Hacienda La Geria

Vega Spínola wine has its origin in the vines planted centuries ago in the “Hacienda of la Geria”.

The  hacienda or cortijo of “la Geria” has been,  through the centuries, one of the foremost regions in agricultural farming in Lanzarote. La Geria is situated on the southwest plains of the island, not far from Timanfaya, the area where the volcanic eruptions of 1730-1736 took place.

This vineyard has been in the same family since 1563, the first owners were Bethencourt Ayala, the surname Lara ( which gives name to one of the Vega Spínola wines), was incorporated by marriage in the 18th century, it has been in the hands of the Fajardo family, their heirs, from the 20th century to today. The finca was initially a cereal plantation where, after being completely covered by fine volcanic ash  during the eruptions, agricultural farming became impossible for 30 years

In the space of a day the landscape is said to have gone from brown to black, the main house and outbuildings were also covered by the ashes, as was the small parish Church of “la Caridad”. But recovery started immediately, with great effort, holes of around two meters deep were dug into the soil and in each one a vine was planted

We know, from the family documents kept in the Vega Spínola, archive, that in 1764, that less than 30 years after the eruptions stopped, the excavation of holes and the plantation of vines had already started. This is a process which accelerated in the following years, meaning that the vines would have been in full production by 1780.

In the year 1795 the plantation was already producing 63 pipas (1 pipa, 500 litres aprox.), and 3 barrels of must, and between 53-54 pipas the following years. In 1797, the Hacienda of la Geria was considered to be producing around 80 pipas of must in good production years (roughly the equivalent of 39,000 litres). This would be, approximately, 75% of its production capability a century later, which gives us an idea of the progress made in the planting process. After analysis of the family documents we can affirm that the holing and planting process had been completed to its actual form by the beginning of the 19th century.

In the year 1818 the Cortijo produced 86 pipas of must, in 1881 there were 114 pipas collected, in 1882 the yield was 128,  in  1883 there were 80, in  1884 the Hacienda of La Geria produced 95 pipas ( 46,000 litres of must).

Throughout nearly all of the 19th century, the entirety of the Hacienda of la Geria was  in the possession of one single owner, Leandro De Lara Arbelo (photo nr. 1), from whom it was inherited by Isabel Ferrer Ortiz De Lara ( photo nr. 2). It was her husband, Leandro Fajardo Cabrera who, in 1891, obtained a contract with the British company Blandyfor the export of 100 pipas of wine (see photo nr. 4). By the year 1943, the Hacienda held in its cellars of La Geria, 46,539 litres of wine, 68,000 in its cellars in Arrecife, and 13,000 in Masdache.

1. Leandro de Lara Arbelo

2. Isabel Ferrer Ortiz de Lara

From 1962 the property starts to be subdivided and is alienated almost in its entirety. Only a few hectares of vineyard remain still in the hands of the Fajardo family, where Vega Spínolacontinues a wine-producing tradition of more than 250 years.

3. Leandro Fajardo Cabrera

4. Contract for the export of wine to England 1891 (Blandy).

Besides the lands originating from Hacienda La Geria, Vega Spínola owns two more vineyards of de Diego grape in Masdache, which came from the Spínola branch of the family.