For us - wine cellar 2.0

We can't talk about Las Bodegas Monje in El Sauzal without mentioning a bit about the wines of the island. In recent years, wine has started to become important (and better quality) in Tenerife. Therefore many of the wine cellars on the island try to modernise and create new concepts so that Canary Island wine in general (and Tenerife’s wine in particular) has started to compete on the world stage.

Las Bodegas Monje is one of the wine cellars which invests in and renews concepts in this field. For that reason we took a stroll around it to be able to offer you another activity among everything you can do in Tenerife.


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Shakespeare mentioned it in one of his works, and even at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London you can find a small silver plaque engraved with the name Tenerife in a section about historic wines.

A bit of the history of Las Bodegas Monje

Las Bodegas Monje as it is started in 1956, but winemaking tradition goes back to the times of Felipe Monje’s great-great-grandfather in 1750.

With nearly 50 years of experience in the world of wine, there is an area where there is a collection of their first bottled wines (from 1956 to 1998).


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This collection of wines helps them to have a history of their wine and of how it has evolved over recent years.

Las Bodegas Monje produce nearly 150,000 bottles of wine per year, growing 8 types of grape (listán negro and blanco, negramol, tintilla, marmajuelo, verijadiego negro, bastardo and moscatel) with 13 different types of wine (young red and whites, crianzas, reserve wines, sweet wines, etc.). Currently 20% is exported to the United States.

Different options and activities at Bodegas Monje

Without a doubt one of their most innovative wagers at world level (and we aren’t exaggerating) is Wine & Sex. This innovative, progressive activity takes place four times per year (autumn, winter, spring and summer). It is a four hour experience around the whole wine cellar, where they fuse wine, eroticism, gastronomy and dramatic cabaret-style art as a catalyst of the night, and it is for a maximum of 100 people.


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Wine & Sex is a continuous interaction between the actors and the public. They mix fantasies and erotic dreams with what the public want to see or do at that time. They are chosen and carried out in a fun, elegant environment.

They started to do Wine & Sex in 2010 and have offered all of their editions with different themes (e.g. children’s stories for adults, burlesque, the Circus, erotic film from the 1900s, etc.), different wines (you can taste 5 wines, 20 different concepts, etc.) and they invite, in some occasions, different chefs to vary the gastronomic offering.

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Every edition is different from the last and for that reason they need four months to recover J Wine & Sex catches the attention of the whole world, is a unique activity and has had a big impact worldwide.

The mojo workshops teach you to make and enjoy the sauces with potatoes, which are studied in turn. When there are groups, they do competitions.

They have three types of tasting: 1 tasting and 1 aperitif / 2 tastings and 2 aperitifs / 3 tastings and 3 aperitifs.

There are also 4 daily visits (11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00) which you can book online or at the cellar itself. The tours are done in Spanish, English, German and French.


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The visit lasts half an hour and you do a tasting (if the weather suits and you want to you can do the tasting on the terrace).

Other services

Having parked in the car park at Las Bodegas Monje you will see the house and be able to head for the shop or tasting room (10am to 7pm).


The Club del Vino (area under the winery) is used to do the tastings, and if any companies want to they can use it for pitching products to clients or for business meetings. The surroundings and facilities allow for many activities like art exhibitions, concerts (the acoustics there are very good), tastings, theatre, cocktails, etc.


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The modernisation work at the Club del Vino was carried out in 2008. It is located four levels underground and is a very photogenic cave which generates lots of debate.

In the rear part of the Club there is a Security Box for keeping your own and other people’s wines, even though they may not be from Bodegas Monje.


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These wines, despite their origin, can be tasted there. It is another service provided by Las Bodegas Monje to anyone who wishes to benefit from their own wines or offer them as an incentive or gift to some customer or relative in a very wine-producing environment.

The Bodegas Monje restaurant (with capacity for 100 people) opened in 2010, has a terrace and opens every day (except Mondays) from 10am to 6pm. You can have breakfast or lunch (for example wood-smoked black pork which is served daily) and for a reasonable price you can incorporate it before or after your visit to the wine cellar.


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At weekends the restaurant is particularly full, so if you have the opportunity you should go during the week to be able to choose a good spot on the terrace from where you will be able to enjoy some spectacular views of the Teide.

How they make wine at Bodegas Monje

The wine cellar and its vineyards are located 600 metres above sea level. It is a cold, rainy place which is a perfect environment for the vines to create quality wines. There is an area which is cultivated in the traditional style (they are spread out), but now to be able to use machines they have had to grow them in rows.

At the end of September they start the harvest in a fragmented way and they end late October.


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Each year the harvest changes, because the weather is never the same as it has been in another year. The grape changes, and that is one of the things which makes the world of wine interesting. Felipe Monje has been making wine for 30 years, and has never seen two identical harvests (perhaps some similar characteristics, but never the same).

Going down from the house (on the right-hand side) there is an old cask room where they mature the wine a bit.


To make the wine they have some tanks (to ferment the grape must) which hold 10,000 litres. There is a press area, press (a machine which crushes the grapes), a barrel room for wines which are left for a long time (some are kept for 8 or 10 or 15 years), new wooden barrels, etc.


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This part of the wine cellar was constructed in 2008 which was when they started to modernise bit by bit and evolve from a traditional wine cellar to a new one.

Bodegas Monje and Canary Wine

Las Bodegas Monje and its owner Felipe Monje believe fervently in the great potential of both Canary Island wine to be exported outside the islands and its unifying stamp, Canary Wine.


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The crop which is grown the most in the Canaries is the vine, not the banana as you might think. Its production is almost double that of the banana.

Canary Island wine has tremendous potential, so bit by bit the different certificates of origin are coming together to unify their work and media exposure. In this way it is hoped that both tourists and locals will see it as a single brand.

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It is this strength which makes people say there isn’t a wine-making region on the planet like Las Bodegas Monje where 2,000 rental cars with tourists pass through it every day. In addition to this, the Canary Islands are some of the most visited islands in the world.

Getting there

Whether you come from Puerto de la Cruz or from the Santa Cruz area you need to take exit 21 for El Sauzal. If you come from Santa Cruz then after leaving the motorway you should take the third exit at the roundabout and go through the tunnel to then take the exit on the right just before joining the motorway again. Follow the signs along this small road.

If you come from the Puerto de la Cruz area then when you exit the motorway take the first exit on the right and climb the road which will indicate how to get to Las Bodegas Monje.


Bodegas Monje - Camino Cruz de Leandro, 36 – 38359 - El Sauzal.

Final comments from the authors

Few wine cellars on the world stage have such exceptional products like those which are developed at Las Bodegas Monje, and all without losing its authenticity and tradition. It is in a privileged location and is easy to access, where you will be able to enjoy some soups with a unique flavour and a history which they are fighting to recover so that Canary Island wine becomes recognised in the way it deserves.


At Bodegas Monje (with the excuse of wine and cuisine) you can do lots of varied activities and they try to bring people together so that they get to know the world of possibilities which wine can offer. What a good thing it is that it is in Tenerife 🙂