Santorini has earned itself the nickname “The Black 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. The Santorini wine region is known for producing classic Greek wines using 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. Because these wines are still relatively unknown, the best ones can be obtained for approximately $20.
While Santorini’s Assyrtiko may 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 domination during the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. But Assyrtiko later 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.
Santorini, also known as Thera, is a Greek island and administrative region in Greece. It’s part of a chain of volcanic islands called the Cyclades, located about 100 miles south of Athens. Greeks have been building numerous settlements here starting around 3000 BC. The name Santorini is derived from Saint Irene, whose church sits on a hilltop near Oia village and can be seen from miles away.
Rich Archeological Sites
Santorini’s wineries are located throughout a territory steeped in history and rich with archeological sites. 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 varying from fresh and aromatic whites ideal for summer drinking, crisp reds made from indigenous grape varieties, earthy blends like Mavrodaphne, and sweet dessert wines like Vin Santo. 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 an excellent home for grapevines. 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, and fresh salad greens.
Roditis is often aged on oak barrels for over four years, giving it a fuller-body compared to Assyrtiko. An iconic white wine from Santorini is Athiri which combines local and well-known 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 Rosé Reserve from the Santorini wine region if you want to try something different. It is perfect for summer days when needing a fresh, pure, and relaxing flavor.