The Island of Santorini: A Unique Wine Region

Are you hungry for a new, sensational wine to add to your collection? Want a different type of wine to grace your palette? If you haven’t tried a Santorini wine, you haven’t really lived.

That goes for those who aren’t wine connoisseurs, either. Whether you have a vague interest in wine or want to become an expert, Santorini is a Greek wine region worth knowing about. It’s rich in history and flavor, and the island is known for a few unique features that may explain why their wine is so divine.

A Condensed History of Santorini

While the most famous form of Santorini wine is their Vinsanto, a style of Italian dessert wine mostly found in Tuscany, the newest craze from the island is their rose wine made from Assyrtiko white grapes indigenous to their land. As novel as we may find this wine as it’s recently come into fashion, the Assyrtiko wine produced in Santorini was actually some of the most valuable wine produced in Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Santorini wine wouldn’t come to America until the 20th century when Greek immigrants were bringing different styles of wine to their new homeland. Many wines during this time were labeled as repulsive due to the common trend of retsina, or a traditional wine served with pine resin. Assyrtiko and other Santorini wines were affected by this stigma, though now they have come to prominence as wine continues to gain popularity in U.S. markets.

What Makes Santorini Wine Unique?

A great one is one that is unique and flavorful. You can almost taste the location in the drink — and drinking a Santorini wine gives you the sensation of being on the beautiful, breathtaking island.

There are two distinct features that make Santorini wines so sought after and different from other similar wines. First, Santorini is an island that has soil made from volcanic ash. This simultaneously offers the wine an acidic flavor that has become something of a trademark, while also killing off phylloxera.

For those unfamiliar, phylloxera is a type of parasite resembling an aphid. Known as “grape phylloxera,” its main source of nutrition and sustenance is the root system of a grapevine. This soil means that some roots found in Santorini are centuries old, producing incredible, strong flavors.

Perhaps the most noticeably distinct of the two features is how grapes are grown in Santorini. Unlike typical growing methods, Santorini wine producers use a training system known as koulara, pictured above. As the vines grow, grape growers weave the vines into basket-like formations that hug the ground, as pictured above. These formations cause the vines to grow into a bowl-shaped bush with the leaves and vines protecting the grapes that grow on the bowl’s inside from getting too much sunlight prematurely.

This is how famed Santorini wines like Nykteri and the eponymous Santorini are crafted with such an incredible and unique flavor. Unique conditions and methods for producing grapes lead to a more distinct flavor within a wine.

Santorini wines are becoming more popular within the United States. If you’re able to find a bottle, I suggest to snatch it up. You’ll be amazed by the incredible, aromatic experience a Santorini wine has to offer! Click here to order your Santorini wine.


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