour notes. The freshest wines of this region are the rosés, whose touches of strawberry and pineapple give them a somewhat tropical feel. The red wines of Ycoden-Daute-Isora, with violet tones, offer an intense aroma of red fruits and a pleasant, expressive and persistent finish, especially when they have been prepared in barrels. This D.O. is in the northwesternmost region of Tenerife and its wines are heirs of the old “Canary” that gained so much popularity in past centuries. The terrain is rugged, of ancient volcanic origin and very fertile, while the climate is mild and fresh and especially benefits the Listán Blanca and Listán Negra grape varieties.
We hope this serves as only the beginning of your Canary Islands vineyards education. Your work is certainly cut out for you with so much choice at your fingertips. Head down to Melvin as soon as you can to begin tasting the local wines and other Tenerife drinks, right here at Abama Resort. A whole world awaits you!