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Modern Wines from Ancient Santorini

Santorini’s wines are understandably world-famous for their exceptional quality and unique character while the island’s vineyards are the oldest in Greece, some with trees planted 300 years ago.

The island’s vineyards are the oldest in Greece, some with trees planted 300 years ago

The island’s wines owe their special quality to the volcanic soil of the idyllic isle. The highlights of Santorini’s microclimate are severe droughts, and strong, desiccating winds sweeping over the entire island; however, dense night mists rising from the volcanic caldera provide just the right amount of moisture for the grape crop.

The roots of the grapevines actually receive all of their necessary moisture from the atmosphere and are truly epiphytic plants that harvest everything they need from the air. They are never watered.

Moreover, the perennial grapevine pest “phylloxera,” common in the Americas and elsewhere in Europe, has never appeared on Santorini, making the harvest even more easily propagated, and thus more profitable.

Santorini vineyard owners have even invented a unique way of pruning vines to protect the grapes from relentless winds.

Unlike the majority of vineyards around the world, where the vines grow in rows along trellises, in Santorini, the vines grow in tight bunches, packed close to the earth along the rocks, as if seeking as much shelter as they can get from the strong gusts of sea air.

Still, the yields for Santorini grape harvests are incredibly low, averaging nearly 300-400 kg (661-881 pounds) per hectare.

Assyrtiko, the finest white wine with the highest acidity and durability from Santorini’s own grape variety that is not grown anywhere else in Greece, originated here. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) wine is made from Assyrtiko grapes in combination with the Athiri and Aidani varieties, also grown on the volcanic island.

Discovering the world of wine in Santorini with friends and family.

It’s not just the view, but the island’s wine that has made a name for itself outside of the Mediterranean.


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