Pedro Antonio Martin – Conatus Vineyard
"Fuerteventura has its first vineyard labelled as Canary Island Designation of Origin (DOP) "
Fuerteventura has its first vineyard labelled as Canary Island Designation of Origin (DOP) located in Lajares. In order to find out more about it, we met with the Owner Pedro Antonio Martin. Tell us how this adventure started...
I was born in the countryside when, at the time, all the land used to be cultivated and that is what I used to do until tourism started, which is when I started working in the hotel trade. Then, when I got married, I brought here the first plants that came from some that my father in law had in Villaverde, this was 30 years ago. I believe that we planted 30 wines and after I separated from my now-ex-wife, they stayed here.
Did you know what to do?
No, I didn't, I started without any knowledge. I was looking for something that would relax me from the stress of the restaurant and as the owners of the restaurant were connoisseurs in wines, it sparked my curiosity. I received this plot of land from my father and I started bringing vines from other islands such as Tenerife and planting them. Thankfully, I met with Alberto González, the oenologist, who has great experience and he advised me on the whole process. He arrived at the right moment, the wines already had bunches of grapes and I didn't know what do to with them. Furthermore, like me, he believed that we could make good red wine in Fuerteventura.
And this is how Conatus was born?
Yes, it is, Conatus in Latin means effort which was the base of its existence. It is also the name of our red wine and the white wine has my son's name, Airan, as they were “born” at the same time. It seems like this was just yesterday, but I started all this in 2010. I also have a vineyard in El Jable that is 30 years old and produces very well. Furthermore, wines like dry and calcareous terrain and in El Jable they get really deep roots that get the humidity very well.
It seems that in the Canaries white wines are better than red wines, or they are more popular anyway...
There are already good red wines in the Canaries. With good grapes and working well, we can achieve it: Conatus is the proof. With the listan negra grape and the listan prieto grape, which is another variety that is older, we get a good wine. Furthermore, the first wines of the Canaries were planted in Betancuria and then they were taken to the other islands.
When did you get your first harvest of Conatus?
It was in 2016 that we got the first bottles, but in 2017 we got the DOP for the vineyard.
How much do you produce now?
We have produced 2.500 bottles of red wine and 1.100 of white wine.
Where can we find your wine?
In various hotels on the island such as the Bahía Real where they have started selling it, it is also at the Parador in Puerto del Rosario, at the Marabú, in Rio Miño, in some locations in Lanzarote and Tenerife and we can also find it in the gourmet shop in El Corte Inglés in Las Palmas. On the other islands, people are more used to consuming local products, I hope that slowly, thanks to the wine association, the same will happen here. I have taken part in various tastings for two years and now I present my wines in various contests that are more famous and in higher categories.