Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Wine Tasting in Santorini

Wine isn’t the first thing I think of when I envision Santorini. When I think of Santorini, I see the traditional architecture of white buildings cascading down the caldera edge, beaches, and even donkeys, but not wineries. However, much to my surprise, there were once 40 wineries on the island, and today, the number is closer to 10—which is still a large number considering the size of the island. Santorini has made a name for itself in the wine world over the past few years. In fact, wine making in Santorini goes back thousands of years.

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After hearing this, I knew we had to experience a wine tasting in Santorini and explore a couple wineries, so I set out to find the best ones. In the end, it was the views from the decks of the SantoWines Winery that won me over, and it quickly rose to the top of our list. We arrived in Santorini with a list of other possible stops for our wine tour, and we ended up settling on the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum simply due to the fact that we saw a sign and decided to pull in.

SantoWines Winery

SantoWines Winery is located at the top of a hill, on the outskirts of Pyrgos village—because it is located in almost the center of the island, the winery offers sweeping views over the caldera.

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

While we waited for our tour to start, we explored the beautiful property grounds and browsed the gift shop—if it wasn’t for our departing flight that afternoon, I could have sat on that terrace all day!

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Once we met our guide, we were pleasantly surprised to find we were the only two people on the tour. The tour started out with an explanation of the island’s climate, how the grapes are grown and a brief history of wine in Santorini. SantoWines is the largest wine producer on the island, and the new winery was built in 1992.

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The vines on the island are not the typical vineyards one would expect. Santorini receives very little rain and the ground is mainly volcanic rock, and neither condition is conducive to growing grapes. So, to combat these issues, the vines are carefully cultivated to form an almost basket like vine that stays low to the ground.

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We also had the chance to go inside the buildings where the wine is produced. Our guide led us through the entire wine making process all the way from where they receive the grapes to the bottling systems.

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Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

After the tour concluded, we watched a video that went further into the history of the wine on the island. Although it was interesting, I would have been fine skipping it to spend more time on the terrace.

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Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Next up was the tasting experience. Long story short, I was a bit confused as to the booking options on the website and ended up ordering way more than we needed. We each ended up with 6 different wine samples and an array of cheese, olives, bread and tomato paste. I almost felt silly with it all sitting on our table! Everything was delicious, and even though we didn’t finish it all, we sat on the terrace for a couple of hours soaking up the views and sampling our wide array of treats.

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Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Santos_Wines_Winery

Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum

Our visit to the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum wasn’t quite as spectacular as our visit to the SantoWines Winery. It’s not that it wasn’t interesting, but it was rather a bit strange. The museum is located in a natural cave that winds below the property and there is a bar located upstairs for a wine tasting after you walk through the museum. Koutsoyannopoulos is the last name of the two brothers that started the winery in 1870, and in addition to the museum, the winery is still in operation today.

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Upon arrival, you will receive an audio guide to listen to the stories throughout the museum, and when you pass by the various displays, they will activate and come alive to tell the story. Even though I enjoyed learning about how wine has been produced and evolved on the island, I have to admit that I found the displays to be a bit creepy. Maybe it was the fact that we were basically alone in a dimly lit cave with animated displays all around! But, whatever the case, the path and audio track was also a bit longer than either of us could handle.

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Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Koutsoyannopoulos_Wine_Museum

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Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Koutsoyannopoulos_Wine_Museum

After all the history we could bear, it was time to head upstairs for the wine tasting portion of the afternoon. That’s when things got much better. The tasting room has a more modern feel than the cave. We were given four different wines to taste, and I have to say that we enjoyed them all.

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Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Koutsoyannopoulos_Wine_Museum

Greece_Santorini_Wineries_Koutsoyannopoulos_Wine_Museum

We ended up visiting two very different wineries and while we enjoyed them both, we would probably skip the museum tour at the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum on our next visit. The winery was great, but only head to the museum if you are an extreme history buff and would enjoy an old-timey automated museum. On the other hand, I would say definitely visit the Santo Winery even if just for the spectacular views overlooking the island. The views from the deck were stunning and the winery is an added bonus!

Have you ever been to any wineries in Santorini or anywhere else in the world? Share your favorite wineries with us below!

 

42 Comments
  • Debbie D.
    Twitter:
    Posted at 19:03h, 22 January Reply

    Love the photos! They brought back some fond memories 🙂 We also toured the Santo Winery during our two week holiday to Greece in Sept. 2013. Santorini is fabulous and I want to go back!
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  • Natalie Deduck
    Twitter:
    Posted at 20:21h, 22 January Reply

    Hey Jenna!!

    What a nice post and beautiful pics!
    Wine + Santorini natural beauties + Greek food = Perfect Trip! 🙂
    Cheers,

    Nat
    Natalie Deduck recently posted…KaZantip is not just a Music Festival – It´s an Experience!My Profile

  • Raphael Alexander Zoren
    Twitter:
    Posted at 02:43h, 23 January Reply

    I really loved Santo Wine, the sunset views were awesome!
    Raphael Alexander Zoren recently posted…Helsinki, the city of lifestyle and designMy Profile

  • Meg Jerrard
    Twitter:
    Posted at 11:42h, 23 January Reply

    Interesting! I hadn’t really ever associated wine with Santorini either – will definitely consider hitting up wineries when we do actually get the chance to visit now 🙂 Thansk for the tip on skipping the museum – we’re not super extreme history buffs so probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much.

    Seriously awesome photos – love how blue everything is!
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…Tips for Planning Travel to St. AugustineMy Profile

  • Toccara
    Twitter:
    Posted at 19:58h, 23 January Reply

    The views at the first winery were gorgeous and looks like you hit it on the perfect day. I would totally be creeped out by the dimly lit diorama-like displays, as well, but at least the wine was good!
    Toccara recently posted…St Gilgen: A Delightful Austrian TownMy Profile

  • Esther
    Twitter:
    Posted at 05:01h, 24 January Reply

    Ah wine tasting on Santorini! It’s nice isn’t it? We were staying next to a wine shop in Oia that arranged tasting, my oh my! We did know that there was wine on Santorini (because there’s wine cultivaton basically everywhere in Greece) and it didn’t dissapoint! Last fall I was in Thessaloniki and went to a vinyard a 20 minute drive from the city called Aslanis that makes fantastic boutique wines!

  • Vanessa
    Twitter:
    Posted at 08:55h, 24 January Reply

    I was lucky enough to try wine from Santorini while in Athens and I found it delicious! I had never thought about Greece as a wine producing country but there are a ton of great options. I agree with you about the last place – the dim cave would have been a bit creepy for me too.

  • Renuka
    Twitter:
    Posted at 10:45h, 24 January Reply

    Nah! I haven’t been to any wine tasting yet! But I really want to! Santorini looks so gorgeous, and I am sure sipping wine must be lots of fun. I read somewhere that Greek were the first ones to produce wines. However, when it comes to wines, France, Italy and other places get talked about more.
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  • Leah of The Mochilera Diaries
    Twitter:
    Posted at 11:53h, 24 January Reply

    I didn’t think your sample looked like too much at first, but when I saw the second photo I actually snort-laughed! So much wine! But still not too much, in my opinion 🙂 I’m fascinated to know why the island has downsized its wine production so much over the year (40 wineries to just 10 is quite a change!)…any idea why that happened? I could easily spend all day on that terrace, too!
    Leah of The Mochilera Diaries recently posted…My Colombia Bucket ListMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:55h, 27 January Reply

      LOL! Yeah the 6 glasses isn’t too bad, but I usually end up having both Micah’s and mine so that was way too much for me to even attempt!! I’m really not sure what happened, I would be curious to find out as well. If I come across anything, I’ll let you know for sure!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Help Save #JustOneRhino and Enter to Win Prizes!My Profile

  • John Widmer
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:13h, 24 January Reply

    Beautiful photos! Looks like a perfect way to spend the afternoon. I regret not getting to any of the wineries while in Santorini, just a reason to return!

  • Dana
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:22h, 24 January Reply

    You’re photos are amazing! I would love to try some Santorini wine! Those 6 glasses for tasting look perfect to me 🙂
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  • Andrea
    Twitter:
    Posted at 15:32h, 24 January Reply

    When I think of Greece I do think of wine, but you’re right Santorini is more known for its white architecture and romantic beaches. As a lover of wine, I think this would have been a really enjoyable tour (not just because of the tasting but the story behind it)! The added bonus being that you two were the only ones on it!
    Andrea recently posted…Wait, You Mean, I Have to Pay for ThatMy Profile

  • Howard
    Twitter:
    Posted at 15:48h, 24 January Reply

    My favorite winery is Keel & Curley here in my hometown of Plant City, Florida. I also like Crane Creek Winery near Young Harris, Georgia. However, the wineries in Santorini sound amazing!
    Howard recently posted…Retracing the Selma to Montgomery MarchMy Profile

  • Toni
    Twitter:
    Posted at 17:53h, 24 January Reply

    Oh my! Wine tasting with that view, it’s stunning. Not something I would have thought to do there but now I definitely would.
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  • Lauren
    Twitter:
    Posted at 22:36h, 24 January Reply

    I’d love to try the wine, it looks amazing. Those views! Wow. I’d love to spend all day sitting out there, sipping wine, taking in the scenery. Haha, those displays creep me out a little bit too. But definitely something you’ll remember! 🙂
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  • Brenda
    Twitter:
    Posted at 22:52h, 24 January Reply

    Those views at the Santo Wineries make me want to jump on a plane right this minute! It’s really time to go back to Greece very soon. Although I’ve been to some Greek Islands, I’ve never been to Santorini, I can’t wait to go. Will definitely check out both wineries. I have to admit, although creepy, that second wine museum is intriguingly curious…
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    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:43h, 27 January Reply

      They make me want to hop on a plane and head back over, too, lol! And yeah, the second one was definitely interesting–we did learn some unique facts at least!! Definitely worth a visit if you are curious about it 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Help Save #JustOneRhino and Enter to Win Prizes!My Profile

  • Brent N Stacey-jean Inion
    Twitter:
    Posted at 23:24h, 24 January Reply

    Sj and I met in (Ancient) Greek class. This makes us want to dust off the grammar, update the vocabulary and get there. Thanks for the inviting photos.
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  • frankaboutcroatia
    Posted at 03:30h, 25 January Reply

    I got curious just reading a title of this post, ’cause similar to you, I simply haven’t thought of Santorini in terms of wine making. But Santo WInes winery looks awesome; I guess you can’ go wrong with those views. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Lies
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:12h, 25 January Reply

    I love your photos! I’ve never been to any wineries in Santorini, or even in Europe, but I did visit quite a few around Cape Town, South Africa. They are definitely worth visiting!
    Lies recently posted…3 Things I Love About Cape Town, South AfricaMy Profile

  • Jayce Cairo
    Twitter:
    Posted at 10:01h, 27 January Reply

    Wow, this is the first time I’ve read “wine” and “Santorini” together in a sentence. Santorini is one of the places I’ve been dying to visit and now I’d have something to add to the itinerary. 🙂

  • PAVLOS INGLESIS
    Posted at 03:37h, 21 November Reply

    Awesome post guys!

    The thing is that when people visit Santorini they just go to the wineries that they mostly see on top of tripadvisor lists but there is so much more wineries to visit on this amazing island!

    There is even 2 local breweries with awesome beers and there is also a winery that is also an Art Gallery.

    Good to have in mind for your next time in Santorini 🙂

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 18:25h, 23 November Reply

      Yeah there are definitely quite a few awesome wineries to visit in Santorini! We visited SantoWines Winery for the views and Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum for the history, and we briefly checked out one of the breweries as well! The winery that is an art gallery sounds interesting, we will definitely have to keep that in mind for our next visit! Thanks for sharing!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Our Favorite Urban Adventures of All TimeMy Profile

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