The Wine Press

One element of European culture and a fundamental part of the Mediterranean diet is the wine, which arrived in the Canary Islands with the first Spanish settlers during the conquest.

Together with the first samples of wine brought by Castilians, begin to reach the island landscape wine press accompanied by wine cellars in form of stone, wood and tile constructions.

Los Muchachos, los RRPP de La Casa de Los Balcones en su Lagar
Recently, a team of researchers discovered the oldest winery found to date. They managed to identify a harvest of about 6,000 years old in southern Armenia. ‘This is the unit’s oldest wine production which has been discovered so far, with its press, its fermentation tanks and storage vessels. ”

Among the objects found included grape seed, remains of treated grapes, vine shoots and a clay vat apparently used for fermentation. ‘The winery would have contained a few liters of juice and crushed grapes, so it would presumable with the traditional technique of treading grapes barefoot.

Antiguo lagar de viga
In the Canary Islands, the most common and popular, becomes the beam press, example of simplicity and efficiency, qualities that converted in one of those picturesque old mechanisms that usefully have survived in a useful way until today.

The wine press consists of the building and mechanical parts. The building or construction regularly a rectangular building is covered by a gable roof, which houses the armored, made in ordinary masonry where is trod and pressed the grapes; Lagareta or tub where the juice is collected.

Lagar de La Casa de Los Balcones - La Orotava
The mechanical parts begin with the huge beam for pressing, of wood of  80 or 90 cm in diameter and between 12 to 15 metres long; and the Roman balance consisting of stone, spindle and hub.

  • The stone, of a conical shape, with little inclination, will be the force application on the lever.
  • The spindle is a great screw carved in wood approximately 3 metres long and a diameter of 20 centimetres which rests on the stone
  • The club is the nut where the spindle is screwed.

This forms the moving mechanism exerting with its weight the pressure of the device functioning thus with the principle at lever of the second type.

La Ventita de La Casa - 3er premio Concurso Fotográfico
At the Casa de los Balcones, in La Orotava, the end of the courtyard we can see a typical beamed wine press of the Canaries. Although it is in perfect condition, currently it is no longer it used for the harvest, but serves as storage for the finest wines and products of our land.

Come to taste the excellent wine production of the island. We wait for you!

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