A year ago, I stumbled upon the most bizarre and fascinating place I’ve ever been to: Lanzarote.
With a week of travel to myself, I booked a yoga detox retreat on a Spanish island I knew nothing about, and did no research into before arriving.
Turns out Lanzarote is part of the Canary Islands, which is much closer to the Western Sahara than Spain. And from the looks of it as I started driving around, may as well have been Mars.
Thanks to the desert-like climate and massive volcano eruptions 290 years ago, the landscape varies between vast deserts, steep, ocean-side cliffs and large, black hills.
Because of the intense trade winds and merely 16 days of rain a year, the people living there dig all of their crops deep into the ground, or build shelters of volcanic rock around them.
And one of those crops just happens to be grape vines.
Although I was technically on a juice cleanse, you bet I biked from winery to winery in 30 mph winds to check them out. And drove around to more the next day. And the day after.
My favorites were Bodega La Florida and Bodegas Guiguan, at which the winemaker himself poured for us inside his humble fermentation room.
One thing I love about this industry is that no matter where you are in the world, there are talented, committed winemakers creating something deeply unique from the land they have been given. And if you are lucky enough to experience it and hear their story, your perspective will forever be changed.