Posts

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!

Fuentes:

Canarian Sauces (Mojo Canario)

One of the star products of our Islands and attracts the attention of all visitors, are certainly without doubt the Mojos. The name “Mojo” is what we use to describe our typical oil-based sauces, vinegar and garlic, nowadays converted into a signal of fundamental identity in the Canarian cuisine.

Mojo verde y Mojo rojo

The origin of the mojos is lost in the memory of the islanders but the variety of recipes and ingredients used in its preparation are the result of the creativity of the island, linked to the fortunate geographical situation of the islands turned into meeting point of various cultures. The marine trade routes left in the hands of Canary farmers a treat variety of peppers, herbs, chili peppers which bove fruit and took root in its volcanic soils, helped by the bonanza of its variety of microclimates. It shouldn’t be left to pass the fact that Canaries is one of the regions with the most variety of potatoes, some of which have been lost even in their places of origen America.

Ingredientes Mojo Rojo - foto de Caja de Sabores

The great variety and popularity of the mojos sauces is due to its simple preparation as its peculiar taste. The real mojo should be prepared in a mortar or pestle allowing each ingredient retain its personality. Mainly they are characterized by preparing all the ingredients raw, which makes them retain all their vitamins and therefore very healthy. There is always an exception to the rule, so between the great variety of recipes for mojos we can find one of palmero origen (La palma) distinguished for using fried garlic.

Ingredientes Mojo Verde - foto de Mercado Calabajío

Popularly divided into red and green sauces, soft and spicy hot sauces, but exists so many as dishes to accompany them. Experts speak of traditional mojos, dressing, salmorejos, pickle, sauces. Red with peppers, with or without tomato; green parsley and cilantro, avocado can also be used… and we can continue with a huge range of recipes that could include cheese, almonds, fruits, hot peppers, all kinds of herbs and spices and even fruits. The great thing is that all retain the essence, but each person elaborates it their own way.

La ventita de la Casa de Los Balcones, 3er premio I Concurso fotografía

In any case the green mojos often accompany or fried or oiled fish and seafood, such as limpets. Red sauces for the strong and intense plates as pig´s meat, the jareas, sardines, rabbit or offal flavor dishes. But definitely the main and indispensable companion of the mojos are wrinkled potatoes. That exquisite Canarian potatoes, unpeeled and salted that can be served as a snack cover or as a garnish in all kinds of dishes. And it is clear that it should not be missing on a Canarian table where there are rich mojos, a good “chunk of bread “to soak”.

At the Casa de Los Balcones we have a beautiful winery, which is intended for the sale of agro-food products, such as the Mojos and other typical products of our land.

Fuentes: