Sculpted by ancient lava flows, Santorini is located in the Cyclades on the 36th parallel in Greece’s South Aegean Sea.There are no words to describe the magnificence of Santorini, whose wines are a delight to savour and, like the island’s sunsets, draw applause and appreciation.Wine has always been part of life on Santorini that prides itself on having some of the oldest vineyards in the world. Grapes have ripened here continuously for the past 3000 years, and the beginning of winegrowing dates even farther back to the 17th century BC. However, the winemaking tradition was interrupted by the catastrophic volcanic eruption during the Minoan period around 1630 BC. Some three centuries after this epic disaster, when people resettled on Santorini, vineyards were resurrected in the new volcanic soil.

Varietal Richness

Santorini is a historical wineland, unique for many reasons and not in the least for its varietal richness. Although their origin has been lost in the depths of centuries, 24 indigenous varieties have been recorded to be in fairly common usage

White wine varieties hold sway in Santorini. They cover 80 per cent of all vineyards and Assyrtiko is the most dominant version making up 90 per cent of this area, followed by two other green-skinned cultivars, Aidani and Athiri.

As for the red varieties, Mandilaria is the most widely planted variety whilst Mavrotragano is making a comeback. It was almost extinct until 2008 when a concerted effort was made to save it.