The valley of La Geria, which has been declared a 'Protected Area', is Lanzarote’s main wine-growing region, occupying about 20 square miles (52 square kilometres) and stretching on both sides of the road from Masdache to Uga and right up to the volcanic slopes.
This area produces most of Lanzarote’s excellent wines, of which 75 per cent are made from the Malvasía grape, one of the oldest known grape varieties. Best known as a honey-coloured, very sweet wine with a rich flavour, already praised by Shakespeare hundreds of years ago, today the Malvasía grape produces a wide variety of quality white, red or rosé wines, from very sweet to very dry.
Located on the edge of the badlands and covered with black volcanic ash, the vineyards of La Geria valley look like they have been transplanted here from another planet. The Lanzaroteños found an indigenous way of cultivating vines on this arid and hostile ground. They dug more than 10,000 funnel-shaped hollows into the thick layers of picón (coarse volcanic ashes), planted the vines, only one vine per hollow, filled them with soil and poured thick layers of picón over it, as the porous volcanic granules ideally retain the night humidity to feed the plants. In order to protect them from the constant winds and drying out, they built low, semicircular walls around them.
This unique cultivation method results in a prosperous wine industry, renowned for excellent wines, which can be sampled and purchased in a number of local winegrowers’ bodegas (wine shops).
La Geria has become quite a popular attraction, it looks like a gigantic and spectacular piece of landscape art.