In May 2019, the British Master of Wine Tim Atkin visited the island of Tenerife. In addition to Master of Wine, Tim is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and wine commentator. He is also the judge of several international wine competitions and a photographer. In short, one of the most important prescribers in the world of wine internationally.
During his visit to the island, we were lucky to have him with us in Viñátigo, where we talked about our work in the rescue of the Canary grapes and where we enjoyed tasting and sharing our elaborations.
Subsequently, the British journalist and master of wine has published several articles with references to viticulture on the island of Tenerife. The last one, a few days ago, in the February / March issue of Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine, entitled “Taste of Tenerife“.
In the aforementioned article, Tim Atkin begins by recalling the Canary Wine and the importance of Tenerife wines in international trade during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Several centuries of legacy they have left on the island of Tenerife, today, a landscape of vineyards that are free of phylloxera, many with more than 200 years old, 82 grape varieties, 98 producers and 5 designations of origin.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the vineyards of Tenerife plummeted for several reasons, and it is not until the beginning of the 1990s when its resurgence begins.
For the British Master of Wine, “Tenerife is how the United Nations of Wine“, or as Juan Jesús Méndez of Viñátigo says: “We are part of Europe, but we are also the first area of the New World.“
It is safe to say that black listán and white listán are the most important grapes by far, representing around 85% of what Tenerife grows; significantly, there are at least 10 different clones of each.
After that come marmajuelo, malvasía, albillo, black vijariego (sumoll of Catalonia), negramoll, listán prieto (mission of California and country of Chile), baboso negro (Alfrocheiro de Portugal), tintilla, gual and others.
According to Tim, describing the characters of these grapes is not easy either, since they often mix and have different aromas and flavours according to altitude, appearance, soil type, harvest dates and winemaking techniques. With the exception of the baboso negro, Tenerife wines tend to be fresh, medium to light in body and even slightly salty.
Atkin finishes his article with a selection of wines tasted during his visit to the island, which highlights our 2017 White Ancestral Elaborations Vineyard.
Labelled as a Canary Islands’ wine but entirely produced from the Madeira grape gual (bual). Tannic, intense and showing orange peel, jasmine and quince, it’s like a white wine crossed with a red, showing great depth and structure. 94 points
Tim Atkin MW
*Puedes leer el artículo completo de Tim Atkin en el siguiente enlace (inglés): Taste of Tenerife