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Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Description to Canary islands

The Autonomous Region of the Canary Islands (Spanish: Islas Canarias) belongs to Spain and is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa at the level of Morocco. The archipelago consists of eight inhabited and a number of uninhabited islands and covers a total of 7,447 km². The distance to mainland Spain is 1,100 km, but the easternmost island, Lanzarote, is only 100 km from Africa. 550 km to the north is the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. The north-south extension of the Canaries is 212 km and the west-east extension 340 km. The region consists of two provinces, each with a capital:

Kanarische Inseln - Karte

  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife with the 4 islands La Gomera, La Palma, El Hierro and Tenerife (capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife).
  • Las Palmas with the 3 islands Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote (capital is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)


When the Romans landed on the island of Fuerteventura in ancient times, they found numerous packs of wild dogs, so they named the island "Insula Canaria" (Island of Dogs). In 1402, a Spanish ship landed on Gran Canaria and found the original Guanche population there, living as they did in the Stone Age. The Spaniards and Portuguese brought their native grape varieties with them until the end of the century and founded viticulture. At that time, sweet, alcohol-heavy wines were popular, made from the white varieties Moscatel and Malvasia. The wine was called "canary sack" and was exported in large quantities to England and northern Europe. By the time of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the island wine was already famous; in "What You Will", Sir Toby Belch asks for "a cup of canary".

Climate & Soils

These are volcanic islands. For this reason, the soil is volcanic and ideally suited for viticulture. The most recent eruption from September 2021 on La Palma caused severe damage by destroying vineyards. The subtropical and pleasant climate, which is constant throughout the year, has earned the archipelago the nickname "Islands of Eternal Spring". The flora is characterised by a high biodiversity and a high proportion of autochthonous plant species. The vineyards cover around 9,000 hectares. A special feature are the exclusively ungrafted vines, as the archipelago was largely spared from phylloxera.

Vineyards & grape varieties

There is viticulture on all seven main islands. The vineyards cover a total of 11,000 hectares. The most important red wine variety is Almuñeco (Listán Negro) with over 4,500 hectares. Others are Baboso Negro (Alfrocheiro), Cabernet Sauvignon, Castellana Negra (Rufete), Moscatel Negro (Listán Prieto), Negramoll, Pinot No ir, Syrah, Tempranillo, Tintilla (Trousseau Noir) and Vijariego Negro (Sumoll). The most important white wine variety is Listán Blanco (Palomino), others are Albillo Criollo, Baboso Blanco (Cayetana Bl anca), Burra Blanca (Airén), Forastera Blanca (Chelva), Gual (Malvasia Fina), Malvasía de la Palma (Malvasia di Lipari), Malvasía de Lanzarote, Marmajuelo, Moscatel (Muscat Blanc), Pedro Ximénez, Verdello and Vijariego.

Wine-growing areas

There are ten DO areas and one VCIG area (quality wines). These are (DO name - island):

  • Abona - Tenerifa (DO).
  • El Hierro - El Hierro (DO)
  • Gran Canaria - Gran Canaria (DO)
  • Islas Canarias - entire region (VC)
  • La Gomera - La Gomera (DO)
  • La Palma - La Palma (DO)
  • Lanzarote - Lanzarote (DO)
  • Tacoronte-Alentejo - Tenerife (DO)
  • Valle de Güímar - Tenerife (DO)
  • Valle de la Orotava - Tenerife (DO)
  • Ycoden-Daute-Isora - Tenerife (DO)

El Hierro

It was here that the Englishman John Hill first planted vines in 1626. The terraced vineyards of the DO area of the same name, with almost 300 hectares, reach up to 700 metres above sea level. It is best known for white wines from the Vijariego Blanco variety. These account for around 70% of production and are also made from the other Canary varieties. The red wines are mainly made from Listán Negro and Negramoll. The best sweet wines are made from noble rot grapes.

Gran Canaria

The DO area of the same name comprises around 450 hectares of vineyards at an altitude of up to 850 metres above sea level (the former second DO area Monte Lentiscal has been abandoned or integrated). The vineyards are located around the capital Las Palmas and in the north-east of the island. The most famous wine, which also established the DO status, is "Tinto del Monte" (mountain wine) from the Listán Negro variety.

La Gomera

With 370 km² the second smallest island. The DO area of the same name covers around 100 hectares of vineyards on steeply terraced slopes fortified with stone walls.


In 1730, there was a volcanic eruption that lasted six years and covered the entire island with a layer of lapilli (small stones) and black ash. The DO area, which covers the entire island, comprises around 2,300 hectares of vineyards in the five municipalities of Haría, San Bartolomé, Teguise, Tinajo and Yaiza. It is divided into four subzones: La Geria in the south, San Bartolomé -Tías in the centre, Tinajo in the west and Haría - Ye in the north. The climate is extremely dry. The vines are planted in artificially created hollows (hoyos) up to three metres deep and enclosed with semicircular stone walls made of basaltic lava boulders to protect them against the north-east trade winds and drying out. A speciality is fortified sweet wines with a high alcohol content. The best wines are made from vines up to a hundred years old. The bodega "El Grifo", founded as early as 1775, runs a wine museum worth seeing and is famous for its Malvasia wines.

Kanarische Inseln - Lanzarote - Reben in Mulden (Hoyos)

La Palma

This is also known as "La Isla Bonita" (the beautiful island). The DO area of the same name with over 1,000 hectares of vineyards consists of the three subzones Fuencaliente-Las Manchas, Hoyo de Mazo and Norte del Palma. White wines from the classic varieties are pressed to 80%. Some of the sweet wines produced are fortified. A speciality is the white wine "Vino de Tea" from Albillo. It is named after a native type of pine tree from which the 500-litre barrels are made for ageing.


With just under 2,000 km², the largest of the Canary Islands. There are five DO areas here. The southern DO area of Abona covers 2,200 hectares at an altitude of up to 1,800 metres. The Tacoronte-Acentejo DO area on the west coast covers 1,800 hectares and is named after the towns of Tacoronte and La Victoria de Acentejo. The climatically hottest DO area Ycoden-Daute-Isora covers the entire green northwest of the island. It is named after the ancient Guanche kingdoms of Ycode and Daute, as well as the realm of Princess Isora. The steep vineyards at up to 1,400 metres above sea level cover 1,600 hectares. Garachico developed into the main export port of the famous "Canary Sack". The DO area Valle de Güímar covers 750 hectares and is named after the valley of the same name. The vineyards here are located at an altitude of up to 1,400 metres above sea level. The DO area Valle de la Orotava covers 700 hectares and is named after the town of Orotava on the northwest coast.


These include Bodega Comarcal Valle de Güimar, Bodegas El Grifo, Bodega El Lomo, Bodega El Níspero, Bodegas Flores, Bodegas Insulares Tenerife, Bodega Llanovid, Bodegas Monje, Bodegas Mozaga, Bodegas Reverón, Bodega Tajinaste, Bodega Tomás Guzmán Mesa Rodríguez, Bodega Viña Chagua, Bodegas Viñátigo, Coop. Cumbres de Abona, Juan Jesús Méndez Siverio.

Map: Bernd Ramm Goruma
Lanzarote vineyards: © Dr. Peter Bezold

Don Ángel Weine Canary islands 2018 trocken Blanco 82 WP good 7.50 €
Don Ángel Weine Canary islands 2019 trocken Blanco 83 WP good
Don Ángel Weine Canary islands 2012 Angelayo 84 WP good Up to 50.00 €
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