The Art of Wine In Santorini

I am sitting with a glass of Canava Roussos Mavrathiro as I write this post. It seems only fitting to be sipping this sweet, dark, dessert wine, with an aroma that fills my nose with blackberry, cinnamon and clove, as I talk about wine! This sun-dried, aged, sweet red was my favorite from our tasting session at the oldest, most beautiful winery in Santorini. The hint of spice on my tongue leaves such a lovely, sweet finish….. I digress. #drinkingandblogging 😉

First let’s start with the basics before I share more about the highlight of our time gallivanting about the Santorini winelands on scooter…

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Santorini has incredible wine! (Basic enough for you?) The wine is so good that I even enjoyed daily glasses of Santorini white, right out of the box (yes, box!), and for just 1-2 EUR a glass! This says a a lot – I’m not typically a box wine gal and was quite skeptical from the start.

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My recommendation for a nice, cheap glass of white is to fill your cup with Nichteri. This dry, aromatic wine gives you a rich taste of the Greek Islands with every sip! It’s certainly a small step up from the box… but now for a giant leap! Assytiko is one of Greece’s finest wines. Its bone-dry taste has notes of citrus mixed with an earthy, mineral after-taste we were told was due to the volcanic soils of Santorini.

Maridilaria is the Santorini red of choice for many on the island (as recommended by our local friend, Nikos). It has a light body and fruity flavor.

Now, off to dessert – my favorite part of any meal! Mavrathiro is my Santorini, dessert wine of choice. Since I’ve already described the glass I’m sipping in great detail, I’ll move on to the best place for a proper tasting 🙂

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There are many beautiful wineries to visit on the island, but if you only have time for a few, shame on you if you miss Canava Roussos.

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This small, incredibly unique, family run winery specializes in aged wines with one of the best dessert wine selections. Canava Roussos was founded in 1836 – the oldest winery in Santorini (and, in my opinion, the most beautiful). What I found so exceptional were the traditional methods still used to produce wine. Centuries of experience, passed from generation to generation, ensure these traditional methods remain in place. This winery lives and breathes the art of wine-making.

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We received a warm invitation to visit the winery (just a short scooter ride from our home on Kamari beach) from Agape Roussos, who arranged a tour with Ms. Potheti Valvi of the traditional kanava (winery). We were guided through the gorgeous stone building filled with oak barrels, a large (traditional) grape press….

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… and subterranean cisterns (underground chamber used to catch wine). Learning about the traditional processes was fascinating.

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What better way to end a lovely tour than with a delicious tasting! We were sent home in a blissful state, and with a bottle of dessert wine to enjoy.

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There is MUCH to experience in Santorini, but this I can assure you – to wine, or not to wine… is never the question!


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