Wine Tasting, Santorini Island
Santorini produces some of the best wine in Greece and most of the wine producers on the island have tours of the wineries with tastings at the end.
You have several places to chose from and i have only heard good reports about the wine tours.
I have gone a couple of times to "Santos Wines" for tastings and that was really nice.
They have an incredible view from their terrace where they serve the wine.
Santo Wines’ modern winery along with its Oenotoursm Center, is located in the traditional Santorini village of Pyrgos and welcomes more than 80,000 visitors every year from all over the world. Situated on the top of the caldera cliff, with a magnificent view of Santorini’s volcano and the Aegean Sea, visitors may learn about the vineyards and winemaking traditions of Santorini as well as sample the unique taste of Santo Wine by having a glass from the Santo Wine Bar.
For group visits contact Santo Wines at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone:
+30 22860 28058
Visit Boutari Winery and sample their offerings. There are several options, including one that includes a tour of the winery. We simply tasted a flight of wines-- about six, I think. There is a charge, so be sure to pay at the counter before you leave! (I forget how much, but it was very reasonable.)
I actually embarassed myself a bit by failing to hold back my "Ewwww!" upon tasting the much-too-sweet-for-my-taste dessert wine -- all the other tasters wanted to know what it was I'd just sipped!
Santorini is an island with a very interesting history about wine and you shouldn't miss to visit some of the winneries! Since driving and drinking is not recommended, you should try a semi private wine tour with expertised sommelier Vaios from " Santorini Wine Tour". He is a great guide-enthusiastic,knowledgable and very pleasant and amiable to spend three hours with.Not only did we get to taste fine wines, visit award-winning wineries, and learn all about the wine-making process, but Vaios gave us valuable history about Santorini and drove us all over the island during our tour!
For all wine-enthusiast or not, visit www.santoriniwinetour.com for more informations!
Santorini is blessed with wineries and I happened to go into Santo Wines on my motor scooter. You can take tours of several wineries and they can be arranged by any of the many travel agents on the island. Wine making on Santorini began about 3000 B.C. helped by great environmental conditions. The 850 growers on this small island all belong to the Viticultural Co-operative who manage vineyards on 6,276 acres of land. That may not sound like much, but it is fully 1/3 of all the land on the island!
Please make sure you drink at least one bottle of Santoini wine while you are here. It helps the local economy, tastes good and helps you dance better.
For those of us who enjoy a bit of local flavour then a visit or two to the vineyards here on Santorini is a bit of a must do - purely of course to expand one’s cultural experience ;) And culture is what it’s all about. Santorini wines are pretty much unique in that the micro-climate here on the Island, with no fresh water supplies and an arid and hot windy environment for much of the year, means that the grapevines are grown in a particular manner.
Unlike European vines, whose parallel upright lines can occupy whole south-facing banks of their respective valleys in a perfectly regimental fashion, those here on the Island are by necessity trained to form horizontal wreathlike-like stalks with almost random coverage. The plants rarely exceed a meter in height and sprawl weed-like in the ashen soil, often in fields no bigger than perhaps half a soccer pitch .
The only watering that most of the vineyards get is the early morning dewy distillation as the pre-dawn sea mists roll across the Island. Moisture is absorbed by the volcanic pumice embedded in the lava rock undercore, captured in the coolness before the mists are burnt off by the rising sun.
What this effectively means is that whilst an average, say Rhone Valley vineyard, can produce as much as 4000 kilos of grapes per acre, here on Santorini a maximum yield will be about 10% of this. Thus the Santorini winemakers must concentrate on producing quality wines, rather than those for mass consumption.
There are a total, at last count, of 10 wineries here on the Island, several of which have “open” wine-tasting sessions, certainly during the summer. All are more than happy to arrange group tours - for more definitive info pick up a free copy of the “Santorini Guidebook” or visit www.santorini.net which has a downloadable PDF file
GEORGE KOUTSOYANNOPOULOS WINERY & WINE MUSEUM
An hour spent in a museum situated 6 metres below the earth’s surface and extended for 300 m.; founded in 1870, still a family business.
Ticket price: € 6 (it includes the tasting of 3 wines). Program: 10.00-20.00
I unfortunately do not have enough specifics to make this tip great, but I definitely just want to remind anyone venturing to Santorini to certainly do atleast one wine tasting. Just grab a cab and request one (theres three or four all in the same area on the island.) My family and I went to two, we all liked the first one better (it was a bit rustic, but had 4 great house wines.) From the vineyards you can order shipments of the local vino for back home, and get great one-on-one treatment from the staff, as there are never many tourists in the wine hills.
Boutari is one of the major wineries on Santorini. They offer tastings every day from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM. A tasting will cost you anywhere from 6 to 10 euros, depending on how many wines you get to taste (I think the options range from 4 wines to 8 or 10). You can also purchase a cheese plate to go along with your wine. They have a shop in the building where you can buy any of the wines they produce, to take with you, or to have shipped pretty much anywhere in the world. The wines are pretty good, and are reasonably priced. My wife and I ordered a case of Vinsanto, a dessert wine which is a local specialty.
The Union of Santorini Wine Growers, representing the entire agricultural wine producers of the island, is committed to the production of authentic Santorini wines.
This commitment, along with the respect shown by the growers to the traditional wine producing techniques, has resulted in the consistent production of high-quality wines. Most importantly, this commitment has enabled the Santorini Wine Growers to maintain, cultivate and preserve a sustainable ecological volcanic environment, an environment that is entirely unique and imperative for the future production of wine on the island of Santorini.
The Union of Santorini Wine Growers, founded in 1947 by Santo Wines, represents over 2500 members, consisting of the entire community of agricultural vineyard growers and wine produces on the island. The wine produced today by Santo Wines, has been recognized throughout Europe as a unique and original product of Santorini. One of the primary reasons for this ‘uniqueness’ has been the weathered volcanic soils of Santorini. These volcanic soils have an ability to quickly absorb heat during the day and gently release it during the night, thereby creating a microclimate in which Santorini’s grapes can thrive.
Since 1992, when a state of the art winery was built, the main concern of Santo Wines, has been the continuous improvement in the quality of their wines. The pride taken in the production of SantoWines, by the highly qualified personnel with their knowledge of modern scientific technology, has culminated in the creation of Santo Wine’s widely acclaimed and awarded wines. The construction of its modern winery on five levels, has given Santo Wines the capacity to process 5,000 tons of ‘must’ primarily by the use of gravity. This has minimized the need for electrically powered pumps, and maximizing the conservation of the environment while at the same time retaining the traditionally high quality of wine.
Santorini is heaven for wine lovers. Asyrtico is a local variety that thrives in the volcanic earth. You can taste it in some of the best wineries in Greece. They include: Boutaris (tel.:003 22860 81011, 0030 22860 81606), Sigalas (tel.: 0030 22860 71644, www.sigalas-wine.gr), Paraskevopoulos (call first: 0030 6945777814), Santo Wines (tel.: 0030 22860 22596).
This was great, perfect finale to our very short tour, sitting nibbling on superb cheeses in the portico dappled afternoon sun - we certainly got some "arty" photos here - the wine cheese still nibbles on my palate as I write.
I didn't really do very much as the so-called "tour leader" - Gala did all the hard work and what a perfect place to end our little Sunday outing - we are now all so chilled-out.
I remember the cheeses better than the wines but I do sort of recall that here at Sigalas they were experimenting with the idea of growing the vines upright in the European (or pretty much anywhere else in the world) tradition.
Yep, well worth the visit - I think it was 90 cents (euro) per taste and 5 euro for the cheese - hey forget the wine, eat the cheese - absolutely delish!!!
And I was actually sober (ish) enough to still be dancing at 2 Brothers at 4 am!!
This is where the absolutely delicous little guide explained about the "canava" and how all the merchant houses had the thick roofs and the tapered walls, natural ventilation - yep everyone should have one (forget about the French underground caves - get youself a Canava!!).
Crusty bits of bread and some decent samples - HIC! HIC! I think they gave us a bit more that the normal quota - but the usual price, at the time of writing, was 3 euros for 3 samples and some nibbly bits thrown in.
By all accounts if you happen to visit during the grape-crushing season you might be invited to take your shoes and socks off and add your own personal bit of flavour to next year's vintage!!!
Our first port of call (at about 11 am!!) and my first experience of Santorini wines. Here at Koutsogiannopolous they not only make the wine but also have an underground wine museum with its history bits (HIC! Can't remember much about that bit, but by all accounts there was some deal with the Russians who would exchange the wine in goatskins for wood to make barrels with and so facilitate the trade - I do remember something about 11,000 litre barrels tho' - but as I pointed out that's only a 2 week supply!
The museum itself is a bit on the naff side with its nodding donkeys etc but my first taste of the Lava White certainly awoke the taste buds - first pressing and natural fermentation, certainly cleansed the palate - Jill certainly enjoyed her 6 (YEP SIX!!) glasses. A couple of other decent wines and at 2.50 euros for 3 tasters including the museum tour is well worth a visit - go earlyish on a Sunday morning.
...but let's get back to the wineries!!
So there was me in charge of this little tour group of a trio of wineries here - HA! Who in their right mind would put ME in charge of a winery tour??? Well Gala had faith in me and Nancy took the "before photo" - NO WAY am I going to show the after one!!!
Fortunately I had my VA Jill (Jelw) to look after and so I had to keep relatively sober - you know what these VA's can be like and so here she is, attempting single-handedly to drink Koutsogiannopoulos dry - HA - that might even be spelt ""Koutsogiannopolous" WOW!! I got the spelling right twice - must be spelt differently in Greek!!!
Running out of words, but never running out of "characters" (2047 MAX!!) and so continue with next tip....