The tradition of winemaking of Santorini
The tradition of winemaking on Santorini dates back to the period following the eruption of this volcanic island. The resulting soil is very favourable for wine grapes, producing wines with balanced acidity and aromas unique as the island itself. The island of Santorini has over 40 indigenous grape varietals available.
The most popular grape on the island is the Assyrtiko, which produces a dry, aromatic white wine. Assyrtiko is one of Greece’s finest multi-purpose white grape varieties. It was first cultivated on the island of Santorini, where it has developed a unique character producing excellent AOC wines. Assyrtiko has the ability to maintain its acidity as it ripens. It yields a bone-dry wine that has citrus aromas mixed with an earthy, mineral aftertaste due to the volcanic soil of Santorini. In the last 25 years Assyrtiko has been planted throughout Greece including Macedonia and Attica where it expresses a milder and more fruity character. Assyrtiko can also be used together with the aromatic Aidani and Athiri grapes for the production of the unique, naturally sweet wines called Vinsanto, wine from Santorini, well known since Byzantine times.
In early May of 2013, Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour event in San Francisco presented Santorini winery, Domaine Sigalas, choosing their 2012 Assyrtiko as one of the world’s 200 finest wines. Mandilaria and Mavrotragano are the leading red grapes of the island and two of the last holdouts of authentic foot-pressed wines, finished in the most modern methods.