Santorini - Wines of Santorini

Santorini - Wines of Santorini

Viticulture is the most important sector of agricultural production on the island. The history of viticulture in Thera dates from prehistoric times, when the Phoenicians introduced into the Aegean. The vineyards of Santorini are still the most traditional in Greece. The unfavorable climate and especially the strong winds obliged the cultivators to keep the plants low, in a basket-shape, in order to protect the grapes from the wind and heat. The wine’s cooling acidity and its high alcohol content characterize the Santorinian variety of grape, Asyrtiko.

Two other notable local varieties are Aidani and Athiri, both with a fine aroma. The deep red variety Mantilaria is also grown on Santorini, in limited quantities. Santorini’s most famous wines are the dry white, aromatic Nykteri, and the renowned sweet Vinsanto. Both belong to the category of“Protected Designation of Origin - P.D.O.”, and are European Union VQPRD wines, as “Quality Wines Pro¬duced in Controlled Area”. The island’s largest winery is “Santo Wines”. Other wineries in the island are: BOUTARIS, SIGALAS, CANAVA ARGYROS, CANAVA ROUSSOS (the oldest winery in Santorini, established 1836), KASTELI WINES, GAVALAS, KOUTSOGIANNOPOULOS, GAIA, KARAMOLEGOS, CANAVA NOMIKOS and HATZIDAKIS

Santo Wines... 3500 years tradition

The Union of Santorini Cooperatives, named as SantoWines, was founded in 1947. Today, SantoWines, the biggest wine producer of the island, has approximately 2500 members that equals to the total number of the producers of the island, while 1000 of them are active. Wine for us is art, made with love and care.... and for that reason we have gathered all the necessary elements... Santo Wines' products are:
a) Wines: Santorini Assyrtiko, Santorini Nykteri and Vinsanto (in different types). All of them are P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin). There are also P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication) wines: Crescendo, White and Rose Semi Dry, Kameni, Athiri, Aidani Assyrtiko, Mavrotragano, Voudomato, Vedema (white, rose, red), Imiglykos Santo and Nama.
b) Other products: different products with cherry tomatoes as tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato dip etc. Also capers and caper leaves, Santorini Fava Beans (P.D.O.) and traditional “koufeto” sweet.

Delicacies from Santorini

n effort to identify Santorini’s most famous and representative product will surely lead to confusion. Could it be the unique white aubergines with their tasty flesh or the bright red, bead-shaped round cherry tomatoes? And what can one say about the local split pea “fava” with its deep yellow colour and nutty flavor? The arid, volcanic soil of the island, combined with the dry climate renders small quantities of produce, but unique in taste and appearance.

Another unusual product that characterizes Santorinian cuisine is its dried capers, large buds of the plant that are dried in the sun, cooked with tomato and onion and served over the boiled “fava”! Now, for your culinary take-off, ask for “fava” or better still “fava pantremeni” (married fava!) garnished with tomato sauce, “domatokeftedes” (tomato balls), fried white aubergines, “salahi me skorthalia” (devilfish with garlic sauce), stuffed onions with pork, “gardoumpakia” (an Eastern dish with intestines), “seskoulokeftedes” (white beet balls) and aubergine casserole. Cod (bakaliaros in Greek) is another favourite with Santorinian cuisine. You will find it fried with “skorthalia” at the religious festivals, as well as “domatokeftedes” and “fava”.

Other typical recipes include cod with potatoes or “santorinia brandada” (fried pieces of cod covered with a smooth creamy sauce of tomato and watery “skorthalia” and baked in the oven). From pork meat Santorinians make “apokti” (a kind of cold cut). They slice pork fillet, leave in salt for one day and vinegar for three, then spread it with cinnamon, black pep¬per and dried savory and hang it up to dry for several weeks.

Finally, the most traditional local cheese is goat-milk “hloro” (fresh), which is usually eaten fresh, hence its name. If you are still not satisfied with what you have seen and tasted in Santo¬rini you might also look for local tomato paste, sweet or sun- dried cherry tomatoes, the famous “melitinia” (Eastern small sweet cheese pies made with “mizithra” cream cheese) and “koufeto”, the spoon sweet with honey and almonds, which served at weddings.

Tags: Tributes to Greece
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