In the 16th century, the most famous of the wines that were exported
from the Canary Islands were known as “malvasia” or simply "vino de Canarias" (wine from the Canaries). At present, a much more
extensive range of wines are being produced on the island under the
denomination of origin, "Monte Lentiscal", and the denomination of
origin, "Gran Canaria". The grape varieties that are most widely
cultivated are negra común, negramoll,
tintilla, moscatel negra, malvasía and listan.
denominations encompass approximately twelve commercial brands that
produce young, red and white wines. These magnificent wines have
already conquered the local market and their fame is growing
One of the
unique aspects of the island of Gran Canaria is the diversity of
microclimates that are found on the island, which is why grapes of
the same variety that are cultivated in a very small geographical
area, present such a wide range of oenological characteristics.
Another distinctive characteristic of the local wines is the fact
that most of the vines were introduced onto the island before the
occurrence of the phylloxera plague that devastated Europe’s
is possible to cultivate the vines without having to resort to
grafting, which is why the island’s viticulture enjoys certain
The best way to
get to know the wine culture of Gran Canaria is to visit the
island’s wine cellars. Some of these cellars have their own museums
and virtually every cellar has tasting facilities, where you can buy
the local wines directly. In many cellars, it is also possible for
you to enjoy the local cuisine by prior reservation.
"rebirth" of viticulture in Gran Canaria has been enriched by the
inauguration of the Wine Museum, which is located in a house in the
centre of Santa Brígida. This house is more than two centuries old.
our wine page )
There are no breweries on the island - the raw
materials don't grow well here and anyway there is very little flat
The popular Spanish beers are Dorado, Tropical
'Foreign beers' are widely available, with Heineken being the most
The most popular drink
in Gran Canaria is the rum, with or without cola
(with cola, cuba libre); the town of Arucas holds the "Arehucas"
factory; the Canarian had been producing the rum for hundred of
years. It originates from the period that sugar
cane was an important crop for the economy of the Canary Island,
and they exported their "secret" of how to make it to South
Americans during the colonization.
based honey liquor. Popular as an aperitif or a liquor after a meal.
There are several manufacturers, and as with most things, the
quality varies with the price. By the ones a little more expensive,
available in the larger supermarkets.
Coffee is popular on the island. Traditionally it is
made with a percolator on the fire or stove, but that is time
consuming so bars and cafes have machines for making it quickly. The
beans are often fresh ground.
"Coffee break" in offices and shops is often taken in a local bar.
This practice also encourages social contact.
Strong black coffee served in small cups.
Cafe con leche
Coffee with warm milk served in larger cups. Note: This will almost
certainly be pasteurised milk, as "fresh milk" is virtually unknown
(See milk below).
Coffee with 2 types of milk; the pasteurised milk and a small amount
of condensed milk. This usually does not need extra sugar.
Almost as cafe con leche, but served in small glasses or tiny cups.
Many Spaniards takes it as a little snack and empties the glass or
the cup in one or two swallows.
Coffee with condensed milk, is served in small glasses with a layer
of condensed milk on the bottom and black coffee on top. Stir and
wait before drinking. The stirring mixes the milk and coffee and the
wait is to allow any coffee grains to settle to the bottom. This
usually does not need extra sugar.
Black coffee with local cognac. Usually served in small cups and can
contain up to 50% spirits depending on your taste and the whim of
the person who makes it.
Don't drink this if you are driving. The hot alcohol works fast.
Orange juice is normally made, while you wait, from local oranges.
Served in a tall glass, with ice if you like it, a spoon for
stirring and extra sugar in case you like it sweeter.
There are almost no dairy cattle on the island so
don't expect "fresh milk", or bottled milk. It isn't part of the way
of life here.
If you ask for fresh milk in a restaurant or bar you will probably
get a strange reaction. It's about the equivalent of asking for
goats milk in a northern European cafe ... they've probably heard of
it, they never use it and nobody is daft enough to ask for it!
Pasteurised milk is available everywhere, and condensed milk is used
for milk/sweetening in cooking, desserts and coffee.
Widely available in supermarkets and shops and in
a number of makes and types .. creamy, normal, half-fat, extra
calcium and vitamins etc.
Used in coffee and cooking, is available in shops and supermarkets
and comes in many sizes including handy tubes.
Is widely used but seldom commercially available.
You may be able to get some if you talk to the local people in the
Goats cheese is widely available.