A Compelling Canvas for Distinctive Wines
Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago offers a compelling terroir canvas for producing distinctive wines. While its average daytime temperatures are quite high—this is a subtropical tourist destination, after all—Atlantic trade winds, called alisios, cool the islands and contribute much-needed moisture. Spanish colonists planted widely in the Canaries beginning in the 15th century, and the wine industry boomed in the ensuing years as British merchant ships carried the local products—mainly sweet fortified wines made from Malvasia and Torrontes—far and wide. International demand diminished throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and winegrowing on the islands subsequently all but collapsed, only to be revived in recent decades by a handful of passionate advocates who realize the specialness of this archipelago’s terroirs and work to find the broader audiences these wines deserve.