The volcanic island of Santorini presents wine lovers with a fascinating environment to explore: rugged and spectacularly beautiful where dense, heavy black basalt and super-light, white porous pumice soils lie side by side. Arid and dramatically windy, the vines get their water from the morning dew that condenses inside the traditional basket shaped crown vines, designed to protect against the island’s strong wind. The total absence of clay from the soil makes this a phylloxera-free island, and as a result many of the vines are 200, 300 years old. Really! All are ungrafted. Assyrtiko is the indigenous grape of Santorini with a marvellous ability to produce strong but vibrant, crisp, energetic and minerally wines. The Santorini Assyrtiko recently came away with the Regional Trophy and a Gold Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2015; a well-deserved accolade.
Argyros Estate, founded in 1903 finally moved to a new purpose-built winery, just in time for the 2015 harvest. They had outgrown some years ago the old premises. They now enjoy temperature control, juice movement by gravity, new filtration equipment and more besides. The estate now owns 65 hectares of vineyards. Some of these are recently planted, but many are of an age rarely found anywhere else, and the grapes from these vineyards are used for the Estate wines. In addition purchased fruit is used to make up 50% of the Santorini Assyrtiko.
Watch a video of Estate Argyros’ beautiful vineyards in Santorini, Greece: