Traditional growing systems


The varied origins of the new inhabitants of the island led to a wide variety of different systems for growing  vines.  In  traditional  planting  systems,  the  vine  spends  much  of  its  non-growing  cycle, mainly in winter and spring, lying on the ground. In July, the vines are lifted off the ground (known as the «levantada» or lifting) and attached to forked arbours, usually made from branches from the laurel forest, mainly  tree  heath,  wax myrtle  or  holly.  Up  until  then, these  forks  have  been  stacked together on the ground.

In  the  Tacoronte  –  Acentejo  District,  they  use  a  traditional  growing  system  in  which  the  vines  are trailed  horizontally  along  low  arbours.  The  vines  are  planted  in  lines,  making  it  possible  to  see continuous strips of vegetation, know as «marjas» or «majaras». In the lower foothills of the district, we can find arbours that are scarcely half a metre off the ground. In this area, the forks are known as  «ganchillos»  or  hooks,  as  they  have  a  V-shaped  fork  at  one  end  to  support  the  arbour.  In  the higher foothills,  however, arbours are about a metre high.

In  the  Valle  de  la  Orotava  District,  you  will  find  one of  the  strangest  forms  of  training  vines,  the multiple  braided  cord.  To make  the multiple  braid,  or «rastra»  or  «machos»  as  they  are  known,  the vines are trained horizontally. These braids are usually formed about 50 cm above the ground. Like other  areas  of  the  island,  the  braids  are  traditionally  dismantled  in  winter  to  make  way  for  other crops, generally potatoes, during the vines’ time of hibernation.

The most wide spread system used in the District of Ycoden – Daute is the high arbour, built along the  borders  of  each  field  or  vineyard,  covering  the  edges in  a  strip  up  to  four  metres  wide.  The typical feature of the arbours in this area is the fact that they are built with a marked lean, making them similar to the trellis system. Unlike other areas of the island, the superstructure of the arbour usually remains in place throughout the year, it is not taken down.
In  the  districts  of  the  south-east,  the  most  commonly used  system  is  the  low  arbour  along  the borders  of  the  vineyard.  The  structure  supporting  the  arbour is  made  from  two  wires  that  set  the width, with the forks placed horizontally across them.

Finally, there are other systems in the island, of great interest, such as the cup formations of Vilaflor or  the  Semi-arbours  of  the  upper  reaches  of  the  Valle  de  Güimar  District  and  the  slopes  of  the Anaga mountains.