Wines in Santorini are some of the most distinctive varieties that you can taste at the most famous wineries or restaurants in the World. They aren’t overrated or anything.
The ancient vines are woven into low-lying basket shapes to protect the grapes from the wind and sun, a process known as koloura. The main grape varieties grown on the island are:
• Assyrtiko (white)
• Athiri (white)
• Aidani (white)
• Mandilaria (black)
• Mavrotragano (black)
Assyrtiko (PDO) is the most well-known Greek wine and accounts for 75% of the vines on the island. It was traditionally made into sweet Vin Santo (holy wine) but recent trends have veered towards dry whites. Assyrtiko is grown in other parts of the country but Santorini is where it truly shines.
Most of Santorini’s wineries are open for tours and/or tastings (although phone ahead if travelling in the shoulder or low season).
Vineyards you can visit include:
•Art space—the winemaking label at Argyros Canava, one of the oldest wineries on the island—houses an art centre and museum in its underground caves | +30 693 289 9509
• Boutari was the first winery in Greece and is housed in a photogenic white domed building in Megalochori and has educational tours and tastings from €15 | +30 2286 081011
• Canava Roussos showcases traditional methods and varieties in Santorini’s oldest kanava (cave cellar), Santorini’s oldest winery | +30 2286 031349
• Domaine Sigalas is one of the most prominent wineries on the islan; offers tastings and private tours with food pairings | +30 2286 071644
• Gaia Winery in Kamari has a lovely beachside setting for tastings in a refurbished tomato canning factory and a limited number of Thalassitis Submerged (a wine cellared underwater) for you to try. Popular with tours so booking advised | +30 2286 034186
• Gavalas in Megalochori showcases rare local varieties and meticulous methods | +30 2286 082552
• Hatzidakis winery – legendary winemaker Haridimos Hatzidakis sadly passed away in 2017, but you can visit the new winery between Pyrgos and Megalochori to taste some of the best wines on the island | +30 6970013556 (temporary number)
•Karamolegous winery in Exo Gonia is the one to visit if you fancy dinner too, it has an excellent courtyard restaurant (Aroma Avlis) on site | +30 2286 033395
•Koutsougianopoulous near Kamari has labyrinthine underground wine museum and wines that you won’t find outside the winery | +30 2286 031322
• We visited Santowines vineyard to catch a spectacular sunset while partaking in one of their wine tasting options along with delicious platters of Greek specialities.
“These wines [from Santorini] in particular show pure briny, mineral flavors, as if they were the concentrated essence of millions of tiny seashells.” – New York Times