Santorini Island has a rich tradition of wine production that dates back to Ancient times. You will be amazed to discover how a journey in the magical Island of Santorini is also an exclusive wine-tasting experience for wine lovers and connoisseurs, since the Island`s vineyards are recognized all over the world for their particular grape varieties` flavor deriving from the rich volcanic soil and microclimate.
Santorini`s volcanic rock is dry and dusty, but rich in minerals and good for vine growing. The predominant grape is Assyrtiko which produces a good dry white wine. The white wines from Santorini are bone-dry with a distinct aroma of citrus and hint of minerals from the volcanic soil. The dessert wines of Santorini are called `vinsanto`, a derivative of the name Santorini. Vinsanto can be naturally sweet and distinguished by an aroma of dried apricots.
The main grapes are Assyrtiko (first cultivated on Santorini); Athiri, (a white ancient Greek variety with a thin skin and sweet, fruity fruity juice); Aidani (another ancient Greek white grape mainly found in the Cyclades islands); Mandilaria (a red grape originally cultivated in the Cyclades, Rhodes and Crete and now notably in Paros) and Mavrotragano (a recently revived sweet red variety).
What makes Santorini vines special is their age (many are more than 100 years old), having survived deadly diseases that ravaged crops on many other islands. Vines are grown low and are protected from the wind by woven cane fences. Boutari built a new winery in 1988 and helped revive the wine industry which is now very healthy.
Get ready to be initiated, through organized visits in Santorini wineries and wine tastings in gourmet restaurants, to the secrets of the Island`s traditional wine culture and taste the famous local grapes varieties such as Assyrtikos, Aidani, Athiri, Nychteri, etc.
Winery and Brewery Tours
For a few euros (or even sometimes for free), winery tours generally allow generous sampling.
near Megalohóri is the biggest and most visited, with tours commencing daily April–Oct 10am–5.30pm.
May to October
in Episkopí Goniás, the oldest on the island
April to November
at Baxédes near Oía with expensive but superior products.
in Episkopí Goniás does an excellent red, Mavrotragano and the distinctive Aidani white
April to October
where the old kánaves (wine cellars) have been converted into the Cyclades` largest art gallery, near displays of old winemaking and distilling equipment dating to 1830. Notable products of their contemporary winery include the premium Agios Avgoustos whites, several grades of vinsánto (a fortified dessert wine produced by most Santoríni wineries) and strong but smooth rakí (distilled clear spirit).