Hopes and dreams of Raúl Ortega, a farmer in Lanzarote
Our joint project “A sustainable future for traditional wine-growing in La Geria”, which we are implementing together with the TUI Care Foundation and our project partners Senderismo Lanzarote and bluecontec GmbH, focusses on supporting and promoting the traditional and ecological wine-growing in the nature reserve La Geria, Lanzarote.
On behalf of all the farmers participating in the project, we spoke to one farmer about the project, his motivation, expectations, successes and challenges.
Raúl Ortega, 38 years old and born in Gran Canaria, has recently joined the project. He and his family bought a 17-hectare finca in the heart of the nature reserve of La Geria, which they manage according to ecological criteria. In order to receive ongoing support and to create to distribution channels, they decided to participate in our project.
Why did you buy the finca in La Geria?
I have lived in Gran Canaria for the past few years, but I used to visit Lanzarote a lot. I came to Lanzarote for the wedding of some friends and fell in love with the island again. During a tour on the island on which I showed my partner the most beautiful sights (he has never been on the island before) I kind of rediscovered La Geria again, a landscape that is unique in the world.
What was / is your motivation to take part in the project?
Restoring the traditional landscape that cost the island’s ancestors so much energy was already one of our goals. When we heard about the project “A sustainable future for traditional wine growing in La Geria”, it gave us hope, courage and strength to rebuild and support a piece of the heart of La Geria.
What are your goals and expectations of the project?
Our goal is to restore a finca that has been completely abandoned for more than 60 years and consists of hundred-year-old vines in funnel-shaped structures and various fruit trees. A finca that will make you fall in love and captivate you.
The world of wine is something new for us. This project has helped us and will continue to help us to understand this world and to work in a way that it will be self-sufficient one day. Our goal is also to work on our own ecological production line. We have already restored parts of the finca with the help of the Grevislan workers. We are very grateful for this support.
What motivates you the most?
What motivates us the most is the great, communicative collaboration between the project team and project participants as well as the exchange of information and experiences. In addition, the thinking and the conviction that by working together and combining our strengths we can bring La Geria back to its maximum splendour.
What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge is the communication and promotion of traditional and ecological winegrowing. Organic wine still has a lot of culture, which makes commercialization and profitability difficult. Lanzarote and La Geria have unique features that have not been promoted or acknowledged so far… There is still a lot to do.
This project focusses on supporting the organic and traditional wine growing in order to preserve the natural resources of Lanzarote and the cultural heritage of La Geria. Simultaneously the local wine producers are being linked to the hotel industry so that new distribution channels will be built and guests can “taste” the unique character of La Geria.