Grapes have been cultivated for wine on Santorini since ancient times. The island’s climate and volcanic soil provide a distinctive terroir which has led to its reputation as a producer of fine wines.
This half-day tour with a private driver takes in two of the island’s wineries and offers the chance to tour the facilities and sample the wines they produce. You’ll learn about the unusual growing traditions here, why some grapes are picked at night, and how the wines are aged — all from the people who dedicate their lives to creating some of Greece’s finest wines.
Departing from your hotel with your private driver, you’ll head off to the first winery.
In the 1940s, the Venetsanos family was the first in Santorini to begin producing wine on a larger scale. As you enter the winery, you’ll see a small display of old record books and wine-making equipment from the early days of the winery, along with old production equipment.
The winery takes pride in maintaining the family history and the island’s wine-making traditions, and you’ll learn about the winery’s origins as well as indigenous grape varieties and growing traditions.
About 40 different grape varieties are grown on the island, but assyrtiko, athiri and aidani are those most commonly used. The vines are trained into a low, circular growing pattern known as a corona, which protects the grapes from the harsh winds common on the island.
You’ll proceed to the tasting area, one of the only ones on the island with views over the caldera. Here, you’ll sample reds, whites and a rosé on the terrace overlooking the sea. These will be paired with a selection of local cheeses.
Continuing on with your driver, you’ll head inland to your next stop. Located in the interior of the island and surrounded by their vineyards, the Estate Argyos produces internationally acclaimed wines from some of the oldest vines on the island.
After an introduction in the sleek, modern reception building, you’ll get to see the vineyards where the vines are trained into the traditional low, basket style, as well as the production facilities where the wine is made.
Once you’ve heard a little about the cultivation and production process, you’ll sit down in the bright tasting room to sample several different red and white varieties as well as their flagship dessert wine, vinsanto. From here, your driver will take you back to your hotel.