The Wineries of Santorini

 

Santorini – the name itself conjures a vision of centuries-old white buildings perched high upon island cliffs, the deep sapphire Aegean Sea calmly resting against the horizon. You may see yourself there now, soaking up the Mediterranean sun from a deck chair and sipping a chilled glass of ouzo. Picturesque? Of course! But Santorini has a lesser-known specialty, its wineries, that Windstar is now excited to show you in a very intimate way on our new Wineries of Santorini tour, available on our Greek Isles & Turkish Delights itineraries for 2012 and 2013.

Our product development team crafted this tour by researching in-depth all that Santorini has to offer. Naturally, they had to see it for themselves to ensure that Windstar guests have the best possible experience. While it sounds like fun and games, we can assure you they were hard at work hand-selecting the finest wineries to provide an experience that comprehensively represents the best of the Greek wine industry. We are excited to cater to your discerning palates and inquisitive minds by touring through three wineries and a quick stop in the town of Fira to absorb the island’s history and viniculture.

After a half-hour tour along quaint country roads, your luxury coach arrives at Santo Winery which specializes in exquisite white wines. A guided tour of the cellars provides insight to the history of the land and the environmental aspects that lend the region to great wine production. None of this matters, however, unless you taste the wines – which are some of the most famous in Santorini! We selected this winery not only for its incredible wines, but because once you see the view from your private tasting table, you may need a few moments to catch your breath.

Reserved tasting seating at Santo Winery. Santorini, Greece

 

A short drive away lies Galavas Winery, one of the oldest on the island, which is located in the traditional village of Megalochori. Practicing family techniques that have been passed along for more than three centuries, Galavas has had plenty of time to perfect their craft. We believe their methodology truly represents the time-honored tradition of winemaking in Santorini. You will enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the 18-acre vineyard and sample some rare local varietals such as Katsano, Gaidouria, and Mavrotragona.

Because of the region’s strong winds, vines are grown in baskets for protection. This forces them to grow in a circular shape.

 

By this point, you should find yourself completely immersed in the culture of wine which is a perfect time to visit the newly-opened Wine Museum of Santorini. Being the only one of its kind in Greece, the Wine Museum of Santorini occupies a natural cave. It is eight meters below ground, 300 meters long and has a labyrinth-like shape. The Wine Museum presents the history of wine and the life of vine-growers in Santorini since the 1600s and is actually an operating winery. Not only will you taste four of their finest wines, you’ll also have the unique opportunity to crush grapes in the traditional fashion – with your feet!

Wine caves. Santorini, Greece.

 

Before heading back to your Windstar yacht, we insist you visit the town of Fira, which is the capital of Santorini. You can take a short walk to the Metropolis Church and take in the majestic panoramic view of the sea from the cliff-side village. Decorated with blue-shuttered, bright white houses; tiny paved streets; and small shops, Fira takes you back in time to appreciate that Santorini is one of the few places on earth that has remained relatively unchanged throughout its history. It is a place many people dream of visiting, but few are privileged enough to experience Windstar style. Care to join us on this unforgettable journey?

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