Pablo Matallana is a young, forward-thinking winemaker based on the Canary island of Tenerife. Through organic viticulture and thoughtful winemaking, Pablo seeks to showcase different grape varieties and the unique terroir of the Canaries. Pablo studied enology at the highly respected Polytechnic University of Valencia, and after graduation he worked in both Chile and Priorat before returning to Tenerife to pursue his own project. He made his first wine in 2015 from a recuperated old vineyard in Tenerife. In 2018, he bottled his first wines from neighboring Lanzarote under the name Vinícola Taro. Taro is named for the small stone structures within vineyards where growers take shade and shelter.
Lanzarote has a markedly different landscape than Tenerife, since it is the closest to Africa of the seven island chain and dramatically more arid. The highest elevation point is only 670 meters, dotted with smaller volcanoes instead of one very tall peak, as is the case for Tenerife and Gran Canaria. The majority of vineyards Pablo is working with are in the central part of Lanzarote, near Timanfaya National Park. The island sees only 18 days of rain per year on average, with a total of about 6 inches, making grape cultivation very difficult. Coupled with the intensely hot and dry trade winds known as the Calimas, vines are typically planted in hoyos (walled holes) or zanjas (trenches) dug in the ground for protection. Due to a period of major volcanic activity in the 1700s, vines must grow through one meter of volcanic ash (locally known as picón) to reach water in the underlying clay.
Taro Vinícola Pet Nat is made from old-vine Malvasía and Diego grown in zanjas in a vineyard named “La Florida” located in central Lanzarote. The grapes were hand-harvested on the same day, destemmed and pressed into steel tank, where they underwent a cold soak to settle and rack off the must (solids) before native yeast fermentation in tank, and bottled just before fermentation ended (ancestral method). The wine was bottle conditioned for 9 months and disgorged the following May. 500 bottles made.
Taro Vinícola Blancois made from Malvasía Volcánica, Listán Blanco and Diego from three different pagos: Chibusque, Frías and La Vegueta. The grapes were hand-harvested on the same day and fermented together, but with different treatments: the fruit from Chibusque was destemmed and pressed, while the fruit from Frías and La Vegueta was not destemmed and fermented with the skins. After fermentation, the wine rested on its lees for 8 months in stainless steel. The finished wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
Taro VinícolaFrías is made entirely from old-vine Lístan Blanco, one of the main native white varieties of the Canaries, grown in hoyos in a vineyard of the same name located in the center of Lanzarote. The grapes were hand-harvested in mid-August, destemmed and pressed into steel tank, where they underwent a cold soak to settle and rack off the must (solids) before native yeast fermentation on skins for the first 16 days, then racked and aged on fine lees for 8 months. The finished wine was bottled without fining or filtration the following May.
Pablo Matallana La Rosa de los Negrines is about 95% Listán Prieto with some Listán Blanco from a parcel of 80+-year-old vines near Oliva, about 7km from the coast, on the island of Fuerteventura. The wine is named for the adjacent farm of the same name. In Fuerteventura, the tradition was always mixed agriculture due to the low rainfall, and vines were planted on the edges of the farms. The soils are clay and limestone and the elevation is around 165 meters above sea level. The grapes were harvested by hand and hand destemmed, then fermented in open-top plastic bins with their skins for 35 days without temperature control. After fermentation, they were pressed to rest in stainless steel tank for 10 months with their fine lees. Bottled without fining or filtering and with only a small addition of sulfur.
Taro Vinícola Tinto is made from old-vine Lístan Negro with a small amount of co-planted Lístan Blanco, grown in hoyos in a vineyard named “Chibusque” located in central Lanzarote. The grapes were hand-harvested in mid-August, 20% were destemmed by hand while the rest were left in whole bunches for semi-carbonic maceration lasting 8 days, then rested on fine lees for 8 months. The finished wine was bottled without fining or filtration. 600 bottles made.