| 1.Santorini | 2. Book |
See our vineyards

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The island's varieties:

Born of the volcano, Santorini, at once particular in hospitality, yet still inspiring, has for centuries been a unique eco-system, with numerous select varieties of grape. The varieties grown are mostly the whites: Asyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani. Mavrathiro, Mavrotragano and Mandilaria are the black varieties cultivated.

From among the island's most renowned wines come the traditional Nykteri, an aged, dry white, and Vinsanto, a sweet wine from sun-dried grapes.

Without underground springs and little rainfall, the island of Santorini is one of the most arid in the Aegean . A Mediterranean climate with intense sunshine, temperatures remain relatively high even through the winter. During the prolonged dry summers, the plants' need for water is eased when the meltemi blows and mists of vaporised sea rise from the caldera and cover the island

Cultivation methods:
The geology of Santorini is rich and diverse. Chalky layers, lava, schist, silica, iron and copper are some of the earth's components on Thira; not entirely black, but white and yellow as well.

The 'aspa', or sandy volcanic surface, is fertile soil for many crops, but is especially preferred by the wine-grower. The low growing profile of the vines with essentially no trunk was adopted to better endure the high summer temperatures and prolonged aridity, with only the mists to bring moist relief. For the same reason, a Santorini vineyard is sparsely-planted and laid out in terraces to increase arable surface and hold any water from the meagre rainfall. Meanwhile, the protective wicker baskets, abelies , let the plants enjoy the benefits brought by the meltemi against the rising heat, without new fruit or the delicate skin of ripening grapes being damaged by fine sand driven by the fierce seasonal winds.

This grape-growing technique, adapted to the peculiarities of Santorini's ecosystem, with cultivation practices responding to biological principles, has, for years, guaranteed long-yielding vines and good yearly harvests.

And now it's the time of harvest, Vendema .
The celebration of the plain starts across the island. This pains-taking festival reveals the true Santorini and intense activity is seen everywhere. August has arrived and all the preparatory work has been done: white-washed stone walls cradle the grapes being dried by the sun, the canavas, treading-presses, cisterns and barrels pristinely await the ripened grapes and sweet-smelling must. Men and women come out onto the plain, each with a ferendini . They harvest the blessed fruit and sing. The grapes are collected in large wicker baskets, kofinia , then carefully removed to an underground Santorini canava , the topical winery, hewn from aspa , the harsh volcanic ground. Here, the treading begins; each canava would have at least one treading-press for both red and white grapes. The must is stored in barrels and cisterns for as long as it takes.