Bodegas Rubicón is a centuries-old estate. To understand its history, one has to go back to 1570. That was the year when the oldest document still in our hands refers to the property. It details the sale, by Marcos Verde, Justa Melian, Diego Vázquez and Margarita Ruiz, of the Country House of La Geria to the reverend Luis de Bethancourt, who was the vicar and the benefit-holder of Lanzarote. This document offers an extended description of the country house and its valuable heritage.
The Country House of La Geria was, in the early 17th century, one of the most valued and wealthier of Lanzarote. At that time it became the property of the archpriest Don Diego Laguna who, at the end of the 17th century, mentioned in his will that the Country House of La Geria counted among his possessions he received as an inheritance and that he had ordered the construction of the chapel of La Caridad in 1698. At the time, the country house had bedrooms, three spaces for farming tools, reservoirs and water tanks for irrigation as well as cultivated fields that produced wheat, barley and rye.
The fertile soil of La Geria’s before the volcanic eruptions was the property of a few owners, most of them members of the island’s power circles, in particular the Church. Don Diego Laguna was one of them. He owned La Geria and many other country houses.
In those years, the cereal fields shaped the landscape of the area, the soil was rich and produced abundant fruit. No one could imagine that soon the hell would get loose in Timanfaya and long years of volcanic eruptions (1730-1736) would devastate hamlets and cultivated fields, changing the landscape forever.
Those eruptions destroyed a significant portion of the real estate and of one of the richest meadows of Lanzarote.
The Country House of La Geria was hit by the catastrophe at the beginning of the eruptions. The ashes started burying the area from September to December 1730 and totally covered it by May of 1731. At the time, it was owned by Antonia María de Ocampo y Bustamante, a niece of Don Diego Laguna.
A document of 1731 mentions the recovery of the country house:
[…] the Country House of La Geria, with its houses and water tanks, is a the present time lost with the fall of heavy rock and sand but it is possible that with time and with dedicated owners it becomes what it is was once not entirely but in part provided its owner clears the area and, with dedication, the houses could be inhabitable again if their entrances are cleared […]
Several buildings of the country house, among them the chapel of La Caridad, were cleared of the ashes that buried them. After a few years, the land became fertile again as it was planted with vine.
La Geria would become one of the main areas of economic come-back in the island with the cultivation of soil covered by volcanic ashes. However in some areas, the process would take several decades as this document dated from 1769 indicates:
[…] and after the volcanoes exploded […] almost half the sanded land in the island has been cultivated and many vines are being grown as well as fruit trees and as a result large quantities of grapes are harvested […]
In the 18th century, La Geria and its surroundings became the main wine producing area in Lanzarote, a situation that remains until this day.
The Fajardo-Spínola family acquires the Country House of La Geria at the end of the 18th century.
The property will stay in the hands of that family and its heirs until the 20th century.
Don Germán López Figueras, the current owner, will acquire the property from doña Dolores Fajardo in 1979.
A new phase starts at the time with the restoration of the country house to its ancient majesty. Closed for decades, it finally opened its doors to the public with the desire to share with visitors a piece of Lanzarote’s history.