Cape Verde Volcano Destroys Island Country’s Historic Vineyards

The eruption of the Pico do Fogo volcano in Cape Verde, a small island country near Africa, destroyed not only the small village of Chã das Caldeiras, but its vineyards as well. The aftermath of the volcano has left devastated farmers in the caldera bound to wait a long time for grapes to be ready for winemaking again, reports Wine-Searcher.

Cape Verde (officially Cabo Verde) was previously a Portuguese colony. It spans over an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands situated west of North Africa. The long tradition of winemaking began on Fogo island because of its colonial past: Manuel Montrond, a French colonialist on his way to Brazil, decided to stay in Fogo and plant the vines he had been carrying with him to create a sweet red wine known as Manecom. Chã, a village in Fogo’s volcanic crater, is the only area in Cape Verde that is able to grow grapes and produce export-quality wines.

Wine-searcher notes that the volcanic terroir of Fogo is surprisingly compatible with grapes. The few wine producers fortunate enough to be left unaffected by the volcanic eruption have vowed to get the Cabo Verde wine industry booming again, and to carry on the country’s long tradition of winemaking. [Wine-searcher] [Photo: Flickr.com/Caliterra]