Sample Santorini’s Best Wines Whilst Sailing The Greek Islands
Tourists may regard ouzo as Greece’s national drink; however, the country has a long history of producing some spectacular wines. Santorini, a popular destination when sailing the Greek islands, is known for its vineyards and these are well worth visiting.
Santorini has a tradition of winemaking that dates all the way back to the Bronze Age. The island was later re-shaped by the disastrous volcanic events that took place in approximately 1630BC, altering not just its geology but also the make-up of its soil. Layers of pumice, cooled lava and volcanic ash formed a layer of compact soil known as aspa, which contains very little in the way of organic nutrients but is rich in mineral compounds. This makes it perfect for growing hardy vines; in addition, the porous nature of the soil is ideal for retaining moisture. This is a key feature given that the summers in Greece are hot and dry.
There are various vineyards to explore on the island, producing a number of grape varieties. As many are situated on exposed hillsides, you will find that the vines are grown in circles close to the ground to protect them from the island winds. The main white grape variety is assyrtiko, which has a distinct dry flavour and is often combined with other varieties, while athiri and aidani are two ancient varieties of grape that are still tremendously popular today.
Arranging a visit to a vineyard and enjoying a tasting session in a Santorini winery are excellent ways to appreciate this island’s long tradition of producing delightful wines.