La Geria is much more than a wine-growing area; it is unlike any other in the world: the fruit of the islanders’ sheer grit and determination. Back-breaking hard work went into hand digging some 300,000 pits in the volcanic ash and rock by rock, 100,000 drystone walls have been built to shield the precious vines from the winds. Volcanic ash produces excellent wines which can be tasted in various wineries scattered along the windy road that snakes through La Geria. The region spans 5,255 hectares of volcanic ash and lapilli or rofe, as it’s known in Lanzarote. Dotted among the horseshoe stone walls, you’ll see palm trees, fig trees and other fruit trees. Built into the lava slopes, you can just about make out white rectangular structures. These are ingenious solutions to the lack of water designed to collect and store the sparse rainfall.
This wine-growing region stretches across five of the island’s municipalities: Yaiza, Tías, Tinajo, San Bartolomé and Teguise. It is also home to several small towns and villages and most of the wineries included in the Vinos de Lanzarote Designation of Origin wines. Among the most important wineries on the Wine Route are El Grifo, which is the oldest, Los Bermejos, La Geria, Rubicón, Stratvs, Vega de Yuco, Reymar, Suárez and El Campesino.
La Geria received the first of many accolades when, in 1987, it was declared a Natural Park. In 1994 it was awarded Protected Landscape status and in 2013 it received the CICOP International Award, in the Conservation of Cultural Landscape in the Canary Islands category, in recognition of how manmade and natural features coexist in harmony whilst preserving the landscape. In 2015 it was included in the Lanzarote Geopark (Site of Geological Interest number 36) and in Unesco’s catalogue of Cultural Landscapes. It is also a candidate to become a designated Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS), which is part of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
These international recognitions are a great boon to tourism in La Geria and Lanzarote, in general. Visitors to La Geria can enjoy a range of activities linked to its natural surroundings, landscape and wines: the Wine Route, mentioned before; sporting events like the Wine Run, which celebrated its 11th year in 2019, and the musical event that brings together wines and song, Sonidos Líquidos, both held in June.