Our friends at Wine Tours Lanzarote are out and about with the island’s wine makers all the time, so we couldn’t think of anyone better to give us all an update on Lanzarote’s 2018 harvest. Here’s what they told us:
Good things come to those who wait!
2018 has been a roller-coaster of a year for wine makers in Lanzarote. Casting minds back to January time, many vines on the Island were in a secondary growth phase and young grapes could be seen on vines. This is a fairly unusual occurrence, driven by warm and dry conditions and is less than ideal as the main harvest in summer could be impacted with lower yield and quality. Incidentally, a secondary harvest is therefore not permitted on the Island. Some of the winemakers we visit were getting very nervous due to these conditions and their prayers were finally answered with a cold and wet spell later in the month. This thankfully stopped the growth phase in its tracks, meaning the vines could rest ahead of their usual cycle.
Many of our readers will have enjoyed amazing summers in Northern Europe, but for us, June & July was characterised by cloud. While we needed more sunshine for ripening, the good news was that the vines were laden with grapes! The sun of course broke through in the end and the grapes ripened, albeit a few weeks later than usual in many cases.
The great news is that the 2018 harvest of 3.9 million kilos is the largest since the setup of the regulatory council in 1993. The longer, steadier ripening cycle has also meant that the wine makers are incredibly happy with their wines which are already being released to the market. The 2017 vintage of the Island was officially certified as “excellent” and we expect 2018 to be another close call.
Lanzarote is particularly famous for its young, crisp and fruity wine from the Malvasia Volcanica grape. This is a wine that is best drunk young and you can already try some of this year’s releases on our tours.
You can book a tour or wine tasting via their website: Wine Tours Lanzarote.