A vibrant, crisp, bone dry wine with citrus tones, intense minerality, hints of honey, Assyrtiko is like a full bodied red grape masquerading as a white. These are just some of the flavors relating to the Assyrtiko grape that is indigenous to Santorini. In fact this wine has mustered up a giant reputation globally, with top oenologists and Sommeliers pouring praise upon it (after pouring themselves a glass or two). Wine Enthiusiast’s Susan Kostrzewa, who describes Assyrtiko as “the next go-to for modern wine lovers”, said “chefs praise its food-pairing prowess, citing a Chablis-like dexterity. It’s no wonder that this sea-tinged elixir is the flagship pour of Greece in the international market.”
Santorini, with its volcanic soil is said to have the oldest vineyards in Europe, and the Assyrtiko variety that is now grown throughout the world, originated here. But the wines from here are distinctly irreplaceable and here’s why. The vines on the island have deep root systems some that are 400 years old, and even though the climate is hot and dry for long periods they are never artificially watered, gathering their moisture as they do from sea mists whose humidity is trapped deep in the pumice-like ashen soils. This remarkable wine not only pairs excellently with most of the local foods, especially fresh seafood, but can also be enjoyed on its own.
Not content with enjoying a chilled glass at sunset and then over dinner? Then go along one of the many wine tours, see how the vines are ingeniously pruned/woven into a basket shape to protect the precious grape from strong winds and intense sunshine, how it's pressed then wine is made and stored sometimes in caves, oh and you also get to try many of the different wines Santorini has to offer. Winederful!