What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear of Greece? Let me guess! Beautiful beaches, nice weather, good food and hospitable people, right? Those were the first things that came to my mind or that I envisioned when I heard of Greece. Recently, I added one more thing to my “McDreamy-Greece” list and that is Greek Wine.
Looking at the map or understanding Greece’s geography, it’s hard to imagine that vineyards can grow there, but they do. Greece has several wine regions all producing wines from indigenous grapes. The island of Santorini is one of them.
White houses with blue domed shaped roofs located in a stairs like shape where the higher you climb, the more beautiful it becomes and the Aegean down below is what Santorini looks like in the touristy mind. Add some great Greek hortiatiki salad (tomatoes, cucumber, onion, black olives, olive oil, red peppers and feta cheese) and a shot of ouzo and you get the perfect Greek vacation experience.
Take the ferry from Piraeus port in Athens, enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean sea, then climb on the back of a donkey – alternatively you can take a tram up – and reach your rental accommodation. That’s how most tourists’ Santorini experience begins!
The island was formed after a volcanic eruption and this specific type of soil, along with the constant cool Aegean breeze, altitude and elevation, make it a perfect spot for not only a great vacation, but for some of Greece’s best wines. You can find them in the lower vicinities of Santorini and particularly at Estate Argyros.
Established in 1903, Estate Argyros is run today by Matthew Argyros
who has followed the traditions of four generations of wine makers. Based in Episkopi, Santorini the winery cultivates 130ha of vineyards of ungrafted – original rootstock – phylloxera safe plants averaging to 80 years of age. Part of the estate are some of Greece’s oldest vines, dating back to 200 years ago.
The high quality and memorable to the taste buds, eyes and mind wines from Estate Argyros come from the local varieties of Assyrtiko, Aidani and Mavrotragano. The winemaker’s commitment to quality is uncompromising! His focus on representing and protecting Santorini’s indigenous grapes shows in the stylish new winery located in the heart of the vineyards and in the wine series themselves.
THE WINES OF ESTATE ARGYROS
The wines are made in a respectful way, using traditional, low intervention winemaking methods.
The pure character of the grapes and showing Santorini’s true character has brought many wine awards to the estate during Decanter wine exhibit and competition, as well as being highly ranked by the “Wine&Spirits Top 100 Wineries” edition, sometimes on continuous annual basis.
I was first introduced to Estate Argyros’s great wines during the Nantucket Wine Festival 2019. Predominantly a red wine fan, I had doubts of even trying their white wines, but how could one appreciate Santorini’s great and highly sea influenced cuisine without a great white wine to accompany it?
- Assyrtiko Santorini is the heritage grape. It is totally dry with high natural acids. The grape is well known all around Santorini and combines great elegance, finesse and minerality. The white wine coming from it is characterized with crystal yellow color with flavors of citrus fruits, lemongrass and stone. It has medium body, crisp with long aftertaste. Shellfish, veggies or fish are some of the meals bestl suited for this leader of Greek White Wines.
- Aidani is another rare indigineous variety of Santorini, with a rich, elegant bouquet. This aromatic grape is usually blended in the Vinsanto blend. The single Aidani variety was introduced in 2005 by Yannis Argyros. It has light yellow color, with elegant notes of tropical fruits scented herbs and flowers. Silky texture, well balanced acidity and a refreshing aftertaste.
- Although Santorini is popular with its refreshing white wines, Estate Argyros has added to their wine collection the Mavrotragano red wine. These variety has been on Santorini since ancient times. A deep ruby-red color gives the nose a black fruit notes, oaky, spicy aromas. Powerful and full-bodied with unparalleled balance between power, finesse and good cellaring potential. Aged 12 months in French oak barrels.
THE ATLANTIS OF ESTATE ARGYROS
The Atlantis wine series of Estate Argyros presents the basic range of white, red and rose wines. With a sweetish taste, the Atlantis Rose (blend of Assyrtiko and Mandilaria) offers the Assyrtiko freshness and the Mandilaria fruit and elegance. Beautiful cherry pink color, with flavors of strawberries and cherries. Light body and delicate acidity.
Atlantis Red is a leader in this wine series. For those of you enjoying stronger and heavier for the stomach wines, the Atlantis Red is just what you need. Blend of Mandilaria and Mavrotragano, intense red in color, reminiscent of jam and liquorish, fruity and tannic makes it perfect for any meat dish.
The Atlantis White is predominantly made our of Assyrtiko. Light yellow color, vibrant aromas of citrus fruits, lemon blossom and delicate notes of exotic fruits. Light body, good balance in the mouth thanks to the wine’s acidity and minerality with a pleasant tingling aftertaste.
THE EVERLASTING WINES
And if you are a true wine lover, then you do need to experience the Vinsanto (dessert wines) wine series of Estate Argyros. The expiration date for each wine of this series is 50+ years. Having aged in barrels for anywhere between 4 and 20 years, the Vinsanto wines are sweet, strong and absolutely delightful. Contact the winery itself for details. https://estateargyros.com
YOUR NEXT VISIT TO SANTORINI
Now that you know that Santorini is more than a great vacation spot, don’t forget to visit Estate Argyros next time you visit the island. I can help you plan the perfect Santorini visit at an affordable price! Click here for details.
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