Spain Day 3: An island of Volcanic Ash?

Waking up at 5 am after getting NO sleep is pretty tough, but heading to the airport to fly to Tenerife is not. Even people from Spain were surprised we were heading to the Canary Islands. I was a little bit still myself, but again, know how necessary it is to make things happen.
It may seem a bit out of the way, and it for sure was, but the unique layout of the region, the up and coming wines (in the eyes of Sommeliers and others throughout the world) and the potential for this region were so important we knew we needed to go. The grapes they focus on are mostly indigenous to the islands, producing wines that are more unique than anything I have ever seen or tasted.Check out the map below and see where it is located in regards to Spain

It is 829 miles off the coast of Spain, close to the Moroccan border. This place is OUT THERE. It was a nice little 2 and a half hour flight. Once we landed we were WOKE. For the young kids, does that work there? Woke? I mean, we were awake and excited that’s for sure.
We didn’t exactly get to leave the plane and head straight to the beach though. Of course, we had work to do. We had a feeling that if things went well, then God would for sure leave us enough time to see what the Canary Islands had to offer from a beauty standpoint. We just didn’t know we would get to see it the whole time we worked as well…
After a few hours in the priority pass VIP lounge (yes you read that right) we boarded the plan to head to Lanzarote.
First, while we were in the lounge we did another Bible study that Blair lead, and it was as good as we have had. We hope to one day have Bible studies in public all over the world where we can invite locals to join in as well and are looking forward to the day this starts happening.
Soon after, we boarded this, Como se dice – puddle jumper? (Translation: How do you say, puddle jumper?) of a plane to fly from Tenerife to Lanzarote. It’s only a 45 minute flight so it was a lot easier than driving around like we had been. Plus, we couldn’t necessarily drive from island to island. It would have been fun to take the ferry, but not efficient.
We landed in the Lanzarote airport and headed on to find someone from the Bodegas Rubicon winery who was picking us up from the airport. One problem: We didn’t get this persons information before. I usually am very thorough, but in the 25 emails of correspondence from the owners daughter and me, we didn’t once remember to get our info to them for pick up.
Lucky enough for us, we look like tourists and were wearing our company shirts, so Jose from the winery knew who we were pretty quickly. He didn’t speak English, so Adam translated for us and we were on our way.
Noticing the amazing landscape was pretty obvious even in the “city”, but as we got further away from the edge of the island and closer to the center, the views really started happening.To understand the island you have to understand it’s history. Come back later for a post specifically over the island of Lanzarote, but for now this shall do. In the 1730’s, the main Volcano on the island erupted. It didn’t just erupt for a minute…it erupted for 6. Years. Straight! This caused most of the island to be lost, and now the land is still black volcanic ash. Yes, that is right. The pictures here really show you the color….it’s surreal.

The winery we visited, Bodegas Rubicon, survived the eruption (the winery itself) and planted the grapes it needed in the volcanic ash.
A lot of the vines are 200 years old or older, some are 300 years old! This is VERY old. To put it in perspective, the entire region of Napa wasn’t really started to be planted until the 1860’s and a lot of the grapes they have now were replanted in the early 90’s or later.
This place was…SPECIAL.
They dig holes for the grapes, 3 meters deep or more, to get to the good soil under the ash. They plant 1 plant in each hole and then build rocks around the front to keep the wind from harming the grapes.
It was windy as all get out, so this made sense.
We walked through the vineyards and couldn’t believe we were there.After spending much of the time freaking out about actually being where we were, we went into the winery and toured that as well. We tasted 3 of the wines they make straight from the tank and then went to the tasting room and tried their whole lineup together with Steffi and Jose.

The whites made from Listan Blanco or Malvasia were all great. The complexity brought forth for these wines from the terroir (all things that man can’t control about the grapes… the climate, soil, all natural surroundings…a sense of place if you will) is something that cannot be duplicated. One of the reasons why most wine professionals love wine is this exact phenomenon, and I swear the island of Lanzarote is the DEFINITION of this.
The rose was of course on point and the red, made from Listan Negro, was complex, earthy, ashy, mineral but still had enough fruit to keep it going. To say the least, these wines need to be drank to really understand them.
They invited to their restaurant for dinner after, which of course we accepted. A meal of chickpea and rabbit stew, octopus, goat and tuna surely hit the spot and the pairings of the wines with the meal was exactly what you would expect: Perfecto!

After thanking them a thousand times over, the drove us back to the airport. We had about an hour left until our flight to Tenerife took off. I noticed a beach about two minutes away, so we go in a taxi and went down there. We got down to our boxers and swam in the ocean off the Lanzarote shore an hour before our flight left. We HAD to see it and it was totally worth taking that chance.We were able to walk in and through security and walk right on to the plane.

An amazing day was recapped in our hour long car ride from the Tenerife aiport to our hotel on the south part of the island. We sat up for a bit on the balcony and listened to the waves crash against the shore while recapping the day and taking notes. It was pitch black outside so we didn’t really know how beautiful Tenerife would be until the next morning.
We did know we had a great day in Lanzarote though.
Until next time
Cheers
Keith

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