Lanzarote’s rugged volcanic terrain might not seem like the ideal climate for wine growing, but the Canary Islands are renowned for their traditional cultivation of Malvasia grapes, producing the famous sweet Malmsey wine, among others. The La Geria district of Lanzarote has long been celebrated for producing the islands’ best wines, and touring the wineries (bodegas) has become a popular pastime among visitors, affording the chance to taste a range of local white, red and rosé varieties.
Aside from the wine tasting, it’s the vineyards’ moonlike landscape that is La Geria’s biggest attraction. Unlike the tiered vineyards more typically associated with grape growing, here each vine is planted in a "zoco" - an individual three-foot-deep pit, protected from the elements by a semi-circular stone wall. The atypical design makes the most of the fertile volcanic soil, while drawing and maintaining moisture in the pit, but it also makes for a striking landscape – the pock-holed surface dotted with vines and stone arches appears almost extraterrestrial and learning the secrets of the protected agricultural area offers a fascinating insight into Lanzarote’s unique topography.
La Geria is located in the center of the island, about five minutes by car from Uga and Yaiza, and is home to a number of vineyards. The easiest and most popular way to visit is by guided tour, but it’s also possible to pre-arrange a private wine tasting or tour at some of the bodegas.