Santorini’s wine is undoubtedly one of the region’s best kept treasures. With a winemaking tradition dating back thousands of years, Santorini’s vineyards produce some of the most fascinating and exquisite wines in the world.
Wine Tasting and Excursion in the vineyards of Santorini
Santorini wine is made primarily from the Asyrtiko white grape, a unique variety grown exclusively on the island. Due to the extremely dry and windy conditions of the island’s terroir, Asyrtiko grapes are able to develop a unique and complex flavor profile not found anywhere else in the world. Santorini wines are known for their acidity, minerality and citrus fruit notes, and are ideal with fish and seafood.
Winemaking in Santorini is a careful and detailed process that combines traditional techniques with modern technology. Below, I explain the main steps of the winemaking process in Santorini:
Harvest: Harvesting in Santorini usually takes place in late August or early September. Asyrtiko grapes are harvested by hand to avoid damaging the bunches and the best ones are selected for winemaking.
Pressing: After the harvest, the grapes are pressed to extract the must. In some wineries, the traditional method of pressing grapes by foot is still used.
Fermentation: The must is fermented in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures to preserve the flavors and aromas of the wine. Fermentation is carried out with native yeasts from the island to give the wine a unique flavor and character.
Aging: Once fermentation is complete, the wine is transferred to French or American oak barrels for aging. In Santorini, American oak is mainly used due to its lower cost and its ability to impart vanilla and coconut flavor to the wine.
Bottling: After aging, the wine is bottled and labeled. In some wineries, a small amount of wine liqueur is added to increase sweetness and body.
Santorini has a long winemaking tradition and has many wineries that produce some of the most renowned wines in Greece. Here are some of the most important wineries in Santorini:
Santo Wines is one of the largest and best known wineries in Santorini. It is located on the slope of Profitis Ilias mountain and offers breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the Caldera. The winery produces a wide variety of wines, from dry and sweet whites to reds and rosés.
Gaia Wines is another well-known winery in Santorini that produces some of the most awarded wines on the island. The winery is located in the village of Exo Gonia and is dedicated to the production of high quality wines, such as the sparkling wine Wild Ferment Assyrtiko.
Domaine Sigalas is a family winery located in the village of Oia. The winery produces high quality wines and specializes in the Assyrtiko grape variety, which is indigenous to Santorini. Domaine Sigalas is known for its Assyrtiko reserve wine and for its sweet wine Vinsanto.
Venetsanos Winery is a modern winery located on the hillside of the Caldera, near the village of Megalochori. The winery offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea and the Caldera and is dedicated to the production of high quality wines, including the famous Vinsanto.
Wine tasting is an essential part of the wine culture in Santorini, where visitors can taste some of the most exquisite and unique wines in the world. Here we explain what a typical wine tasting in Santorini is like:
Choice of wines: At a wine tasting, there are several wines to try, from the youngest and freshest to the oldest and most complex. Each winery has its own set of wines and visitors can choose from a wide variety of white, red and sweet wines.
Preparation: Before the tasting begins, the winemaker or sommelier will introduce the wines and explain their characteristics, from color to taste and aroma. He/she may also provide information on the history and production technique of each wine.
Tasting: After the presentation, visitors can begin tasting the wines. This usually starts with the younger and lighter wines, and then progresses to the older and more complex ones. During the tasting, the taste, aroma, acidity, sweetness and texture of the wine are evaluated, and comparisons are made with other wines from the same winery or from other wineries.
Accompaniment: In some wineries, a plate of cheese, bread and olives is offered to accompany the wines and enhance the tasting experience. Food pairings are an important part of wine tasting in Santorini, as local wines are ideal with fish dishes, seafood and salads.
Purchase: At the end of the tasting, visitors can buy bottles of wine to take home as souvenirs or to enjoy later. In some wineries, discounts and special promotions are offered for visitors who buy several bottles of wine.
The experience of visiting a vineyard in Santorini is unique and exciting. The island’s vineyards are often located in beautiful natural landscapes and offer breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the volcanic caldera. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings and tastings in the cellars, where expert winemakers will guide them in wine tasting and teach them about the winemaking processes and the history of Santorini wine.