Fran Belín.- 28/05/2019

The good weather begins and invites us to look for moments and quiet stays. To drink a white wine at the ideal temperature, pink, red and … canary for more.

This moment brings us to these enclaves, pulsating hearts of vineyards and grapes, landscape and delicacy also dotted with imagination, work, effort, technology and knowledge: the wineries. And of wineries, wine and native varieties you know, and much, Juan Jesús Méndez, alma mater of Viñátigo (DOP Canary Islands, Canary Wine).

“To understand any winemaking you have to ‘understand’ Tenerife.” An eloquent statement by Méndez that is even clearer in the specific case of complicity between varieties such as slug or tintilla, to mention only two.

“The particularity in the mouth of that rare set could have an explanation in the growing conditions or the climate, or the influence of the Trade Winds … Perhaps, and that in the first instance we would not even imagine, we could find it in the rich evolution of the Canary Wine” , it states.

The Canary Islands, Tenerife and in particular the Teide constitute cliffs in the Atlantic Ocean and this influence is reflected in the elaborations of the Canary Wine. “Wine is a social drink, to share, to enjoy in company and that fosters that feeling by the special connotations and how it transports you to places, times … to stories and stories”.

“That concept,” continues the winemaker and winemaker, “we have it in the head of the processors since we planted and can the vineyard until the wine is served in the cup.” Juan Jesús Méndez comments sensations of the recent appointment of the Fenavin International Fair, in Ciudad Real, where the Canarian wines were present. “Without a doubt, it is consolidated as the Spanish showcase in the world; edition after edition breaks records of buyers that this year have come from more than a hundred countries. “

“Canarian wine is attractive and that is still our spearhead -apostilla-. It is in a world context of wine certainly homogeneous because it has been noted a trend towards the ‘standardization’ for dominance in the vinification of French varieties, which are the most abundant. Canarias has contributed to breaking this dynamic and we can really enjoy an impressive varietal heritage. “

“We have the historical fortune not to suffer the effects of phylloxera, so we have planted our endemisms on a frank basis and that has been fundamental for our differentiation”, details the head of Viñátigo.

“The soils of the islands are very young, of very recent volcanic character and in this lies the minerality ‘on the surface of the skin’ that is transmitted to the roots and also to the wine: that powerful sensation of connection to the territory and that is that we have five centuries of history. The islands lived for almost three of the export in a golden age and that relevance was transmitted with each Canary Wine barrel. “

Méndez remembers ample references of the classic Anglo-Saxon literature extolling the “magic wine” “and it is our current commitment, in the Canarian vitiviniculture, to recover that relevance that we had and that we should never lose”.

“The reality is that the stands of the congresses, fairs and shows all over Spain where we are present are attended by professionals directly and no longer by surprise but by specific references. The step in this direction has been impressive, because a few years ago people asked if there was wine in the Canary Islands apart from sun and beach … Today we are fully in our prestige and we do not stop at the events of the sector “.

About Canarian grape varieties, Méndez emphasizes that “it is a separate thing in the world of wine. An example. More than a decade and a half ago, it was seen with good eyes that we had to introduce ‘improvers’ that came from outside. This, it was shown, was a failure because in no case did it provide identity. We saw them clearly from Canary Wine and only based on the historical impact that that Canarian wine had, we would endorse this way of developing the peculiarity and potency of Canarian wine “.

Méndez gives as an example the experiences with the recent tour of different areas of the United States. “Year after year the degree of knowledge of our wine culture has increased and in the great restaurants of the main cities they know of the singularities of the Canarian winemaking; any establishment of haute cuisine has some reference of the islands and that is a pride for all, also for the one that is dedicated to the cultivation of those varieties to which we refer “.

“Also a few weeks ago,” he concludes, “we had the visit of a delegation of buyers who have gone away delighted and spread our bonanzas through social networks that experience they took away. That is a source of pride. “

* original article published in the magazine