Top Reasons Why You Should Explore Santorini Now! 

Santorini has earned itself the nickname “The Pearl of the Aegean,” and it’s easy to see. The island features natural attractions like beaches, windmills, and archaeological sites, but it’s also home to some of the most exceptional wineries in Greece and the world. Santorini wine region is known for producing classic Greek wines in several different varietals, including Assyrtiko, Athiri, Aidani, and Mandilaria.

Santorini’s Assyrtiko, the island’s signature white wine, is the essence of the island in a bottle. The taste of the wine gives a refreshing punch of citrus, with hints of the sea’s smells and the rocks surrounding the water. With each bottle you open, you’ll be transported to this island paradise, and because these wines are still relatively unknown, the best ones can be obtained for approximately $20.

While Santorini’s Assyrtiko may appear to be a new wine to most, the island’s wine tradition dates back to ancient times. Santorini even produced some of the most precious wine in Europe during the Venetian dominati[1] during the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. But then the Assyrtiko went out of style, and Santorini wine faded from view for a couple of centuries, with the island’s neighbors in Italy, France, and Spain taking the spotlight.

History

Santorini, also known as Thera, is a Greek island and administrative region in Greece and Turkey. It’s part of a chain of volcanic islands called the Cyclades, located about 100 miles south of Athens. For thousands of years before tourists discovered its beauty, Greeks made their homes here and built numerous settlements from around 3000 BC until modern times. The name Santorini is derived from Saint Irene, whose church sits on a hilltop near Oia village and can be seen from miles away.

The island of Santorini offers more than just beautiful postcard views. With over 50 wineries spread throughout lush vineyards, it’s the perfect spot to go wine tasting.

Rich Archeological Sites

Santorini’s wineries are located throughout a territory steeped in history and rich with archeological sites. The discovery of winemaking on Santorini is relatively recent, but there’s evidence of viticulture here since 3,000 BC. While plenty of evidence shows grapes being cultivated in ancient times, historians believe that the wine itself wasn’t made here until around 1,300 years ago.

Since then, it has been a core part of island life and a significant source of income for locals. The first modern winery was founded in 1912, and today there are more than 40 vineyards in Santorini and 20+ brands.

Quality, Variety, And Value

While you could try to drink wine from all corners of Greece, there’s no better place than Santorini for quality and variety. Enjoy a range of styles that vary from fresh and aromatic whites ideal for summer drinking, crisp reds made from indigenous grape varieties such as Assyrtiko and aidani, earthy blends like Mavrodaphne that taste good with foods or simply on their own, and sweet dessert [2]wines like Vin Santo that pair well with coffee and dessert. The best part? Every bottle tastes delicious and is reasonably priced.

The Relaxing Atmosphere

Santorini wines, as well as other Greek wines, can help relax your mind and body. No matter how stressful your daily life is, you will leave it all behind when visiting the Santorini wine region. The fertile soil and temperate climate of Santorini make it an excellent home for grapevines and beautiful views of its crystal blue waters. There’s something special about enjoying wine in a setting that looks like it belongs on postcards.

Roditis and Assyrtiko are unique white grapes native to Santorini. Due to their thin skins, they are particularly sensitive to sun exposure, resulting in a clean and crisp flavor. Both varieties are typically dry with mineral notes and a light, refreshing taste that pairs well with seafood, shellfish, or fresh salad greens.

Roditis is often aged on oak barrels for over four years, giving it more of a full-bodied flavor than Assyrtiko. An iconic white wine from Santorini is Athiri which combines local and European varieties. The winemaking process ensures that this wine is ideal when served chilled or at room temperature.

This rosé wine is special, and the bottles have been shaped to look like a true masterpiece. The wine is delicious with enough bubbles and a natural fruity taste of red and white grapes. Don’t miss Mavrotragano Rose Reserve from the Santorini wine region if you want to try something different. It is perfect for summer days when needing a fresh[3], pure, and relaxing flavor.

See more resources here

Want to read more about wine? Try reading these books!

The New Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia

Living with Wine: Passionate Collectors, Sophisticated Cellars, and Other Rooms for Entertaining, Enjoying, and Imbibing

On This Day

  • July 17th, 1950: The famous Canava Antonis Arvanitis winery was started.
  • August 5th, 1985: PDO Santorini wine had been bottled for the first time with the brand name, ‘SantoWines.’

Reference

[1] https://vinepair.com/wine-blog/santorini-wine-guide-map/

[2]https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemicallef/2019/11/03/why-you-should-explore-santorini-and-its-wines/?sh=4968d1d04e04

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorini_(wine)

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