The Top 5 Producers from Santorini
Argyros Estate, located in the village of Episkopi Gonia, just a short distance from Santorini's capital, Fira, is a renowned family-led winery with a remarkable history spanning over 120 years.
As the largest private owner of vineyards in Santorini, Argyros encompasses an impressive 120 hectares of vineyards and is dedicated to cultivating a diverse range of both indigenous and international grape varieties.
Adhering to organic farming practices, Argyros ensures the well-being of its vines without the use of pesticides. The vineyard work is meticulously carried out by hand, with the exception of ploughing, a task expertly performed by mules. Embracing traditional methods, the vines remain unirrigated, and most additions in the vineyard are derived from byproducts of the wine-making process, such as composted stems and grape skins.
The estate is presently under the guidance of Matthaios Argyros, the fourth generation of wine growers, who has been at the helm since 2004. He has played a pivotal role in establishing the new winery and expanding the estate's vineyard land, preserving the family legacy and pushing it forward into a prosperous future.
Volcanic Slopes Vineyards
Volcanic Slopes Vineyards, a personal venture undertaken by Matthaios Argyros and Manolis Chloridis, this winery is born out of the ambition of crafting the ultimate expression of Santorini., capturing the very soul and purest expression of the island within a bottle.
Operating from just two vineyards, nestled in Pyrgos and Megalochori, this boutique winery focuses on cultivating highly individual parcels. Embracing a traditional approach, they primarily work with indigenous grape varieties, some of which are more than 200 years old. The result is a wine called Pure. The dedication to top quality is again non-negotiable but the path that leads there is a entirely dissimilar process. In Pure, Matthaios is not after an expression of specific vineyards and exact meso-terroirs. With VSV, he is after the ultimate expression, in his view, of Santorini. Every step in this progression, from the initial selection of vineyards down to the choice of cork and suggestion of specific glassware, is aiming towards the creation of a Santorini at it Purest.
Established in 1997 by Haridimos Hatzidakis and Konstantina Chryssou, the journey began with their shared vision to revive a deserted 1950s vineyard, restoring it to its former glory.
Over the years, the winery has expanded its holdings, currently boasting approximately 40 hectares of vineyards. These vineyards are strategically situated at various altitudes, fostering diverse microclimates that impart complexity to their wines. Moreover, the winery takes pride in being the sole certified organic grower on the island, adhering to sustainable farming practices across all their vineyards.
Their cultivation is centred around native grape varieties such as Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Mavrotragano, as they aim to craft wines that authentically showcase the unique terroir of Santorini while deeply valuing environmental preservation. By employing traditional winemaking methods, including oak barrel ageing, the winery skilfully produces expressive and age-worthy wines.
Since the unfortunate passing of Haridimos Hatzidakis in August 2017, the winery has been guided by his wife and children, who continue to carry forward the family legacy with unwavering passion and dedication. Together, they strive to perpetuate the winery's tradition and commitment to excellence.
Gaia, a distinguished winery, has been instrumental in elevating the global reputation of Santorini wines. Established in 1994, Gaia represents a collaborative effort between two esteemed winemakers, Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, who share a vision of creating exceptional wines.
Operating two wineries on the island—one in the village of Exo Gonia and the other in Kamari—Gaia proudly tends to approximately 35 hectares of vineyards. The winery's dedication lies in nurturing indigenous grape varieties, with a particular focus on Assyrtiko, renowned for producing wines with distinctive minerality and complexity.
While Assyrtiko takes the lead, Gaia also explores the potential of other grape varieties such as Aidani, Athiri, and Mavrotragano, presenting the diverse range of Santorini's viticulture. By blending traditional and modern winemaking techniques, Gaia expertly captures the grapes' unique character and the essence of the terroir in their wines.
Established in 1991 by Paris Sigalas, the winery finds its home in the charming village of Oia, renowned for its captivating sunsets that leave visitors in awe.
Encompassing an impressive 30 hectares of vineyards, the estate primarily focuses on cultivating indigenous grape varieties such as Assyrtiko, Athiri, and Aidani. The volcanic soil, coupled with the island's unique climate, lends a distinctive character to Sigalas' wines, celebrated for their lively acidity, mineral complexity, and remarkable ageing potential.
Sigalas takes great pride in its commitment to sustainable viticulture, embracing organic farming practices and low-intervention winemaking techniques. This approach allows them to capture the true essence of Santorini's terroir while preserving the purity and authentic expression of the grapes in their wines.