El Grifo’s museum and its wine
Have you tasted Lanzarote’s one-of-a-kind wine yet? Whether you have already or not, I highly recommend visiting El Grifo’s Museo del Vino (Wine Museum). You’re going to love this unique experience. (P.S. This blog is not sponsored or anything like that, I only recommend what I have enjoyed myself).
Museo del Vino de El Grifo (El Grifo’s wine museum) is in one of the oldest wineries in Lanzarote. Built on volcanic rock, in 1775, the building showcases Lanzarote’s pure and most traditional architecture containing thick volcanic rock walls and roofed with wooden beams, that came mostly from the scrapping of ships. By itself, the building is a place to contemplate and enjoy!
The Lanzarote wine museum is located among the vineyards of the El Grifo area, on the road from the Monumento al Campesino to Uga, in the town of Masdache. It occupies the old wineries, built on the volcanic lava of the 18th-century eruption and dating from 1775. Access from the road is indicated by the monument to the griffin bird, by the Lanzarote artist César Manrique.
The ethnographic material that is exhibited inside is from the end of the 19th-century and the beginning of the 20th century where you can observe the evolution of the machinery in winemaking (wine presses, pumps, treadmills, alembics, cooperage workshop ... .) Inside it also houses a library on wine that has about 4,000 volumes, along with a collection of documents with some 16th-century writings.
The Museum also offers the possibility of taking a half-hour walk through the vineyards along the marked paths, where you will enjoy excellent views.
The visit proposed in the museum aims at paying homage to all the utensils that have extracted the best juices from the Lanzarote grapes. Among the different artifacts and winery, machinery displayed there are some very odd pieces. A shuffling pump of 1865, a corking machine of 1870, and the antique grape press, an 18th-century copper distiller, a very old ebullioscopy instrument and distillers, the sulfating and pulverizing machinery or the old press, where they used to press the grapes.
Visitors are given a general explanation about all the pieces, which are arranged by function, and about their importance in the production process of wine. Unfortunately, what is missing is an explanation of how each of these pieces interconnected with each other, which would make the overall winemaking process easier to understand.
One of the most attractive parts of the museum is the complete barrel-making workshop offered by Rafael Corujo de León. The machinery and precise instruments used to make the barrels that will contain the future Malvasia wine, as well as the crafty process to finish these reservoirs attract the visitor’s attention. It is difficult to imagine the suffering hands of the artisans which very often must have gotten stuck in the machinery. It is also hard to believe how much patience must have been needed to leave a barrel in perfect condition… one barrel, one of the hundreds that can be found at Bodegas El Grifo.
To conclude this visit there is El Salón de la Cata (The Wine Tasting Room). Where you can taste the wine or make a toast accompanied by some cheese. The enchanting place has that shine, that charm that invites you to take a delicious sip of dry, semi-dry, or dry house Malvasia, the sweetish Muscatel, make a toast with the sparkling Malvasia Brut, or treat your palate with a 1956 white wine… for a modest price you can enjoy different tastings.
Have some wine, have some fun and explore!
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