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Introduction to the Wines of Santorini Wines & Wine Appellation Santorini Grape Varieties Labeling Greek Wines

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Fava Bean : History & Recipe

Chloro Cheese : History & Recipe

Cherry Tomato : History

White Eggplant : History

Tomatokeftes : Recipe

Greek Tradition :

Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese Recipes :

Feta Pie with Bechamel Filling

Feta in Filo Pastry with Honey

Feta in Filo Pastry with Lamb

Feta in Stuffed Peppers

Easter Recipes :

Tsoureki with Easter Eggs

Mageiritsa Soup

Christmas Recipes :


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Terms Frequently Found on the Labels of Greek Wines
Santorini Wines, Wineries, Vineyards, Grapes & Grape Varieties

The Greek word for wine. We find the same root in the words 'wine' in English, 'wein' in German, 'vinum' in Latin, 'vin' in French and 'vino' in Spanish. It is unknown, however, where the origin of the word comes from, although in the Greek language the word dates back to the Mycenean Period (1600-1100 BC).

Palaion Ambelonon or Palia Klimata
A term used for wine produced from vines of original stock that are at least 40 years old. Restricted to Appellation or Regional Wines.

Someone who has earned a degree in winemaking. Derived from the Greek word for wine: "oenos".

Apo Nisiotikous Ambelones
A term used for Appellation or Regional Wines produced from vineyards located in the islands.

A wine aficionado, literally in Greek: "wine friend".

A term used since Byzantine time for dessert wines produced, as the name implies, on the island of Santorini. The grapes used must be at least 51% Assyrtiko and the rest can be a combination of the aromatic Athiri and Aidani grapes as well as other white grapes typically grown on the island. The Vinsanto wines should be aged at least 2 years in barrel.

The term Cava is used for white and red Table Wines. The whites should be aged at least 2 years in stainless steel tanks and bottle combined or at least 1 year in barrel and bottle combined. The reds should be aged at least 3 years, of which at least 6 months must be in barrel, if it is new or 1 year if it is used.

The term Mezzo can only be used for wines made in Santorini since it is a term traditionally used on the island of Santorini. The wines are made in the same way as Vinsanto wines but are not as sweet.

The term Reserve is only used for wines with Appellation of Origin. The white wines must be aged at least 2 years of which at least 6 months must be in barrel and 6 in bottle. The reds must be aged at least 3 years of which at least 1 year must be in barrel and 1 year in bottle.

A traditional term for Appellation wines that are produced on the island of Santorini and contain a minimum alcoholic content of 13.5%. This wine must also be barrel aged.

Grand Reserve
The term Grand Reserve can only be used for wines with Appellation of Origin. The white wines must be aged at least 3 years, of which 1 year must be in barrel and 1 in bottle. The reds must be aged at least 4 years of which 2 years must be in barrel and 2 in bottle.

The term Liastos can only be used for Regional or Appellation Wines that have been made from well ripened grapes that have been allowed to dry in the sun or shade. The word comes from the Greek word helios which means sun.

Ktima means Estate in Greece. It is a term used either for AOC or restricted Regional Wines. The wine should be made from grapes cultivated in vineyards within the Estate and vinified by a winery within the Estate.

Grand Cru
This term can only be use for wines with Appellation of Controlled Origin. It refers specifically to wines made from selected vineyards.

Did You Know?

.. that Santorini's most famous wines are considered to be the white dry and aromatic wines Nykteri and Assyrtico and the world famous Vinsanto. Both the Nykteri and Vinsanto belong to the category of "Name of Origin of Superior Quality" and come under the European Union status for " Quality Wines Produced in Statedly Areas ".

.. that Nykteri took its name due to the fact that it is produced instantly in the middle of the night from grapes harvested the previous day. The viticulturists press the grapes from morning till night and the whole process of wine making takes place during the night when the temperatures are lower. The undermined ' canavas 'with their carefully studied windows create the adequate night streams, necessary for the fermentation process.

.. that Vinsanto is a sweet, white or red wine produced from grapes dried in the sun. The celebrated sweet wine which expresses Santorini's uniqueness is used to complete the gustative feasts of the Medieval time noblemen, while at the same time, comprised for centuries the ' Holy Communion ' to all the chalices of the Russian Orthodox Church.

.. that Santorini's ecological conditions have produced over time a unique type of vine pruning that growers call "kouloura" (curl), because its shape resembles a round basket. The "basket" shaped vines protect the soft and tender grape leaves from being damaged by the island's strong wind and sand.


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