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The first vines were thought to have been planted on the island of La Palma in 1505, brought first of all by the conquerors and later by settlers.  Each settler brought the root stock that formed part of their lives in their places of origin in order to feel at home in the new land they had reached and where they intended to put down roots. The varied origin of the root stock has led to a wealth of grape varieties that is unrivalled in other areas.

The difficulties in transport between the islands at the time, which fostered the isolation of each island, have made the Canary Islands a large area made up of seven small continents, each with its own identity.

Ever since the early 16th century, the quality of the wine was such that the leading courts of Europe were never without the Malmsey “that cheers the senses and perfumes the blood” in Shakespeare’s own words. Goldoni, R. Stevenson, Walter Scott and Lord Byron also praised our wines. This deserved fame and the privileged geographic position of the island, a well-established port of call on the main trade routes of the times, generated a flourishing wine trade, making it the main source of wealth for the Canary Islands in the 17th and 18th centuries. Canary Island wines fell into decline in 1848, aggravated significantly by an outbreak of oidium and mildew.

In the late 18th century, a major plague from North America struck Europe. Phylloxera devastated the vineyards of Mainland Europe, leaving the islands free from the scourge of this insect. As Canaries remained free from phylloxera, several varieties that were wiped out in their places of origin have survived here.

With the start of banana growing in coastal areas of the island in the 1950s, many vineyards were ploughed under to be turned into banana plantations. The island wine-growing sector underwent a major transformation in 1993 with the creation of the “LA PALMA” Denomination of Origin. Vineyards were recovered and new ones planted. The wine started to win a reputation beyond the shores of the island thanks to the major prizes in won in both national and international competitions and it started to sell at a decent price.

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