Borja Perez

Canary Islands, Spain


BORJA PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ is a fourth-generation winemaker from Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, where his family has been making wine since 1927. He grew up in his family’s winery in La Guancha, a town in the northwest of Tenerife, surrounded by a stunning variety of vineyards in the historic growing area of D.O. Ycoden-Daute-Isora. He studied agronomy in college, then worked as a firefighter and race car mechanic, before buying the family winery from his father and uncle and launching his own project in 2011: Ignios Orígenes, dedicated to exploring the character of single vineyards of fascinating local varieties like Vijariego Negro, Baboso, Listan Negro, and (when we’re lucky!) the rare white Marmajuelo.

While discussions of Canary Island wines are often dominated by the obscurity of the local varieties, the own-rooted vineyards, the dramatic volcanic terroirs and their customized training methods, Borja’s wines are fascinating beyond the sum of their undeniably esoteric parts. They display aromatic exuberance, many dimensions of texture, depth of flavor, and an overall level of sophistication that is particularly shocking coming from a young winemaker who didn’t grow up in a region known for sensitive, terroir-driven winemaking.

Artífice (Spanish for “creator” or “artisan” and pronounced artifeesay) is Borja’s second label, an homage to his grandfather and the growers with whom Borja collaborates. Artífice Tinto, Blanco, and Viduenos are stunning regional wines, composed of many tiny parcels that combine to express the diverse soils, altitudes, and farming styles of Ycoden-Daute-Isora. Borja’s farming is organic and winemaking is natural, with no additives other than SO2, no temperature control, stabilization, clarifying (other than natural settling) or fining. White wines receive a light filtration. ORGANIC