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Home Blog Santorini wineries: A taste of the island’s viniculture heritage

Santorini wineries: A taste of the island’s viniculture heritage

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If you’re a wine enthusiast visiting Greece, Santorini is your vino Valhalla.

The Aegean’s most idyllic destination isn’t just about beaches and breathtaking sunsets; it’s a wine lover’s haven that’s been fermenting its unique wine culture for centuries.

As one of the oldest wine-producing regions globally, Santorini certainly has quite a few wineries to visit and varieties to taste.

So how do you go about choosing the best ones if you’re here only for a few days?

After reading this comprehensive guide you’ll know:

  • Which are the most popular Santorini wine varieties
  • Which are the top Santorini wineries
  • How to book the best wine-tasting tour in Santorini

Buckle up, fellow wine wanderers, and let’s explore your Santorini winetasting options.

wine tasting in Santorini

Grape varieties that sing Santorini: Assyrtiko, Athiri, Aidani

Picture this: vineyards nestled in volcanic soil, caressed by salty sea breezes.

The result?

Wines that burst with minerality, bright acidity, and a hint of sea spray. It’s a terroir you won’t find anywhere else, where the distinct Mediterranean climate, volcanic ashes and sea mist produce varieties that stand out.

To make the most of your trip, your Santorini winetasting should definitely include the following:

 

Assyrtiko: The pride of Santorini

Assyrtiko, the island’s crowning jewel that accounts for 80% of Santorini’s production, dances on your palate with citrusy zing and a spine-tingling mineral edge.

This is also the only European grape vine that’s been resistant to wine blight – a resistance most probably arising from the volcanic ash-rich environment where these vines thrive.

Did you know? PDO Santorini wines are made from at least 75% Assyrtiko grapes, including “Nykteri” and “Vinsanto”, the naturally sweet wine from sun-dried grapes, produced exclusively in Santorini.

 

Athiri: The elegant white wine

Athiri, the sophisticated sibling, offers floral notes and a gentle kiss of apricots.

For people that want an introduction to the raciness of Aegean dry white wines, Athiri is an excellent proposal. The lean, not heavy structure and the lack of obvious flavors make it suitable for a large range of difficult-to-match dishes.

 

Aidani: The hidden gem

Aidani, the enigmatic one, is a tapestry of exotic fruits and wildflowers, with a soft yellow-green color and subtle nose.

It is usually blended with Assyrtiko, because it has the unique ability to provide roundness and a predominantly floral, aromatic complexity to the blend, without interfering with the mineral character and excellent structure of the Assyrtiko.

Did you know? Santorini vines are not irrigated artificially and since rainfall is scarce, the plants depend on humidity and sea mist to grow!

the top wineries and vineyards in Santorini, Greece

Top Santorini wineries: Where dreams meet vines

Now that you’ve learned a thing or two about the island’s wines, let’s explore some of the best wineries in Santorini and find out which one is your perfect match.

Don’t forget that Santorini’s wineries offer not only a selection of exceptional vintages, but also a delightful blend of breathtaking landscapes, which will make your trip worth your while. Here are nine of the best wineries in Santorini, Greece:

 

1. Santo Wines Winery (Pyrgos)

Built in 1992, SantoWines Winery boasts awe-inspiring views that mirror the terraced vineyards below.

Representing the Union of Santorini Cooperatives, it is committed to safeguarding the local traditional cultivations and promoting sustainable agriculture, which is why it’s the largest winery on the island, representing over 1200 members.

SantoWines also offers food and wine pairing with unique aromas and tastes, that’s definitely worth a try!

 

2. Domaine Sigalas (Oia)

Domaine Sigalas is a Santorini winery you’ll never want to leave, brought to life by the pioneering winemaker Paris Sigalas who applied innovative ideas to oenology and viticulture, elevating Santorini’s wines to their current state.

Domaine Sigalas is located in the northern part of the island, in the vineyard of Oia. The 40-hectare vineyards are cultivated with sustainable methods and annual production reaches 200,000 bottles.

With an extensive wine list, warm hospitality, and delectable cuisine, it’s a top choice for wine and food enthusiasts.

 

3. Gavalas Winery (Megalochori)

Gavalas Winery, over 300 years old and family-run, is a hidden gem among locals.

While lacking in scenic views and a restaurant, it excels in crafting exceptional wines. The winery offers a unique experience, including traditional grape stomping in late August, taking you back in time.

Pro tip: If you want to visit Megalochori, consider booking a taxi in Santorini so you don’t have to look for parking spots or drive after drinking!

 

 

4. Venetsanos Winery (Megalochori)

Carved into a cliff and providing front-row seats to the mesmerizing caldera, right over Athinios port, Venetsanos is definitely one of the best wineries in Santorini!

The winery’s unconventional construction, utilizing gravity due to limited access to electricity in 1947, adds to its allure, and it’s a perfect backdrop to your dream wedding as well.

Visiting this winery is a unique experience thanks to its innovative architecture and breathtaking views and we definitely recommend it for a romantic getaway.

Further reading: What to do in Santorini – The ultimate bucket list crafted by locals

 

5. Hatzidakis Winery Santorini (Pyrgos Kallistis)

An actual cave that provides excellent conditions for producing and aging wines, a small Canava (how locals call a small family-owned winery), and a vineyard that had not been cultivated since 1956 – everything came back to life in 1997 due to Haridimos Hatzidakis and Konstantina Chryssou.

Todays, Hatzidakis Winery is the only certified organic grower on Santorini and welcomes guests throughout the year, offering guided tours that start from the cave and finish in the barrel area, where Vinsanto has been aging for more than 14 years!

 

6. Estate Argyros Santorini (Episkopi Gonia)

Estate Argyros, led by 4th generation winemaker Matthew Argyros, is known for its award-winning wines, including the 100-point Vinsanto.

They specialize in crafting boutique wines from indigenous Santorini varieties, with some vines dating back over 200 years, not to mention that they were among the world’s top 50 vineyards for 2022.

The modern winery and visitor center, set amid dusty fields and historic vines, provide a unique tasting experience.

Pro tip: Did you know that you can book a Santorini full-day tour that includes a visit to a local winery of your choice as well? This is a great opportunity to explore the island and everything it has to offer while effortlessly cruising and admiring the views!

 

 

7. Koutsogiannopoulos Winery (Vothonas)

Apart from a boutique winery, Koutsogiannopoulos also features a Wine Museum that has everything a visitor would want to know about winemaking in one of the world’s most unique places.

With several representations of what life was like for vine-growers since the 1600’s, this is a great opportunity not only for some of the best winetasting in Santorini, but also for a unique winemaking experience.

 

8. Artemis Karamolegkos Winery – Aroma Avlis (Exo Gonia)

Not only is this the third largest winery of Santorini in terms of production volume, with dozens of awards and an impeccable wine list up its sleeve, but it’s also home to one of the best restaurants on the island, Aroma Avlis – if you’re a foodie, you need to visit it!

The Artemis Karamolegkos winery offers plenty of wine tours suitable for every budget, starting from the tasting of 5 PDO wines all the way to a complete wine-tasting and food-pairing experience.

Pro tip: This is a lovely venue for your wedding or other special events, with flawless service and highly trained sommeliers and chefs!

 

9. Vassaltis Vineyards (Vourvoulos)

Modern and sleek, the Vassaltis Vineyards are among the newest additions to Santorini’s wine scene.

Coupling Santorini’s majestic beauty with unique flavors, Vassaltis offers some of the best wine tasting experiences, from cellar tours where you learn how the wine is made to five-course wine and food degustation meals together with the head winemaker!

While these nine are among the top Santorini wineries offering a glimpse into the island’s thriving wine scene, there are more gems waiting to be discovered on this enchanting Greek island.

Whether you’re savoring the views, indulging in wine tastings, or learning about the island’s winemaking traditions, Santorini wineries promise a memorable experience for wine lovers and travelers alike. Cheers to exploring the vineyards of Santorini and discovering its liquid treasures!

 

complete map of the top wineries in santorini

How do you get to the wineries in Santorini?

The best way to reach most Santorini wineries is by booking a private transfer. This way you won’t have to worry about parking, especially during peak summer season, but most importantly you’ll be able to enjoy a glass (or two) of wine without jeopardizing your safety.

However, if you want to enjoy some of the top Santorini wineries without worrying about bookings, tickets, availability or comparing prices, then a Santorini wine tour is by far your best bet!

The Joy Van offers a one-of-a-kind wine tour in Santorini that takes you to 3 different destinations within 4 hours and it’s perfect whether you’re travelling solo, with your significant other, or with a group of up to 6 people.

The tour starts with a stop at Koutsogiannopoulos winery, that’s also a Wine Museum so there’ll be a lot to learn, followed by a stop at Estate Argyros.

Finally, your last stop will be at Venetsanos winery, where the views at sunset will absolutely mesmerize you!

A 5-star experience through and through, this is the ideal way to enjoy Santorini wine-tasting!

 

 

What is the best time to visit Santorini for wine-tasting?

For the ultimate grape escape, spring and early fall are your best bets. The weather is divine, and the vineyards are in their prime. Just remember to book everything well in advance!

Further reading: What’s the best time to visit Santorini? Expert advice to plan the perfect trip

Are there vineyards on Santorini?

Absolutely! Santorini’s landscape is dotted with vineyards that produce some of the world’s most exceptional wines. The “kouloura” is a unique way to prune the vines close to the ground in the shape of a wreath-like basket, sheltered from the sand and island winds.

Is the wine good in Santorini?

Good? Try extraordinary! Santorini wines have earned their place in the global wine elite for a reason.

What wine is Santorini famous for?

Assyrtiko, without a doubt. It’s the island’s flagship grape variety and a true star.

Which is the best winery to visit in Santorini?

That depends on what you’re looking for. Venetsanos for views, Koutsogiannopoulos for its wine museum, and Domaine Sigalas for gastronomic delights are some of the best options. Choose your own adventure!

Final thoughts on Santorini winetasting

As our wine-soaked journey through Santorini comes to an end, remember this: Santorini’s wine culture is more than just a tasting; it’s a love affair with history, terroir, and the joy of discovery.

Whether you’re a seasoned sommelier or a wine novice, the island welcomes all with open arms and a glass that’s forever half full.

So, when are you booking your ticket to wine heaven? Santé!

 

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