It’s enough to pop anyone’s cork, a 17th century farmhouse on the lip of the La Orotava valley with a wine cellar that would fuel endless after dinner discussions. Get your senses ready for a treat. Casa del Vino is a working, living museum that squeezes every last drop of history out of Tenerife’s wine making tradition.
El Sauzal looks out over the grape stronghold of Tacoronte and is a perfect home for this dip into liquid history. As you pass under the stone archway into the cobbled courtyard the years melt away. A well worn wooden wine press draws your attention to a stage where a grand piano knocks out many a good tune at the summer evening concerts. There’s a conflict of eras as a guide in traditional Canarian dress ushers you into a viewing room for a big screen potted history of Tenerife’s place on the World wine map.
When the Canary Islands were at the centre of ships’ trading routes, Tenerife wine gained a far flung reputation and even William Shakespeare had his creative juices encouraged by Malvasia wine. Each region produced its own distinctive flavour and thankfully in recent years the government has produced distinctive branding for each region. Awards are continually added to the role of honour and many holiday makers become converts to Tenerife wine.
Across the courtyard a long display room has a fuller history, as you walk through the years old relics of growing and harvesting equipment take you through the evolution of Tenerife wine. But all this talk must have made you thirsty, just as well that the last room is the tasting area. Small samples will point you in the direction that suits your palate so you can buy a few bottles to take home – purely for historic research of course. For the keener long term visitors there are regular wine tasting courses to widen your knowledge.
To really appreciate the wine there is a restaurant with a terrace offering wondrous views of Mount Teide and the valley below, they revive old recipes making good use of local produce. There are still more secrets for nature to reveal at the attached Casa de la Miel (House of Honey) showing off another speciality, this one with 500 producers in Tenerife. And to make sure your glass is always full there are regular art displays in another of the halls that line the courtyard. Life is sweet with nature on your side.
Casa del Vino, Autopista del Norte, Km 21, El Sauzal
Closed Mondays. Open Tuesday 10.30 am to 6.30 pm, Wednesday to Saturday 9 am to 9 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6pm, Holidays 11.30 am to 5.30 pm.
Category : days out
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