Santorini Wine Tours
Greece has a tradition of wine-making that goes back 3.000 years.
Dionysos was worshipped as the god of wine and the Dionysia festivals took place in various parts of Greece, mostly during the winter months.
In very few parts of the world do you have such an abundance of sun and the right kind of soil which is ideal for producing the best kind of wines. One such spot is Greece, and especially the Greek islands, where the traditional home of ancient grape varieties are hosted.
Santorini's volcanic soil and high daytime temperatures and humidity at night are ideal for creating a strong red wine which is well-respected throughout the world. It is these ideal conditions that have helped the islanders produce 36 different kinds of grapes (white and red) leading to excellent wine producing.
The vintage of the wines in Santorini takes place at the end of August and if you are on the island that time, you can visit the wine making areas and enjoy these fine wines. The making of wine really begins with the growing of the grapes. The vines must be carefully tended to be sure that the grapes will be of the finest quality. The grapes must be picked at the perfect moment of ripeness so that they contain the greatest possible amount of sugar. The grapes are picked and sorted, and unripe or bruised grapes are removed. The remaining grapes are then mashed.
While the grapes are ripening on the vine, a special kind of yeast settles on their skins. When the grapes are mashed their yeast begins to ferment, changing the grape sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol. For red wine, like the type on Santorini, the entire mash is allowed to ferment, so that it takes on some of the color of the skins. If a white wine is being made, the juice of the grapes is pressed out and then fermented without the skins.
The first fermentation usually takes several weeks.
After this period the wine is fairly clear. It is drained off to remove the sediment, or solids, and then is placed in casks for further fermentation. During this time the wine acquires its "bouquet", or special aroma, and it changes color. White wines become darker; red wines usually become lighter because still more solids settle to the bottom. Fine wines are usually stored for two years before they are considered ready for bottling. Santorini wines are growing in popularity on the international market and we suggest you take a few bottles back home to treat your friends.