Denominations of origin D.O.
The denomination of agrifood products with the name of their place of production or origin is a practice that is almost as old as the very markets for the sale and exchange of agricultural products. These Protected Denominations of Origin (P.D.O.) are a recognition at regional, national, and international levels of a food product that is of proven quality and prestige. This is because it is produced in a specific geographical environment, with certain natural and climatological characteristics, with a raw material originating from that environment, or due to the use of historical and traditional production systems.
Given the varied climatological and natural conditions and even the different cultural practices that have evolved depending on the region, the island of Tenerife has five P.D.O.s that reflect the same number of wine-producing-geographical regions, and one regional P.D.O. The wineries voluntarily choose to register their wines in one of these denominations of origin.
The first P.D.O. to be created on the island was in 1992 in the wine-growing region of Tacoronte-Acentejo. The region is located in the north-east of the island and is made up of the municipalities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, El Rosario, Tegueste, Tacoronte, El Sauzal, La Matanza de Acentejo, La Victoria de Acentejo, and Santa Úrsula. This region includes the sub-area of Anaga, within the Anaga Rural Park, a protected natural area. This is the most densely populated area of vineyards in the Canary Islands.
Two years later, in 1994, the Ycoden-Daute-Iaute P.D.O. was established, which covers the large region of north-west Tenerife, comprising the municipalities of San Juan de la Rambla, La Guancha, Icod de los Vinos, Garachico, El Tanque, Los Silos, Buenavista del Norte, Santiago del Teide, and Guía de Isora. The vineyard plots are small and steep, so most of the work is done by hand. As in the case of Tacoronte-Acentejo, the main training system is the espalier, due to the advantages this system offers in terms of production quality and ease of handling, although historical training systems such as the trellising in the area of Icod or the vine arbour are still in use.
In the same year, 1994, the creation of the Valle de La Orotava P.D.O. was approved, which includes the municipalities of La Orotava, Los Realejo, and Puerto de la Cruz. This valley is a wide depression in the north of the island. There has been a long tradition of wine production in the valley since the time of the Conquest. There is evidence that the first vines were planted on the El Burgado estate, in the present-day municipality of Los Realejos. For generations, the winegrowers have developed their own original cultivation system for their vines, the braided or multiple cordon.
In 1995, the Valle de Güímar P.D.O. was approved. On the opposite side of the island to the Orotava Valley, in the south-east of the island, there is another depression, caused by the same type of landslide towards the sea. This valley includes the municipalities of Arafo, Candelaria, and Güímar. The vineyards extend from areas close to the coast to altitudes of around 1,500 metres.
In May of that same year, the Abona P.D.O. was approved. This region in the south of the island includes the municipalities of Adeje, Arona, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla, Arico, Fasnia, and Vilaflor, where vines are grown at possibly the highest altitude in the whole of Spain. The vineyards in this region are mainly grown on jable (white volcanic ash).
Lastly, in 2012, the Asociación de Viticultores y Bodegueros de Canarias created the Islas Canarias P.D.O. with the aim of strengthening the regional market in order to begin to market Canary Island wines internationally under the Canary Wine brand. This P.D.O. brings together different family wineries from all the wine-producing islands and can classify the wines as regional wines, island wines, municipal wines, depending on the origin of the grapes, and plot wines, which seek to enhance the expressiveness of their best grapes and the characteristics of each plot of the vineyard.