Destination for the wine lovers
Santorini is a great destination for the wine lovers. If you are reading this post you most probably belong to them (well, us :)). Also you might have heard about famous Vinsanto or Niktery wines. And, I’m sure, you want to know more before you try any of the Santorini wines. Hello, my name is Alexander Hadji, I’m a Santorini photographer. I know about the island absolutely everything and I love sharing information with the visitors. Here follows a very brief but clear guide on the Santorini wines.
Santorini white wines
Santorini white wine grape varieties include famous Assyrtiko, ancient Athiri and Aidani. The local wineries use Assyrtiko for producing dry and dessert white wines. Athiri and Aidani, the grapes that grow along with Assyrtiko throughout the island, make a good contribution to balancing the Assyrtiko based wines.
Let’s start with a dry white wine Santorini. It consists of 75% Assyrtiko, with the addition of Athiri or Aidani. The wines are dry, full-bodied, with medium to high acidity and fresh citrus aromas. Pleasing mineral notes, the influence of the island’s volcanic soil, make the wine outstanding among the wines of mainland Assyrtiko.
Vinsanto, a sweet wine of Santorini, took its name from “Vino di Santo” by the Venetians, according to place of origin. Later it became known as Vinsanto. These wines consist of at least of 51% Assyrtiko, also Athiri, Aidani and some small amounts of native white varieties as the remaining percentage. Traditionally, Vinsanto is made from late harvested grapes sun dried for 12-14 days. This results to a nice sweet wine with a bouquet of dried fruits and raisins, with sweet spice. There is also a stronger Vinsanto with addition of alcohol/distillates of wine.
Nykteri is also a well-known dry white wine of Santorini. These wines contain Assyrtiko (min 75%) and Athiri or/and Aidani. The name Nyktery derives from Greek “nikta” – night. For traditionally, it was a wine made from grapes harvested and processed during the night. Now the process may vary but the wines are still nice and tasty.
Santorini red wines
Despite the fact that Santorini wines are mostly white, there some interesting local red varieties. So a small production of dry red wines uses Mavrotragano and Mandelaria grapes. The latter grows on other Aegean Islands as well as Santorini.
More to discover:
Learn what is the best season for a wine-tour to Santorini in an entry Santorini in Spring vs Santorini in Autumn.