We are featuring one of our wines each week as we lead up to National Wine Day. This week - the quintessential Greek white wine, Santorini! (It’s a natural partner to our favalafel plate.) Grab a glass during Naughty Hour.
When you think of Greece, do you think of cascading whitewashed walls and blue windows atop steep volcanic cliffs, with alluringly blue waters, and brilliant sun?
You are probably picturing Santorini, the island.
And when you think of taking a sip of Greek wine, does part of you yearn for something light and crisp, with bracing minerality, but the hint of orange blossoms maybe blowing in the breeze?
You are probably craving Santorini, the wine.
Santorini, the island, is well known for its wine, most of which is made from the grape Assyrtiko, and the most well-known of those wines is called Santorini. You might not know an Assyrtiko vineyard while walking past it; instead of neat rows with vines trained over posts and wires, circular baskets made of the vines sit flush with the ground, sheltering the grapes from the fierce sun and wind. The root systems for these vines are often centuries old, and the yield is at best 20% of the typical yield of a Californian or French vineyard.
Growing Assyrtiko grapes for Santorini can be an ordeal. The yield is low, the vines must be woven, the grapes must be hand-harvested, and space to grow the grapes is growing scarcer. And yet, this is the wine we associate with Greece - this is how you know that all of those challenges are worth it.