Ten modern wineries keep the wine production tradition of Santorini at a high level and you can visit them with Santorini wine tour. They produce about 4,500 tons of wine, with dozens of labels and export activity, not only in Greece, but also abroad.

The vineyard of Santorini is three thousand years old and is cultivated continuously. The vineyard and the wine have been at the center of the economic, social and cultural life of the island for centuries. In the early 1980s, 53 varieties were recorded, -white and red-, many of which are ancient.  The area of ​​the Santorini vineyard in recent decades has decreased considerably, due to the tourist overgrowth of the island, and today is limited to about 6,000 acres. Nevertheless, the introduction of new technology and better trained winemakers and winemakers have helped to upgrade the quality of the wines.

Next to the modern wineries of Santorini, the ancient hemp survives – cave wine cellars and wine production workshops. It is not an exaggeration, but in almost every house in Santorini there is a hemp. A “window” on the roof above the press, to drop the grapes and the “windmill”, to ventilate the space, are the only openings in a hemp, except for the double-leaf arched door.

The hemp was always outside the castles, on the outskirts of the settlements or in the countryside, near the seasonal residence of their owner. Each has at least two presses and two flares (cylindrical tanks sunk into the ground), one for the black grapes and one for the white ones, which was the largest. Some also have a third linen press for sweet wine, visanto and raki distillery. Today, many of the ancient cannabis have been turned into art exhibitions or used as living quarters, but there are families in Santorini who still produce their “own” wine in the ancient traditional way.

The wines of Santorini

Boutique spaces, small productions, temperamental wines with the imprint of the sea and the dry Cycladic terroir. But mainly hospitable and worthy winemakers, who will welcome us to introduce us to the peculiarities of the Aegean vineyard in the Santorini wine tour.

Assyrtiko is the variety that dominates the vineyard of Santorini and is both its identity and the thread of tradition. It has been cultivated since antiquity and has been perfectly adapted to the climatic and soil conditions of the island. Another white indigenous variety is Aidani. It is an aromatic variety, with relatively low acidity and is used to give the aromatic complexity to Vinsanto, this unique sweet wine of Santorini, but also to other white wines.

Another ancient variety is the red Mandilaria, which is also found in other Aegean islands and Crete. It is mainly used for the preparation of the sun-dried sweet red wine of Santorini, but also in smaller percentages in the composition of the must of other red wines of the island. of the vineyard of Santorini, in 2008, the wineries of the island began to replant it and today it constitutes 20% of the vineyard along with the other red varieties.

Vassaltis Vineyards

Modern, minimal and perfectly harmonized with the volcanic thera landscape is the brand new winery of Giannis Valabous, built in a vineyard where it enjoys endless sea views. They released in 2014 their first wine, a wonderful, typical Santorini, while the vintage of 2015 was awarded by the prestigious magazine Decanter as the best Greek Assyrtiko. Those who are in the Santorini wine tour, in addition to a tour, will have the opportunity to try the range with 4 terroir wines along with small tapas.

Venetsanou Winery

The image of the caldera of Fira and Oia, with the volcano in the foreground, is fascinating. The winery is literally carved into the cliff, was built in 1949 by the Venetsanos family and was thus the first industrial winery in Santorini. In 2015 the winery was renovated, passed back into the hands of the family through the descendant of Nikos Zorzos and in addition to the wines it produces, it also has very interesting and well-preserved museum equipment. Santorini, Nychteri and Mandilaria are remarkable wines with character, while those who like rosés should try Anagallis, of course on the beautiful veranda, accompanying it with local snacks.

In addition to the aforementioned two wineries of Santorini that are new, there are many more wineries worth visiting to try their range of wines: Ktima Sigala, Koutsogiannopoulos Winery, Santo Wines, Hatzidoua Winery, R Space Katzidoaki, Art Space Gavala Winery, Boutari Winery, Artemi Karamolegkou Winery. It is also worth visiting the state-of-the-art winery of Ktimata Argyros, which moved to brand new and larger facilities this year.

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