The seven main islands that make up the Archipelago vary dramatically, their soils having been formed from volcanoes, landslides, and erosion, and ranging from heavy Basalt to light stone to a ratio of sand and clay. Soil aside, there's elevation to consider; a visitor could start their day on the soft white sand beach of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and before too long, find themself at the peak of the oft-snow capped Mt. Tiede - the highest in Spain and fourth tallest of active volcanoes - straining to catch a glimpse of the coast of Morocco a mere 62 miles beyond the eastern shore. More easily visible from the high reaches of the western Islands are Lanzarote and Fuerteventura Island and their more uniform altitudes and consistent climate. It bears repeating - the Canaries are not a monolith.
How is it, then, that the wines from the Canaries are so eminently recognizable and communicate a sense of place unmistakable as anything but of these seven islands?
Maybe it's the humidity that sprinkles oceanic salt over the vineyards; or the shared need to overcome a severe lack of natural freshwater resources with cleverness, creativity, and a tremendous understanding of terroir (perhaps most strikingly displayed on Lanzarote, where vines are planted in crater-like pits called hoyos that are covered in volcanic ash and surrounded by lava-stone walls to protect them from the elements and trap the natural moisture from sea breezes); or that the Canaries are untouched by phylloxera and are one of the few places in the world with ungrafted vitus vinifera, with some still-producing vines reaching upwards of 200 years old. Whatever it is, there's no escaping it - the Canary Islands are a remarkable, rugged, and singular source of some of the most beguiling wines the world over.
On Thursday, we'll have Emily Kaplan of Serendipity Wines - and a Canary enthusiast, ready with an arsenal of photos from her recent trip through the islands - to pour through five wines from three different producers to highlight the archipelago's outrageous range (bubbles, rosado, white, and two dramatically different reds...and maybe even a super special splash from our own cellar). Come get hooked on the Canaries!
$25 for the flight ($15 for club members).
Thursday, August 31st at Solano Cellars
5-8 pm (last call 7:45)
*No Reservations Necessary