The Friday 5 #51 Santorini Special
Why I’m in love with this beautiful Greek island and its extraordinary wines
“Santorini is an island of extremes” pronounced Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, the winemaker at Gaia. Indeed it is. It has some of the most extraordinary white wines in the world grown from century-year old vines, which are coiled, snake-like on the ground to protect them from the strong winds that sweep across the island.
And then there are the views - OMG - and the light. The sunsets have to be seen to be believed.
Santorini still sits on the site of a live volcano though it’s reassuringly not expected to erupt for the next 20,000 years. The entire centre of the island was blown apart in 1600BC leaving it uninhabitable for 3 centuries though it’s had a constant history of winemaking over the years.
The soil is dark and dusty dotted with lava stones. There is almost no water so the vines have to be spaced out in the vineyards resulting in miniscule yields. The wines which are made from the local assyrtiko grape taste excitingly fresh - almost salty - so they’re perfect with seafood. (They apparently contain 400% more sodium than the assyrtiko that is grown on the mainland!)
They are without doubt one of the world’s most unique wines with an amazing capacity to age
Read on - or sign up for a free trial - for the three wines I would kick off with if you haven’t tried assyrtiko before.