The family of Mr. Cándido Hernández Pío, like all families rooted long ago in the Region of the Acentejo, in the North of the Island of Tenerife, have harvested grape and elaborated wine for centuries for their domestic consumption.
Subsequently, as a result of the success obtained in other business activities, and especially as a result of the founding and management of the aluminum carpentry, Alucan SA, probably the largest on the island of local capital, the family derived part of its profits to the purchase of agricultural land and the development of what is now a major wine project on the island with annual productions of about 40,000 liters and a land area directly intended for wine production of ten hectares.
Thus, in the middle of the eighties of last century, this winery was one of the founders of the Appellation of Origin Tacoronte-Acentejo and the brand Viña Norte, under which the founding wineries of that period were grouped. Later on this brand was transferred to the Cabildo Insular to form part of Bodegas Insulares de Tenerife SA, and the winery that today occupies us, generated its own brands: Balcón Canario and Viña Riquelas for the winery located in La Matanza de Acentejo and Calius for the Project that this same winery develops in its facilities of the DO Valle de Güímar.
As the experienced winemaker from La Palma Mr. Fermín Pérez tells us, Viña Riquelas, is a local brand from the north of the island, appreciated by people familiar with the special and favorable conditions of the region of Las Riquelas in El Sauzal for the cultivation of the vine.
On our visit to the winery during this month of February 2017, where we were treated superbly by Mr. Cándido Hernández, junior, and Mr. Fermín; we tasted different wines from the winery such as their dry single-variety of Gual, white grape of difficult production, the traditional red Viña Riquelas vintage from 2016, their smooth and balanced Calius semi-dry white vintage of 2015 and the extraordinary red Calius Crianza vintage of 2013, made from the local varieties of Tintilla, Black Listán and black Vijariego, fundamentally.
As a culmination of our visit, our hosts had the magnificent detail of opening for us a Viña Norte bottle of the first epoch, vintage 1988, which against all odds proved to be in magnificent condition and exceptional bouquet, confirming to all that the Variety Listán Negro can show a perfect aging in bottle, making good the adage that every day one learns something new.