Santorini Wineries

Cyclades

Visiting Santorini wineries is a popular activity on this Greek island in the Cyclades, whose volcanic soil provides a distinctive terroir.

The Gavalas Winery on SantoriniThe Gavalas Winery on Santorini

Wine-making is not an activity that many people associate with the Greek islands, but several islands are noted for their wines and vineyards including Crete, Samos and Santorini. All three have a long history of winemaking, with Crete being very highly-rated recently by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Samos makes some of the best dessert wines in the world and provides the grapes to Metaxa for making their unique Greek brandy-style spirit.

Santorini Wineries

The Canava Roussos winery in Episkopi is the oldest of the current wineries on Santorini, looked after now by the 4th generation of the same family. There's a free winery tour but naturally a charge for the wine-tasting. 

Volcan Wines is between Messaria and Kamari and in addition to the self-guided tour there are wine-tastings and an underground wine museum.

Sign for a Wine Museum on SantoriniSign for a Wine Museum on Santorini

Boutari is one of the best-known names in Greek wine and they have one of the best winery visits on Santorini. The presentation here will teach you a lot about Santorini wines generally, and Boutari makes a great variety of wines, which you can sample. You'll find it in Megalohori, where you'll also find the much smaller but charming Gavalas Winery.

Near Pirgos there are some more wineries to visit, including the Argyros Estate in the village of Mesa Gonia, east of Pirgos. They aren't open for visitors but will show you around and give you a tasting if you phone them in advance (tel: 22860-31489). The same applies to the Hatzidakis Haridimos Winery which is on the road that leads from Pirgos to the Profitis Ilias Monastery (tel: 22860-32552).

The Hatzidakis Winery on SantoriniThe Hatzidakis Winery on Santorini

Santorini Wines

There has been wine-making on Santorini for as long as records exist, but it became especially popular when the Venetians ruled the island and began exporting Santorini wines to Italy and other parts of Europe. The famous Italian sweet wine Vin Santo gets its name from Santorini, and you can try a similar wine on Santorini itself where it is called Vinsanto.

Vinsanto Wine from SantoriniVinsanto Wine from Santorini

The volcanic nature of the soil is good for producing crisp white wines, and when you're visiting Santorini you'll notice grape varieties you may not have heard of before. The three most popular Greek white grape varieties on Santorini are Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani. In fact about two-thirds of the island's vineyards are planted with Assyrtiko, so you'll see that on a lot of menus.

The two most popular Greek red grapes on Santorini are Mandalieria and Mavrotragano. You'll also find some blended wines, some rosé wines, and some wines made from imported vines that have more familiar names to visitors.

The Underground Santorini Wine MuseumThe Underground Santorini Wine Museum

Santorini Wine Tours

You can organise your own visits to Santorini's wineries but you will need a car as they are spread out around the island. This is one case where we'd recommend joining an organised tour, so that you don't have to worry about drinking and driving. 

The tour companies also know the best options. Two of the wineries have great views of the caldera, so taking a sunset wine tour ensures you end up at one of these places for a wine tasting with spectacular views. 

If you're happy to pay a little bit more you can also have a private tour, otherwise you can book a small group tour, which usually lasts a half-day. Another option is to do a general island tour which includes a stop at one of the wineries on the way. There are also gastronomy tours which include wineries, breweries, restaurants and food producers.

One thing to be aware of is that Santorini wine tours are increasingly popular and because they are limited in size they tend to fill up quickly. If it's something you really want to do, book that tour as soon as you arrive. Your hotel or any travel agency will be able to help.

Where to Stay on Santorini


Some other Santorini pages

  • Zakynthos Winemaker

    Antonis Maroudas is a Zakynthos winemaker who lives on the 'wine road' and is one of the people who make Zakynthos.

  • Zacharioudakis Winery

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Zacharioudakis Winery near Ancient Gortina in southern Crete, and does a vineyard tour arranged by our guide from Go Crete.

  • Where to Eat in Athens and Piraeus

    If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

  • What Is Metaxa?

    What is Metaxa? Metaxa is an amber Greek spirit combining brandy made by distilling wine, sweet wine from Samos and a secret recipe of Mediterranean botanicals.

  • What Is Greek Raki?

    Raki is an alcoholic drink made with distilled grapes and anise, and popular in Greece and other Mediterranean countries, including Greece’s neighbour Turkey.

  • Luxury Weddings in Greece

    Luxury Weddings in Greece, including venues such as a boutique hotel with deluxe spa on Santorini, can be booked through Ionian Weddings.

  • Weddings in Greece

    Weddings in Greece and the Greek islands can be luxury or cheap, are easy to arrange from the UK or USA in Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes.

  • Touring the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete

    Greece Travel Secrets tours the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete and learns about Crete grape varieties such as plyto, dafni, vidiano, vilana, mandilari and kotsifali.

  • Tipping in Greece

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to tipping in Greece from two Greece travel experts, including when to tip, what to tip and when not to tip.

  • Things to Do on Santorini

    Some of the best things to do on Santorini, as well as seeing the caldera, include wine tasting, beaches, and visiting the sites of ancient Thira and Akrotiri.

  • The Herb Man of Kouses

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Cretan Botano herbs and spices shop near Matala in southern Crete in search of the herb man of Kouses.

  • The Cretan Diet

    Studies have shown the Cretan Diet as one of the healthiest in the world, involving lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, and moderate amounts of wine.

  • Stilianou Winery near Knossos

    The Stilianou Winery near Knossos on Crete uses only Cretan grape varieties, with every bottle numbered, and aims for quality rather than quantity.

  • Santorini

    Santorini or Thira in the Cyclades islands has cheap and luxury hotels, car rental, ferries from Athens, Crete and other islands, and flights from Athens.

  • Santorini Car Rental

    Santorini car rental companies include Budget, Hermes, VIP Rent a Car and Euro Dollar, with Santorini car hire at the airport, and around Santorini.

  • Pictures of Santorini

    Greece Travel Secrets brings together some outstanding pictures of Santorini in the Cyclades islands of Greece.

  • Museum of Samos Wine

    A visit to the Museum of Samos Wine to learn about the muscat grapes that produce the best dessert wines in the world and also the Greek spirit, Metaxa.

  • Manousakis Wine Tasting

    We visit and tour the Manousakis Winery on Crete with a wine-tasting and a chance to buy their tsikoudia, sea salt, olive oil and other goodies.

  • Making Rakomelo on Crete

    Greece Travel Secrets visits Crete and learns about making rakomelo from Jorgos Kourmoulis in Agouseliana.

  • Life as a Waiter on Zakynthos

    Life as a waiter on Zakynthos tells what it was like for travel writer Mike Gerrard to work in a Greek restaurant, the Mantalena in Alykanas.

  • How to Make Petimezi

    How to make Petimezi, the sweet Cretan syrup made from wine must, is explained to Greece Travel Secrets.

  • Hotels on Santorini

    Hotels on Santorini, Greece, in the Cyclades, range from luxury choices to good cheap accommodation in Fira, with caldera views.

  • Greek Retsina

    Greek retsina is a dry white wine made and drunk all over Greece with a distinctive pine and resin flavour that people usually either love or hate.

  • Greek Ouzo

    Greek ouzo is an aniseed-based aperitif made all over the country but especially on Lesbos, tasting like a Greek pastis or arak and usually drunk with water.

  • Greek Food and Drink

    Greek food and drink is a highlight of any visit and Greece Travel Secrets brings you info about food and drink from all over Greece, from Athens to Zakynthos.

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