Santorini is, without any doubt, one of Greece’s most famous wine regions.
The archaeological testimony proves that wine cultivation in the island dates back almost 5000 years. Some of Santorini’s most famous indigenous varieties, such as Assyrtico & Mandilaria, have been cultivated since the ancient times.
It is also remarkable that in Santorini, even today, the cultivation method is still the same. The vine plants are pruned to form a low circular basket called “kouloura” which is purposely kept low to the ground, so that grapes can grow inside and be protected from strong winds and the sun. The harvesting period, locals call it “Vedema”, takes place from the beginning till the end of August. The grapes are delivered to the local wineries, some of which are in stunning locations and are made with vaulted ceilings and rustic stone walls.
The precious liquid is usually stored in barrels which are kept in special cellars below the ground. There the fermentation takes place for approx. two months. On the celebration day of Aghios Averkios, on the 22th of October, barrels are opened and wines are tasted. Barrels are blessed with a basil branch and the locals test the new wines while dancing and singing the whole night.