The grapevines are wound around each other to create a basket form and “watered” by the mist rolling in from the sea aided by the volcano rim, creating a kind of artificial rain. These are the oldest vineyards in Greece and we were fascinated by the unique methods and pleasantly surprised with the taste of the wines here.
In our driving around Santorini island, we saw many large commercial looking wineries, but some how never stopped, then on a whim we saw a sign for a small traditional winery, so turned down a small lane and decided to check it out. We had enjoyed looking at all the vineyards on the island and lovely volcanic rocks that are used as fences for terracing on hills.
We were surprised that they were three centuries old and that they did not replant, but allowed the vines themselves to self propagate from a mother vine and other interesting facts. We all enjoyed learning more from our lovely hostess from Athens who loved Santorini and the wines here. Had we come in August when they pick the grapes, we could have participated in the harvest and some grape stomping.
We are not big wine drinkers and I am not sure if we even had any other wine in the month that we stayed in Santorini, but we do enjoy learning more about the process in different places.
The winery was called Gavala (www.gravalaswine.gr) and was in the small picturesque village of Megalohori. Even Mozart loves wine tasting (she got cherry juice) and exploring the “Canava” wine cave, seeing all the ancient equipment (including an oven that looked similar to the ones we saw in Morocco), barrels, baskets etc. and learning about the process. It was a delightful experience and we are so glad we decided to follow that little sign.