Vinsanto Santorini is a traditional sweet wine of Santorini with an impressive dark bronze color. It is not only famous, but a protected variety of wine, as the name is under copyright laws that protect the name and the quality of the produced wine.
Production of Vinsanto Santorini
Vine harvest starts in mid September and at first the grapes are left to dry under the sun, for ten to fifteen days. This process increases the sugar content and makes them drier.
Once the grapes are dry, they are handled in order to take the must out, which will be left in wooden barrels for at least four months. Once the first phase of the fermentation is done, the wine will stay in oak barrels for two years in order to mature and produce that distinctive flavor.
According to the Greek law, at least 51% of the grapes used belong to Asyrtiko vine variety, and the rest comes from Aidani variety and Athiri, or any other variety cultivated in Santorini.
The name Vinsanto Santorini comes probably from the name vin de Santo (wine from Santorini), although there is another theory, that the name comes from the Italian language and refers to the divine wine “Vino Santo”.
All islands of the Aegean are famous for their wine, produced by sun dried grapes, but Vinsanto stands apart, probably due to the uniqueness of the soil in Santorini.
Vinsanto is exported to several European countries, although Russia is still the main importer of Vinsanto – since 1786. During the Middle Age the trading boats of the Crusaders were bringing the sweet wine from Santorini to Constantinople and the Venetian markets.
Wineries in Santorini
Some of the most known wineries in Santorini, such as Boutari, Sigalas and Hatzidakis Winery produce Vinsanto today. In Hatzidakis Winery the wine stays for six years in oak barrels. Vinsanto Santorini is one of the most awarded wines in International competitions and contests.
If you take your hire car you can visit the wineries in Santorini and see some parts of the productive process in person; it is definitely an experience you should not miss, as Santorini is famous for its wines and wineries.