Our Vineyards

Our vineyards

Varieties

Santorini has approximately 40 different indigenous varieties which grow at the 13.000 acres of the island’s vineyard.  The noblest variety is Assyrtiko, which covers the 70% of the total vineyards of the island. Alongside Assyrtiko, other varieties like Aidani, Athiri, Mavrotragano and Mantilaria are also used by wineries for producing dry and sweet wines.

Climate

Santorini’s climate is characterized by mild winters followed by hot long summers. The reduced rate of rainfalls and the strong winds have as an effect a very low yield which normally is about 350 kg/acre. In order to protect the production by the winds, vines are been pruned in a low basket shape, called kouloura.  At the same time, high moisture levels help the soil to absorb water during nighttime, giving it back to the vine during the day.

Soil

Another important fact is that Santorini’s vineyard has never been affected by phylloxera. That occurs as the volcanic soil lacks in organic matter, making it resistant to that disease. As a result the vineyards of the island have never been replanted, making them one of the oldest in the world.

Cycle of Santorini's Vineyards

Budburst

February- March

Budburst is the beginning of the life cycle of a vine, and happens during the spring. The first buds of the vine begin to break, but are very delicate.

Flowering and fruit set

April – May

The vines develop initial shoots and leaves on the vine. Leaves are required for photosynthesis.

Véraison

June - July

The buds turn into flowers and small bunches of grapes begin to grow. Winemakers cross their fingers for good weather during the flowering period. Rain during flowering can lead to poor fruit-set, also known as coulure in French, which can impact harvest size and also quality further down the line.

Harvest

August

When the grapes are fully ripened, it is time for them to be harvested, to then start the vinification process. Depending on the winery and the location of the vineyard, this may be done by hand.

Winter dormancy

October - February

During the winter months, the vines go dormant, and stop growing, until the next spring. In regions that often experience a particularly cold winter, vines may be buried for their own protection.