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Santorini Wine Information
Santorini grapes

Greece has a long tradition of wine production. It is not random that Greeks even had a specific god for the wine (Dionysus). Especially in Thera - Santorini, evidence shows that they produced and exported wine since prehistoric times. Thus, Santorinian viticulture is considered to be the oldest in Greece. The vines of Santorini are indigenous. They are adapted to the volcanic soil of the island, they have evolved not to need a lot of water and they are resistant to pests.

Santorini Vine "Baskets"

Santorinians developed the technique of giving their vines the form of "baskets". That is, as they are rooted in the ground, they follow a circular path as if they are woven and look like baskets, wherein the grapes grow. This shape protects the vines from the strong north winds and facilitates the absorption of the humidity of the soil.

Vine baskets Vine baskets Vine baskets Vine baskets

Santorini Wine Variaties

About one century ago, there were approximately 100 grape varieties. Today, thirty types of wine grapes are cultivated in Santorini. The most important white grapes are Assyrtiko (70% of the grapes), Athiri and Aidani. Other white grape varieties are: Aetonichi, Critiko, Potamisi, Rozaki, Savatiano and Aspromoschato. The most important red grapes are: Mandilaria, Mavrotragano and Voudomato. Other red grape varieties are: Rousso, Moschato, Roditis and Fraoula.


Santorini Famous Vinsanto Wine

However, the most famous Santorinian wine is the Vinsanto wine - which should not be confused with the Italian Vino Santo! The Vinsanto wine has been produced since antiquity. It is a sweet, highly aromatic wine that is made from sun-dried grapes whose pulp is left to mellow in oak barrels. In the Middle Ages, it was exported to various parts of the world (Istanbul, Venice, Trieste).

It was also very popular among travelers, as it was rich in calories and hardy. From 1774 to 1840, it was also exported to the Black Sea area and to Russia. After those years, the popularity of Vinsanto wine diminished, but today it re-became competitive and since 2002, it is under the title of PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).

Glass filled with Vinsanto