Puro Rofe, which locally means "pure ash", takes its name from the volcanic ash of the island, called rofe. Born in the summer of 2017, it places Lanzarote in the court of the great vineyards of the world, thanks to pure wines that highlight traditional vineyards.
Meeting with Rayco Fernández, co-founder of Puro Rofe, who shares his vision of things with us here. A colorful and very endearing character, also at the head of the Bimbache estate in El Hierro, wine distributor in Las Palmas, editor of the iNNoble magazine and organizer of the iNNoble Wine Fest.
WINE EXPLORERS : WHY CREATING PURO ROFE?
Rayco : I have always thought that the wines of Lanzarote should undergo a revolution, partial or total, so that our viticulture is taken more seriously. Not to be seen as “a tourist island that makes a little wine”, but as a “wine region in its own right”, which also welcomes tourists. It is therefore important to promote the local grape varieties (like Listán Blanco, Listán Negro, Diego…) and not only the Malvasía Volcánica (as delicious as it is) to give more value - and price - to the singular viticultural work that is done on this island.
W.E. : WHAT MAKES LANZAROTE VINEYARD SINGULAR?
Rayco : The hypnotic landscapes, the pre-phylloxera grapes, the sub-desert climate, the salinity found in the wines thanks to the volcanic soils... all this contributes to the magic of the island's wines! We must realize that in Lanzarote the traditional agricultural systems has to be better paid, given the extreme difficulty of working in the vineyard.
W.E. : WHAT SOLUTIONS COULD BE POSSIBLE TO CONTINUE THE WORK OF THE VINE?
Rayco : In 4 years, we have doubled the purchase price of grapes to value the work. NO young person will want a job (however good it may be) if they earn a derisory salary. But if he earns at least a minimum wage, it is possible that many will discover (and it is happening) that the "best employment agency in the world" is perhaps the vineyards of Lanzarote!
Tasting of the MENTIDERO 2021 cuvée, a blend of 4 grape varieties: Listán Blanco, Listán Negro, Malvasía Volcánica and Diego, which come from century-old pre-phylloxera vines cultivated by Ascensión Robayna(1), a winemaker from Montaña Blanca.
Harvest on July 31, 2020, natural fermentation, aging for 10 months in barrels, unfiltered, unfined. On the nose, this white wine develops delicate aromas of almond, quince, chalk, flint, pear and lime blossom. On the palate, a very nice richness supports the wine. The finish is superb, slightly saline. A delight!
(1) Ascensión is also part, together with several winegrowers on the island, of Ecoagro San Bartolomé, a small company based in Arrecife, dedicated to the recovery of old vines and their cultivation in an organic and certified way.