Enjoy a vineyard and wine tour of Santorini
When it comes to Old World wines, Santorini makes a special case for attention. Wine-making can be traced here to before the eruption of its legendary volcano, more than 3,000 years ago. So when you set out on a wine tour of Santorini, you do so in the knowledge that its viticulture roots run very deep.
Deeper even than the time of the phylloxera insect that decimated European vine roots in the late 19th century, but didn’t affect these vines because they were protected by the volcanic soil.
More than 50 grape varieties grow in Santorini’s vineyards – most famously Assyrtiko (producing the crisp whites that have propelled Santorini onto the international wine map and attracted multiple awards). And you’ll enjoy getting to know the PDO-awarded sweet dessert wine Vinsanto, made with sun-dried grapes and served as a liqueur.
But beyond grape varieties and local history (amphorae and wine-making utensils have been found at the Prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri), the story of Santorini’s wineries is about the characters who run them and their traditions.
The pruning system that curls vines into kouloures (baskets), protecting them from winds and intense sunlight and allowing them to absorb more water, is characteristic of many vineyards. And subterranean arched cellars, known as kanaves, are part of the architecture of many wineries.
As well as touring the vineyards and cellars, you’ll enjoy wine-tasting accompanied by local cheese and cold cuts. So much so that when you’re home and pop a cork of one of the bottles you’ve taken back with you, you’ll be taken right back to the vines and the people who produced them.