Two decades ago a well-respected wine writer said of the Canary Islands:
“All the wine the DO makes is swallowed up by the local market; thus, while there is pressure to maintain quality control and development, it seems unlikely that this will lead to export potential.”
Much has changed in twenty years and in the August 2015 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine, Patricio Tapia does an excellent job in explaining how in twenty years these rocky, volcanic islands off the coast of North Africa have seen an incredible flourishing of winemaking talent. We are pleased to see that the Garcia family and Roberto Santana of Suertes del Marques have been signaled out in this article:
The foothills of Teide face the sea in a gentle slope that descends from 2,600 to 800 feet. The old vines in the area caught Santana’s attention, including El Ciruelo, a 100-year-old vineyard surrounding a twisted plum tree on volcanic, chalky soils. At the time, Garcia and his father were looking to change the focus of the winery, from technical wines to an emphasis on the vineyards. So when Santana expressed interest in El Ciruelo, the Garciu decided not to heed their neighbor’s advice to rip out the old vines and plant petit verdot, syrah or cabemet sauvignon – as that was what you could sell – and brought Santana on to focus on farming by plot, working conscientiously in the vineyards.
The secret to their success, in the words of Jonatan Garcia: