I’m tasting through a host of wines from Spain this week as I gear up for my Spanish Wine Scholar exam. This one is from Bodegas Vinatigo on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. It is made 100% from the indigenous grape called Listan Negro. It was a fruit forward young wine reminiscent of a good Beaujolais or a Groppello from Lake Garda.
It grows on volcanic soil and there is a brightness both to the color and the aromas that I find in wines that come from grapes grown on volcanic soils. This would be a perfect wine to sip at a picnic with some charcuterie and cheese, have with a hamburger or hot dog on the grill, or with a Tortilla Espanola.
The winery is run by Juan Jesús Méndez who took the reigns in 1990. They make wines using gravity flow and are responsible for saving many grapes from extinction.
The Canary Islands was the launch pad for many expeditions to the Americas in the era of Spanish and Portuguese exploration. This location as a crossroads has led to the area being rich in diverse grape vines from around Europe. Bodegas Vinatigo has many vines that are over 100 years old and that are grown on their own rootstocks because phylloxera did not devastate the island.