Wine has a long history on the island of Santorini, dating back to the prehistoric Thera. The island’s volcanic soil plays a key role in making such exquisite wine, preventing pests like phylloxera, which destroyed many of Europe’s oldest vineyards making it one of the oldest wines.
The wine is characterised by highly acidic, mineral, and salty notes. The unique Santorini way of vine pruning, kouloura, protects grapes from the wind and scorching sun, and collects water from the air.
Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Athiri are the white grape varieties, and Mavrotragano and Mandilaria are the red ones. Vinsanto, the highly-reputed Santorini sweet wine, is made using these white grape varieties! With the variety Assyrtiko, they also make the renowned Nykteri (meaning ‘of the night’) because, back in the day, the process took place exclusively at night!
So, where can you learn more about how these wines are made, and enjoy some of their unique flavours? Grab a glass, book your flight to Santorini, and I’ll tell you about some of my favourite Santorini Wineries!
The myth, legend, and artist that is Paris Sigalas started this winery, experimenting extensively with the red grape variety known as Mavrotragano to produce a very well-known wine! Production is small-scale, so bottles are limited.
Another very interesting experiment is the 7 villages, an experiment taking place across different terroirs. The process essentially involves taking a grape variety and growing it in 7 different locations on the island and comparing them, to taste how small changes in the vine’s environment and micro-climate play a big role in how the wine ends up tasting. Perfection’s in the details.
This stunning vineyard venue offers great cuisine, and an alternative to watch the sunset!
The Vassaltis winery, in the village of Vourvoulos, is surrounded by vineyards overlooking the sea. Its relaxed and friendly atmosphere make it the perfect choice to sample food and wine.
I usually take my dog and a good read, and head over for quite a light lunch, paired with theirs, Petnat, my personal favourite sparkling wine – one of two produced on the island! And as for my dog, well, Minimi gets both love and water!
Art space winery
Art Space is a small family winery owned by Mr. Antonis, with a history dating back to 1861.
This winery expertly blends wine with art. Check our the old canavas, and discover how the wine was traditionally made! Some of them have even been turned into an art gallery!
This is a unique winery right on Monolithos’ beach, which produces one of my favourite wines, Thalassitis, meaning ‘of the sea’.
Mr Paraskeuopoulos has a very interesting experiment with this wine. He takes the bottles and submerges them under the sea, where they’re left to age for five years. When the bottles are retrieved, not many survive. Some have shattered, others are filled with sea water, but the ones that survive are well worth the wait and hard work! Leto and Mike will be there to explain more!
This winery is located in Pyrgos and is surrounded by vineyards, and has a big, traditional cave keeping temperatures naturally perfect for wine production and ageing.
Argiros has a beautiful winery with a modern architectural design, and their wines have delicate flavours. My favourite here is the Cuvée Monsignori, made using 200-year-old Assyrtiko vines!
This family winery in the village of Megalochori has experimented with some old and rare grape varieties found on the island, like Katsano and Voudomato. They also produce their famous blue bottle of wine – one of my favourites!
Venetsanos Winery’s location on Caldera Cliff, right above the Port of Athinios, is no coincidence! Back in the day, the winery and the port were connected, and the wine would flow straight down to the port via pipes, where it was then exported. This is a beautiful romantic location overlooking the gorgeous Caldera!
A brand-new winery located on the island of Thirassia opens this year! Take the Latza taxi boat from the port of Ammoudi in Oia, and within 10 minutes, you can spend the whole day on beautiful Thirassia! Be it swimming, cycling, or walking, explore the island’s beautiful villages and wild nature, and end your day with a glass of their Terrasea wine!
This is a list of some of my favourite Santorini wineries. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do! Contact me and let me know how you got on and which was your favourite!