■ Monte Roca
red aged wine
Result of the union of two good friends and wine lovers like Juan Manuel and Laureano and from a grape of meticulous viticulture close to Bandama…
A Gran Canaria classic, it is sweet, but measured, and does not cloy thanks to just the right acidity and a delicate bitter touch…
His friends Pepe Cazorla and Adolfo Santana, pioneers in resuscitating bottled wine on the island with their Fataga grape (from the Southern part), encouraged him to start his own winery. The oenologist Luis Molina came into the project for a few years, and his expertise gave the wines an important boost: they started to stand out and win awards at local tasting competitions.
Cruz soon quit his job at the electric company and started working full time at the vineyard and winery; he brought in his daughter Tamara as soon as she finished school and had completed her professional internships. That has resulted in a distinct refocusing, and they now also organize tastings and visits to the winery which he, admittedly, “did not want before, because it meant a lot of work for me and what I like is the vineyard and working the wine.” It has also meant increasing the range of wines offered, and not just the classic reds, which are aged at the estate of the 25-year-old vineyard, but also the red Monte Roca from the Bandama grape provided by Cruz’s friend Laureano Roca, the dry white from the grapes of his friend Pepe Cazorla, and a natural sweet wine, in addition to a semi-dry white and a rosé.
And now they also produce vinegar, perfect for restaurants, in order to take advantage of the barrels that are older than six years. Another friend and neighbor, Diego Cambreleng, provided the mother of vinegar, to which Juan Manuel adds his wine. And he is planning further expansion with new products like Albillo fermented in barrels of new French oak, a Mondalón Selection, and an ecological wine.
They even offer cosmetic products, which they incorporated when Tamara Cruz joined the winery. For her, sending the wine to some cosmetic laboratory and ordering “yet another cream,” didn’t seem right: “We wanted a product that was 100% made on the Canary Islands.”
they developed a daily anti-aging cream and a regenerating night cream that contains their wine, along with aloe vera and avocado oil
So they developed a daily anti-aging cream and a regenerating night cream that contains their wine, along with aloe vera and avocado oil, all local products that a pharmaceutical company from Arinaga (Gran Canaria) reduces, distills, and transforms for them according to a formula they developed in consultation with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. “It was complicated, but finally we found it,” Tamara told us, after showing us the creams, which, apart from the rejuvenating properties of the wine’s Resveratrol, also take advantage of the well-known dermal restorative properties of aloe vera and avocado oil. “Our cream contains 10% wine,” she says, comparing it to other cosmetic creams that normally contain only one or two percent of their key ingredients, whether that be snail extract or Argan oil.
■ Bodegas Mondalón Picachos SLU
Cuesta Mondalón 6 (Los Hoyos), 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Islas Canarias (España)
Phone number: (34) 928 356 066
● Capacity: 30,000 liters.
● Average production: 25,000 bottles/year.
● Exportation: small deliveries to Germany.
♠ Tasting visits only for organized groups (private and professional), minimum of 8 people. Starting at 12 Euros per person.