En oenological curiosity is made in the north-west district of La Palma: “El Vino de Tea” or “Heartwood Wine”. The product that men and women with a passion for their land, their vines, traditions and wines work to promote, the product that their forefathers put all their efforts into, a unique product.
This unsettling, attractive La Palma wine was traditionally aged in casks called “pipas” (the name given to casks on the island) made from the heartwood of the Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis) or “pino de tea”. This wood was used as it was the only one available in this isolated area. This wood gives the wine strong balsamic aromas of resin, mint or eucalyptus. Some years ago, these wines, with their great personality, drew the attention of young oenologists, which has enabled them to win recognition in a range of competitions.
MALMSEYS AND Y SABROS:
It was at the end of the 15th century, with the arrival of European settlers, that the first vines were planted in La Palma vineyards. And these varieties included specimens of the age-old Malmsey. Scarcely one hundred years later, the exceptional quality of our wines had crossed borders and was celebrated both in the Courts of Europe and in America. Much of our present root stock may have been harvested for over one hundred years.
The Malmsey of La Palma is an aromatic, exuberant wine, made naturally from grapes that are left to over-ripen on the vine. The Malmsey wine growers are patient folk, as they must only pick bunches in which over half of the berries have turned into raisins, leaving the rest in the vineyard to be harvested when they have turned.
It is an ideal wine both for drinking on its own, or to accompany something to eat.
Another curiosity of the island is Sabro. This is a variety of unknown origin. Recently conducted studies show that to date, this variety is not grown anywhere else in the world. It is generally used to make high quality, elegant naturally sweet wines.