Besides being tied to the most idyllic sunsets ever seen by human eyes, Santorini is also famed for its award-winning and internationally acclaimed wines. So, apart from the imposing volcano and the plenty of opportunities to share the most romantic moments with your significant other, you can add flavour and aromas to your overall experience. In fact, wine-tasting is something you definitely don’t want to miss out on, which is why it is included in the most popular Santorini tours.
In a global context, the signature wine of Santorini, Assyrtiko, is on top of the list of all quality-minded wine producers. No wonder it was the first Greek grape variety that crossed the borders of Greece and was planted in Italy, South Africa, Australia, and other countries.
But, the question remains. What makes Santorini wines so special? Many wine connoisseurs even claim that the local wines are a category on their own. Here are some reasons that could justify that.
1. Cultivating Grape Vines for Centuries
The islanders grew vineyards way before the 1600s when a massive and catastrophic volcanic eruption almost vanished Santorini from the map. The Minoan era eruption was, in fact, one of the most violent ones in the past ten millennia and hid the sun for 14 days in the northern hemisphere! Covered in more than 60 cubic kilometers (14 cubic miles) of pumice, rock, and ash during the ferocious three-day volcanic eruption, Santorini eventually managed to rise from its ashes a newborn island.
It is believed that the drenched-with-ash (also obsidian, pumice, granite, basalt, metals, and silica oxides) soils are behind the mouth-pleasing vintages with the distinctive mineral taste, hint of salinity, and acidic notes.
2. The Miraculously Benefiting Santorini Land
Santorini vineyard growers know that they cannot expect much from the climate. The barren island, though, is home to phylloxera-free volcanic soils (pests that destroy grapevines), enabling world-class Assyrtiko wine production with an impressive mineral footprint, fascinating freshness, and natural strength. Using various traditional vine training methods to protect the vines from the scorching sun and the strong wind, the local wine producers can proudly boast the continuation of indigenous centuries-old grape varieties. Although not all cultivated to date, the island counts around 40 grape varieties, which produce the lusciously sweet Vinsantos and the dry Santorini wines.
3. The aging factor
The infamous Santorini wines, with their exciting combination of alcohol and high acidity and benchmark saltiness, are usually aged in old oak barrels for years (some varieties, even for decades). This results in wines with a toasty and creamy complexity or complex elixirs that dazzle with their sweetness and aromatic profile (i.e., Vino di Santorini). What is also amazing about the local wines is that they have excellent aging potential, which makes them even more highly sought-after.
Feel free to enjoy a glass of fine Assyrtiko or Vinsanto and savor the tantalizing aromas that range from chocolate, coffee, walnuts, and roasted nuts to figs, cinnamon, raisins, and caramel over a candlelit dinner. With the sound of the waves accompanying exquisite tastes and heart-filling experiences, you can dive into a world of flavors and soul-pleasing endeavors from the balcony of your luxury hotel or a private beachfront. You can thank us later!