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 arider. 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 Blanco is made from Malvasía Volcánica, Listán Blanco, and Diego from three parcels of organically farmed own-rooted old vines from three different areas of Lanzarote: Malvasía from La Vegueta, which has intensely limestone soils and has a strong influence from the northern coast, Listán Blanco and Malvasía from La Geria, harvested early to maintain acidity, and a small amount of Diego from Juan Bello Mountain in central Lanzarote.