Wine and coffee and fruits in Agaete – is that a thing? Well, indeed it is! This small town in the northern parts of Gran Canaria has a lot to offer. There are only roughly 5 800 people living here but there is still a lot to do in this small town.One thing is to visit Bodega Los Berrazales that is located outside the town in the La Laja farm. Join us as we explore this unique place.
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La Laja Farm is huge
It might be somewhat confusing at first. We are looking for Bodega Los Berrazales but end up at La Laja farm. Are we at the right place? We went to this place to do some wine tasting and a tour of the plantation. It turns out that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. The name of the winery is “Bodega Los Berrazales” but it is located inside a huge place that is the La Laja farm.
Ulises is our guide and after giving us a warm welcome we are off to explore the property. The wine tasting will have to wait because there is much more to explore here than just sip on wine. It turns out that the farm is growing a lot more than just grapes. The wine is just a part of a huge machinery and they are also making their own coffee and growing loads and loads of different tropical fruits.
Coffee making in Agaete at the La Laja farm
We had no idea that Gran Canaria is a producer of coffee and it was a huge surprise to hear that they are indeed growing the magical beans here. When I think of coffee, my mind goes to Africa or South America (and of course the Blue Mountain in Jamaica). It was really a surprise that there are coffee farms in Gran Canaria as well.
But there are some differences between the “real” coffee-producing countries and the La Laja farm. Here they are growing coffee because it has been a tradition for 50 years. They don’t export any of it. If you want to bring some home with you, there is a shop and you can buy some coffee to take home. And of course, you’ll get to try the coffee while being at the farm. There is a reason that this place is called “Wine and coffee and fruits in Agaete” in my head.
The coffee beans are picked by hand
Ulises starts by showing us the coffee plantation. They grow the beans all year round and they pick the beans by hand. It’s the world famous Arabica Typica that is grown here. Here are some fun facts about the coffee that is made on the La Laja farm that you might not know about.
- The plants can grow up to twelve meters tall.
- Each plant gives about seven kilograms of coffee. In the end, those seven kilograms will result in just one kilogram of coffee beans.
- They use a homemade machine when peeling the beans.
- The coffee beans are dried for 25 – 30 days and after that, they are peeled and there is only a small bean left.
Special water makes for special wine and fruits
We quickly notice that the farm is a lot greener than other parts of the Canary Islands. Ulises explains that it is due to the farm’s location. The clouds get stuck between the mountains so there is more humidity here compared to other places in Gran Canaria. We also learn that they use volcanic water to all of their plants. It is high on minerals and we got to try it.
Ok, so drinking volcanic water turns out not to be my thing. I think that the high amounts of minerals give it a taste of iron. Well, in my mind it tastes like cold blood (or how I imagine that it tastes). But it is really good for the fruits and plants and gives them a great taste. And when we try some of their oranges we can really taste the difference. They are super juicy!
The fruits of the wine farm
At the La Laja farm, they grow a lot of different and exotic fruits and not just oranges. However, oranges take up the biggest part and last year (2018) they harvested 150 000 kilograms of oranges. They sell them to stores in the area but this is only the oranges. All the other fruits that are grown at the farm stay right there.
The fruit is for the people that live and work there. And then they also serve it to people like us (visitors that come to the farm). One thing that is really great is that they have lots of fruits that you might not have heard of before. One example is the Santali Lemon. It is smaller than your regular lemon but has twice the amount of juice. And what about the Noni fruit? We had never heard of it before. There is so much more to this place than “Wine and coffee and fruits in Agaete”. At the same time – we came here to try some wine and now it is time to visit the Bodega Los Berrazales and talk about wine.
Bodega Los Berrazales
At the winery, they make seven different wines. The wine tasting allows you to try out three of them. Ulises explains all about the process. My eyes wander and I get stuck on a picture. It is of Stephen Hawking. It turns out that he has been here and tried the wine – how awesome is that?! All the grapes are harvested at night. This because the sugar level is to high during the day so it would be wasteful to harvest during the day.
Ulises continues to tell us that the harvest varies each year and last year they produced 40 000 bottles. The wine is exclusive to the bodega and they don’t export anything. Like with the coffee, they don’t export wine but you can buy wine from the farm store. There are some restaurants that sell the wine to but in that case, they have driven to the farm store and bought it here.
Wine tasting in Agaete
And then it is time – time for the wine tasting. At the Bodega Los Berrazales, you get some snacks and foods with the wine = perfect combination. The view from here is spectacular. The whole property is twelve acres and you have a great overview of the property and mountains while sipping wine. The hotel where Agatha Christie wrote the popular book “Mrs. Marple” is visible from the La Laja farm – yet another awesome thing about this place.
Ok, so back to the wine tasting. We got some really good snacks to accompany the wine. First out was the dry white wine that has been seven months in an imported French oak barrel. It tasted really good and you can really feel the taste from the oak that the wine has been stored in. Their white wine is made out of 90 percent Malvasia volcanica grapes and 10 percent Muscatel grapes. You can also taste the flavor of vanilla and almonds.
Red and Rose wine from Bodega Los Berrazales
The red wine also tastes really good. It goes perfect with cheese. The cheese that they serve with the wine tasting is made out of 50 percent goats milk and 50 percent cows milk. To this, they also serve the coolest of jams. Have you ever tried coffee jam? It turns out to be really good!
And the wine tasting ends with a small glass of rose wine. According to me, it has a really strong kick afterward. This is perfect for people that want their wine to have an aftertaste of alcohol. All the snacks that are served are made at the farm, something that we appreciate a lot. And my favorite snack is the Chorizo de Teror spread that they put on the bread. Wine and coffee and fruits in Agaete at its best.
Chorizo de Teror – amazing spread on bread
Chorizo, according to us is a sausage. We were really surprised to hear that Chorizo de Teror is more like a paté and a spread that you have on your sandwiches. You can buy the spread in markets and it has a lot of garlic in it (and wine to). We fell in love with it and will be making it ourselves. Here is a recipe if you want to make this amazing spread at home! If you are in the Canary Islands you can buy it so make sure to stock up.
Chorizo de Teror – Recipe for 500 grams of spread
- 225 grams of lean pork.
- 50 grams of pork belly.
- 225 grams of back fat.
- 1,5 tablespoons of salt.
- 1,5 tablespoons of Pimentón.
- 1 tablespoon of dry oregano.
- 1 clove of smashed garlic.
- a small dash of curing salt.
- a small dash of cinnamon.
- a dash of crushed nutmeg and cloves and ginger.
- 1,5 tablespoons of white wine.
This is how you do it:
- Grind all the meats and fats in a grinder (3 mm plate).
- Mix the meat with all the other ingredients and place it in the refrigerator for about 12 hours.
- Stuff the paste into pork or beef casings. Make each sausage about seven to ten centimeters. If you prefer you can stuff it into synthetic cases to.
- You are done! Enjoy and make sure to keep it in the refrigerator.
Trying the coffee with some cinnamon hard rye bread
And to end a perfect day, we got a cup of freshly made cup of coffee. It is a special feeling, drinking coffee at the same time as you’re enjoying the views of the plantations. And the coffee was really good and strong. We really enjoyed it and to top it all of, we also got to try their dessert wine. Yet another quality product that we all liked.
So to sum it all up – Wine and coffee and fruits in Agaete is a “must experience” while visiting Gran Canaria. Be prepared to spend some time here because the farm and the winery is really great to visit!
Information about La Laja farm and Bodega Los Berrazales
Address: Calle de los Romeros, s/n, 35480 Agaete, Gran Canaria.
Opening hours: Daily 10:00 – 17:00.
Reservations: Not needed.
This post was made as a collaboration with the Gran Canaria Tourism board.