February Wine of the Month: Assyrtiko

Sure we could pick out well known varieties of wine and probably find interesting qualities about each that you were previously unaware of. However, as a growing wine aficionado it is important to know about some of the rarest wines in the world. Our first spotlight on rare wines found around the world is, Assyrtiko.

Assyrtiko is Greece's most infamous wine, known for being grown on the volcanic island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea. The versatility of the variety is evident by the range and complexity of wines that can be produced. From fresh white wines to dessert wines called, Vinsato.

Growing Conditions

A rare quality that the volcanic soil has is that it prevents phylloxera from feeding on the roots of the grapevines. This region has extreme weather condition that farmers have adopted their crop growing conditions to over the years. The vines are wrapped around each other to form a basket like structure in order to withstand the very strong winds. The climate is also very dry so farmers have adapted crop spacing to allow for the roots to have more room to search for water underneath the ground.

Taste Characteristics

Due to the versatility of this variety many flavor profiles can be achieved by applying scientific methods. Its high acidity makes it a perfect wine to age for years. Assyrtiko is also easily oxidized so this can be exploited to achieve sweeter profiles.

-dry wine = mineral, pear, apple and citrus blossom

-darker dessert wine "Vinsato" = fig, coffee, chocolate


The most popular wines to blend with Assyrtiko are Athiri and Aidani which are also native to Santorini.

Best Wines to Try:

High Price Range - Estate Argyros VinSanto 20 Years Barrel Aged, Santorini, Greece

Medium Price Range - Domain Sigalas Kavalleros White, Santorini, Greece

Bargain Price Range - Tselepos 'Canava Chrissou' Vielles Vignes Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece

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