Vineyards, Spain – Yann Arthus-Bertrand Photography
Of the seven islands that make up the Canary Archipelago, Lanzarote is the closest to the African continent. Its arid climate and the total lack of springs and streams on this 326 square miles (813 square kilometers) territory make any agricultural activity difficult. However, because of its volcanic origin, the island has fertile black soil made up of ash and lapilli, on clay subsoil that is not very permeable. An unusual wine-producing technique that is perfectly suited to these natural conditions has been adopted: vine stocks are planted individually in the middle of funnels dug in the lapilli, to draw moisture gathered there. They are protected from dry winds from the Northeast and the Sahara by low stone walls built in semicircles. The La Geria vineyard produces a smooth red Malvasia wine. In 2010, all Spanish wine production represented about 13 percent of the 264 million hectoliters of wine produced in the world. Spain can claim to be the third largest wine producer after France and Italy and second largest exporter after Italy. In 2010, the world wine production was the same as in 1998.