Santorini's volcanic soil, formed by centuries of volcanic activity, lends a unique character to the wines. The volcanic ash, pumice and mineral-rich soil contribute to the vineyards' ability to retain moisture and thrive in the island's dry climate. The combination of the sea breeze, volcanic soil and abundant sunshine creates an ideal environment for growing grapes with exceptional flavours and complexity.
Assyrtiko: the star grape of Santorini:
Assyrtiko is Santorini's main grape variety and one of Greece's most celebrated indigenous grapes. "Ασύρτικο" is known for its lively acidity, citrus notes and mineral undertones and thrives on the island's volcanic soil. The grape is often used to make dry white wines that are crisp, refreshing and age-appropriate. Assyrtiko has received international recognition for its unique expression and is considered the pride of wine production on Santorini.
Santorini's wine styles:
Besides Assyrtiko, Santorini has other grape varieties that contribute to its diverse wine portfolio. Aidani and Athiri are white grape varieties that add floral and fruity characteristics to the wines. In addition, the red grape variety Mandilaria is used to produce red wines with lively acidity and a distinct earthy profile. Santorini's winemakers demonstrate their expertise by making a range of wines, from single-varietal expressions to blends, so there is a wine to suit every taste.
Traditional winemaking techniques:
Santorini's viticultural traditions go back centuries and include both modern practices and ancient techniques. The unique pruning method known as "kouloura" protects the vines from strong winds and maximises their exposure to sunlight. In addition, the traditional "canava" wineries, carved into the volcanic rock, provide natural cooling for ageing the wines. These traditional techniques add an extra layer of authenticity to the winemaking process.
Wine tourism on Santorini:
Santorini's wineries offer visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the island's wine culture. Wine lovers can join guided tours where they explore the vineyards, cellars and tasting rooms while learning about the winemaking process from knowledgeable experts. Wine tastings offer a sensory experience, where guests can taste different wines and appreciate the unique characteristics of each glass.
No exploration of Greek wine would be complete without enjoying the rich culinary traditions associated with it. Santorini's wines blend harmoniously with the island's local cuisine, such as fresh seafood, fava beans, tomatokeftedes (tomato fritters) and creamy cheeses like feta. The combination of the island's flavours and wines makes for an unforgettable culinary experience.
Santorini's unique wine regions offer a taste of Greek wine production and showcase the island's natural beauty and cultural heritage. From the vibrant Assyrtiko wines to traditional winemaking techniques, every sip tells a story of Santorini's terroir and the passion of its winemakers. Take a trip to Santorini and taste the distinct flavours and fascinating landscapes that make Greek wines a treasure to cherish.
Take a look at our online Greek shop for a selection of Greek wines, including the famous wines of Santorini. We offer a diverse range of wines that will transport you to the enchanting vineyards of Greece. Experience the Santorini sips and elevate your wine journey with the best Greek wines. Yammas!