Artisanal wines, lovely terraces, amazing Greek Food… 🍷Your Ultimate Guide to Santorini Wineries and the best wine tours is here! It is not a secret that the island has some of the most amazing wineries and wine tours in the world. Santorini wines are amazing! Wine production on the island dates back to the ancient times and the famous “Assyrtiko” variety of Santorini is famous all over the world.
BEST WINE TOUR IN SANTORINI: 4 hour Small Group Wine Tasting Tour
The thing with Santorini’s vineyards is that the amazing indigenous varieties, the island’s unique ecosystem, along with the volcanic soil, strong winds, rare rainfalls and the hot and dry summers result in wines of a uniquely intense and complex character with high gastronomic value. You are going to love wine tasting in Santorini and there are high chances this is going to be the highlight of your trip!
The Best Santorini Wineries are:
- Santowines Winery
- Venetsanos Winery
- Estate Argyros Winery
- Domaine Sigalas Winery
- Koutsoyannopoulos Winery & Wine Museum
- Gavalas Winery
- Boutari Winery
- Hatzidakis Winery
- Artemis Karamolegos Winery
- Vassaltis Winery
- Art Space Winery
- Canava Roussos Winery
- Gaia Winery
- Santorini Brewing Company
- Volkan Brewery
VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW
- Most famous Santorini Winery: Santowines Winery (visit this one if you don’t have much time on the island)
- Visiting a winery and have a wine tasting session in Santorini is one of the best things you can do on the island
- You can visit the wineries by yourself or book an organized tour that will take you through several wineries on the island; you will have a dedicated guide that will explain more about the history of wine making on the island. If you want to visit by yourself though, make sure you don’t drink and drive.
- Area with the most wineries: around Pyrgos and Emporeio village (these areas don’t have views to the famous caldera and most of the wineries are basically hidden within the lovely vine
- Best Wine Varieties to try in Santorini: Assyrtiko (white) and Mavrotragano (red) and the traditional and very sweet Vinsanto wine
- You can either visit the Santorini wineries by yourself or book an organised wine tour (see the best wine tours at the bottom of this post) which is basically a van that takes you to several wineries for several hours
- All the Santorini wineries offer a large or small selection of greek meze (nibbles) or even proper dinner or lunch
- There are only 2 wineries that have great views to the calrdera and the volcano: Santowines and Venetsanos wineries.
- Koutsoyannopoulos winery is also the famous Santorini Wine Museum with a dedicated tour for showing how the wine is actually being made in Santorini since the ancient years.
So, here are the best Santorini wineries:
Santowines Winery is the largest and most famous winery of Santorini. So, let’s put it this way: if there is only one winery that you want to visit in Santorini or you don’t have the time to visit a second one, then it has to be the amazing Santowines winery! They are located just outside of Fira (on the intersection that goes to Pyrgos) and it is one of the wineries in Santorini that have caldera views. They also have a large selection of Santorini wines, yummy greek meze, great service and even an amazing gift shop where you can buy local products of the island along with all of the wines that you previously tasted! SantoWines was founded in 1947 and it’s basically the Union of Santorini Cooperatives. Today, it consists of the largest winery of the island representing all the cultivators and counting 1.200 active members. There is an enormous terrace in different levels with one of the most amazing views of the caldera and the volcano. Finding a table to sit is relatively easy (unless it’s August and sunset time…or there is a massive cruise ship that has just arrived in Santorini…but even so you should be able to find a table as the place is massive!) and you can even order coffee or just greek meze and nibbles. You can select different wine tasting “experiences” where a waiter or wine-specialist will explain to you the different aromas, tastes and varieties like: Assyritko, Nykteri or Vinsanto (this is more like a liquor…very sweet but yummy!). You can have 3, 6 or even 12 glasses of wine! There is no way you get out of this place sober…that’s for sure!! The whole experience will be even better if you visit the amazing Deli shop which is in the winery with plenty of local produce and a large wines selection (from the ones that you just tasted before). SantoWines winery is between Fira and Pyrgos on your right side (going from Fira to Pyrgos village). It is closer to Pyrgos village though. There is plenty of parking there but you can even take a taxi or a local bus from Fira or elsewhere. If it is August and sunset time, you probably need to call them and book a table in advance. Especially if you are planning to visit around sunset time because it can get pretty busy at that time. Also, bear in mind that during summer, there are many weddings that take place at their terrace and some part of it might be privately reserved. You can contact them in advance to check.
Venetsanos Winery is a quite new addition to the Santorini wineries since the winery itself has been recently renovated. It is actually the first industrial winery of Santorini, founded in 1947 by Venetsanos family. All the buildings have been recently renovated and the old wine tanks have actually been transformed to a very cool little museum. You can actually learn a lot for the innovative production methods of the winery. The most distinguished feature of the winery is actually its architectural design, which essentially used gravity, facilitating energy efficiency, at a time when access to electricity and other energy sources was very limited. The winery was built in an unconventional manner constructed from above and moving downwards. That’s the reason behind all these stairs and different levels of the structure! The winery itself is located just above Athinios port (where all the ferries from Athens depart) and it is in a really quiet and unique location overlooking (obviously…) the caldera and the volcano. You are still getting an amazing terrace where you can sit and taste the Venetsanos wines selection (Nykteri, Assyrtiko, Mandilaria, Anaggalis, Liasto) along with some yummy greek nibbles (mostly locally produced). Venetsanos winery is an amazing winery (and possibly less touristy than SantoWines). Everything is on a smaller scale and that’s not a bad thing… Venetsanos winery is literally 15 mins walking distance from the SantoWines winery and just outside of Megalochori village on your right hand as you drive on the Fira-Perissa main road . You won’t have any issues with parking. However, do expect the winery to be busier than usual in August (obviously around sunset time…). You can contact them in advance to make sure you will get a table but you can even book your table or tour through their website.
Domaine Sigalas is one of the wineries which is closest to Oia (check hotels and villas in Oia) and it’s a quite new addition to the Santorini Wineries map as it was founded back in 1991 by the Sigalas family. There are many good reasons to visit this winery and the amazing romantic terrace located in the middle of the vineyards is only one of them. You won’t be disappointed with the great selection of Sigalas wines. You’d be able to taste more than 10 wines: different variaties of the famous Assyrtiko Santorini wine and a few reds such as “Mavrotragano” or “Mandilaria”. You’ll also get amazing food as their kitchen offers some amazing greek meze/nibbles and lunch/dinner plates using seasonal local produce! And everything is super yummy…trust me! Seriously…the Chef who works there is not playing around…! At Domain Sigalas you can book your wine tasting experience from their website. Domaine Sigalas is also available for weddings and it obviously has a very nice shop for buying the Sigalas label wines. Domaine Sigalas winery is literally 5 mins drive from Oia but you can even hike/walk from Oia to visit it as it’s literally only about 3km far away in the small valley behind Oia. This winery is not only for wine lovers but for some serious foodies as well and it has quickly become one of the most loved wineries and most recognisable labels of the island.
Koutsoyannopoulos Winery and WIne Museum is a whole different category by itself. This is actually one of a kind, as there are only very few wine museums all over the world and this one is very unique, indeed. Koutsoyannopoulos family have created a little gem here, by opening this little museum and putting so much effort on making the whole tour as much visual as possible. The museum building itself is actually in an underground cave which is making the whole experience even more exciting. Don’t get me wrong here: this is a real museum and a winery! So, you’ll get a proper audio guide that will guide you through the different stages of wine production and the lives of the old Santorini wine makers. In reality, you are walking through the nicely lit (and medieval-looking) catacombs where you are basically being educated on the whole process and history of wine making in Santorini. The whole experience is really something you would expect to see at a Disney Theme Park (though on a smaller scale to be honest…) and it’s super educational. But Koutsoyannopoulos is still a winery, so you’d expect to find some really good wine to taste at the end of your tour that costs 9 euros (including entrance to the museum/1hr audio tour, car parking and wine tasting of 4 different wines). The wine tasting comes at the end of the tour where you are basically visiting the wine tasting area and the shop of the winery to buy their wines. Koutsoyannopoulos Winery and WIne Museum is very close to Santorini Airport and you will actually see it on the main road towards the famous Kamari Beach . The whole experience is very unique and it’s actually very good value for money. You will learn about wine production and wine history while drinking amazing local wine!
When we talk about people who are extremely passionate about what they do, then we have to talk about Mr. George Gavalas, the owner of this picturesque and very old winery at the extremely cute Megalochori village. Mr. Gavalas is the third generation of wine producers in this winery with history that goes back to the end of the 19th century. The really unique characteristic of this family-run winery is the fact that you’d be able to taste wines that you won’t find elsewhere on the island such as Katsano, Gaidouria and Voudomato (along with the Assyrtiko, Mavrotragano and Athiri). “Katsano” is an exquisite wine which is the result of George Gavalas’ love and devotion to wine-making and his continuous effort to revive the rare, indigenous grape varieties of Santorini. It is a blend of 85% Katsano and 15% Gaidouria, both grape varieties little known outside the island, as they only cover 1% of the total vineyard of the winery. No fancy terraces here. Just pure love and passion for wine making, along with a small patio with a few tables. What is more exciting though, is that if you visit the winery during the harvest season (which is very likely as it is in August-September…) there is a very high possibility of you re-living the ultimate 5000 year old experience of…foot crushing of the grapes as it was actually done thousands of years ago. Gavalas Winery is at one of the most picturesque villages of the island: Megalochori, very close to the center of the village (in case you are lost just ask anybody at the village and they’d be able to tell you). You can’t go wrong with Gavalas Winery… It’s a little gem that’s even been discovered by CNN back in 2010! Its wines are exported every year to some of the most famous restaurants in the US and Europe, not to mention the fact that you’ll meet some of the friendliest, kindest and passionate wine makers of the island.
Boutari Wines is one of the most well established and well known wines labels in Greece. Back in 1989 the Boutari family recognised Santorini as a wine region with lots of potential for the production of amazing high quality wines. The winery is mainly focused on the 3 main white Santorini wines : Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani but there is also the red variety that you can find in Aegean islands: Mandilaria. The winery itself has a very nice auditorium, a tasting room with a small terrace and a very nice shop where you can actually find all the Boutari Wines from all over Greece. You can have a simple wine tasting experience at the bar or at the tables of the tasting area at any time between April – October (high season). There are also organised tours of the winery and the whole production that needs to be booked in advance. Boutari Winery is close to Megalochori, on your right hand as you go towards to Perissa/Perivolos from Fira. Boutari Winery is run by one of the most famous Greek Wine Producers and that speaks for itself. There is a very large variety of greek wines that you can try and not only from Santorini but from all over Greece. It’s definitely worth your visit!
Hatzidakis Winery is again one of those wineries which is run by a passionate family under the legacy of the late Haridimos Hatzidakis. But with one slight diffrence: this wine is 100% organic! Haridimos Hatzidakis was the enthusiastic oenologist from Crete, who renovated this old Santorini cave in 1996 and made his wine one of the rarest and most famous wines of Santorini in less than 20 years ! The first bottles of this winery came out in 1999 and today Hadjidakis Wines are sold all over the world making even The Guardian to write epic articles like this. Unfortunately, Haridimos Hatzidakis suddenly passed away in 2017 but his widow and their daughters vowed to continue his work. Make no mistake…you won’t see fancy tourist tasting areas and stunning views. You will basically do the wine tasting possibly in the underground storage areas with some of the members of the family but the wine…will send you to heavens! The winery produces 2 main varieties of organic wines: Assyrtiko and Aidani but also a few reds such as Mavrotragano and Voudomato (all Cyclades varieties). Hatzidakis Winery is outside of Pyrgos village. Many people often say this is probably the best wine of Santorini and possibly one of the best greek wines ever made. I’ll leave that to you to judge…but don’t leave the winery if you don’t try (or buy) the amazing organic wine “Assyrtiko de Louros”... (you can thank me later)!
Wine making is one of the oldest crafts of human beings. Many things have changed in wine production all those thousands of years but there is certainly one thing that has remain constant: you don’t make good wine if you are not passionate about wine. That is certainly what drives wine producer Artemis Karamolegos and his family into making some of the most awarded Santorini wines since 1952. Artemis is now the 3rd generation of Santorini winemakers and he is the person behind the recent (2004) modernisation of this traditional Santorini winery. Artemis Karamolegos Winery is at the Exo Gonia village at a lovely location. The winery produces about 250.000 bottles of 10 different varieties of wines such as : Assyrtiko, Nykteri, Aidani, Vinsanto and Mavrotragano. The thing with this winery is that it’s not just a winery. You will definitely have the greek meze and nibbles for your wine tasting experience/tour but the real deal is that there is also an amazing restaurant in the winery called “Aroma Avlis” that opened in 2014! This is not a wine tasting area. This is a complete restaurant where you can experience amazing greek dishes with the best local produce along with the winery’s wines. “Aroma Avlis” Restaurant has an amazing garden and a lovely terrace with the most gorgeous views to the Monolithos beach (you can even see the island of Anafi there when the skies are clear!). The Winery is open from February till November and the Wine Tasting Tour includes a visit to the winery facilities, greek nibbles and wine tasting of 4-6 of the labels of the winery. The visit costs about $10 and you will be guided by an oenologist. There is also a cute little shop where you can actually buy…(what else?) the winery’s amazing wines.
Canava Roussos Winery is the oldest winery of Santorini and it was founded back in 1836. Today, it’s run by Yannis Roussos at an excellent location with a lovely terrace for wine tasting. However, your wine tasting experience won’t stop there because the lovely owners will guide you through the whole wine making process and share with you the secrets of the family’s traditions. At the lovely terrace you will get the opportunity to taste the Roussos wines and also some nibbles and greek meze that will accompany the wines in the best possible combinations. The winery produces a wide range of Santorinian wines such as: Athiri, Mavrathiro, Assyrtiko, Mantilaria, Vinsanto. Canava Roussos Winery is at Episkopi and it’s basically at your right hand when you go from Pyrgos to Kamari Beach. This is the oldest winery of Santorini and basically the one that started the whole thing of wine production on the island back in the 1800’s. You should try the amazing blended red Nama which was first bottled back in 1974.
This is possibly the most unique winery of Santorini because…it’s not just a winery! It’s an amazing contemporary art gallery located in an old “yposkafo” house of Argyros family. Back in the 90’s the whole place was renovated and redecorated to become not only an excellent winery but one of the most impressive Art galleries of Greece. Argyros family started wine production in this traditional “canava” (aka the old labyrinth-style Santorini houses back in 1861 and now it’s transformed to an amazing winery/art gallery. Make no mistake: this is a unique Art Gallery that has already been the house of more than 200 photo, painting and sculpture exhibitions of artists from all over the world. The Art Space Winery has been featured in Saatchi Galleries , at Los Angeles Times and even on The Guardian. During your visit you will get the opportunity to wander in the traditional cave house and take a glimpse of amazing contemporary art. Mr. Argyros (the owner) is a very passionate and knowledgable man and it will be him who will explain to you the different varieties of wines and also introduce you to the history of the Art Space and the artists that have been exhibited there. But this is not just a unique art gallery. It’s mainly a small production winery that also produces artisanal local wines with a lovely wine tasting area for you to taste them. There is also a small area called “The Museum” which is basically a small exhibition of old tools and machinery that were used in the winery back in the old days. Art Space Winery is at Ekso Gonia and very close to the previous wineries on your right hand as you go from Pyrgos to Kamari Beach. This is one of the most unique places on the island and one of the most amazing art galleries in Greece! You don’t get the opportunity to get a glimpse into amazing contemporary art while you taste artisanal greek wine, every day…
Gaia Winery is also one of the most well known wine labels in Greece with exports all over the world. Back in 1995 Gaia Wines introduced to the world their amazing Santorini wine called “Thalassitis” which is one of the most unique Santorini wines. Thalassitis is an amazing 100% Assyrtiko Santorini white wine that continues the unique series of Assyrtiko wines that can only be found in Santorini. Make no mistake: these are some of the most awarded and well known Santorini wines. Gaia Winery will give you the opportunity to taste these amazing wines literally sitting on a lovely patio on the beach, just a few meters away from the sea, close to Kamari beach. The friendly and very helpful stuff will guide you through the wine tasting experience and the whole experience is extremely calm and relaxing. Of course there is no shortage of greek mezze and nibbles here as well and you can even have a full meal by the beach. Back in 2010, 450 bottles of “Thalassitis” Assyrtiko of 2009 were literally submerged 18m under the sea somewhere at the Santorini unique blue sea waters. The idea behind that experiment was to see how these amazing white wines age when totally deprived of any oxygen up-take (a method that is also used in USA, Spain and Italy). Unfortunately, because of some terrible storms and bad weather only….3 bottles of those 450 original submerged bottles survived. One of them was opened and then…heaven!! It was one of the best aged Assyrtiko wines that has ever been produced, with such a unique and multidimensional taste that actually made Ioannis Paraskevopoulos and his team from Gaia Wines to repeat the experiment. They decided to plan and prepare the whole experiment and submerge a few bottles of the Thalassitis wine production every year under water (aged for 5 years) and sell those bottles at an auction every year. Gaia Winery is very close to the Santorini airport (don’t worry…planes won’t ruin your experience at all) and it is actually located at an old tomato processing factory. People say that this is possibly the best wine tasting area of the island and there is a very good reason for that. Not to mention the incredible Thalssitis Assyrtiko wine. One of the most unique and flavoursome white wines of the island. Don’t leave the winery without buying a few bottles. You will regret it… (or if you can afford it, try the submerged Thalassitis!)
Vassaltis winery is the newest addition to Santorini’s winery map as it literally opened in May 2016 by Yannis Valambous after he inherited the vineyards from his late father in the middle of the greek financial crisis. Hands down this is one of the most impressive buildings of Santorini featuring one of the most elegant and modern wine tasting areas and terraces. Vassaltis Winery is modern greek architecture at its best. The people at Vassaltis winery will guide you through the wine making process while you will get the opportunity to wander in the amazing building and wine making facilities. There is no shortage of greek mezze and nibbles during the wine tasting experience with the freshly produced Vassaltis Assyrtiko or Aidani. The friendly and knowledgeable guys as well as the owner Yannis Valambous of Vassaltis Winery will make this a really memorable experience (Yannis himself has an excellent story to tell, on how he got the idea to start the winery). Vassaltis Winery is at your right hand going from Fira to Vourvoulos. It’s actually after Vourvoulos going towards Koloumbos beach. This is the newest Santorini Winery. People say it’s the next big thing on the Santoriny wineriy map and there are many reasons to say that: friendly owners, knowledgeable stuff, unique architecture, awesome wine and a very extrovert concept. This is a real Santorini new gem and you’ll be making a huge mistake if you don’t visit it.
Ok…this is not technically a winery but it deserves to be here (along with the next one). It is one of the two artisan breweries of Santorini, that makes the famous Crazy Donkey beer which has recently became a sensation in social media when people started posting amazing pictures of the unique beer bottle in awesome Santorini locations. This little brewery does not offer fancy terraces or colorful platters but seriously…there is nothing wrong with amazing craft local beer that is produced in small quantities at a unique location. The story of this little independent artisan brewery sounds like a cheesy joke as it was literally opened by a Greek oenologist, a Serbian brewer, an English brewing enthusiast and an American who decided to start their own business in the middle of the greek financial crisis a few years ago. The experiment can be now considered 100% successful and the Donkey Beer has traveled all over the world. The brewing process is relatively simple with hops from all over the world (such as New Zealand, Slovenia or Oregon) and the residual spent grain benefits local vineyards as nutritious compost! The brewery produces only 3 labels of beers, including the only greek India Pale Ale (IPA): Yellow Donkey, Red Donkey and the…Crazy Donkey. These are all unfiltered beers with a surprisingly fresh taste and a vivid personality. But what are they ? The owners are calling their beers as “Lagered Ales” …! There is also a very cool little souvenir shop where you can buy Crazy Donkey merchandise and you don’t have to pay anything as the entrance is free. Santorini Brewing Company is on your right hand as you go to Kamari Beach and it’s pretty close to some of the famous wineries on this list . There has been a worldwide sensation with artisan breweries all over the world the last years and if you want to try a really unique craft beer you can’t miss this one out.
Volkan is the second boutique brewery that opened in Santorini back in 2011 and it has changed the craft beer in Greece forever. This beer is produced with one of the most unique techniques and local ingredients giving it a colorful and sensational taste and flavour that you won’t find elsewhere. You cannot actually visit the Volkan brewery but you can visit their amazing restaurant/cafe/bar at Fira, which is called Volkan Cafe on the Rocks and it is at a very quiet and not-touristy location at the edge of Fira with an amazing terrace overlooking the volcano and the caldera. You can have a complete lunch/dinner while trying the selection of craft Volkan Beers at the lovely cafe. Volkan Brewery produces 4 different beers: Santorini Blonde, Santorini Black, Santorini Grey and Santorini White. They all bring together flavours from the lava filtered mineral water, local Santorini honey and the citrus leaves from Naxos. What a combination! Volkan On The Rocks Cafe/Restaurant is at Fira, offering you an amazing overview of the caldera and the volcano. Volkan Beer is one of the most unique beers in the world, made completely out of greek products that you won’t find elsewhere. Volkan Cafe is also a little gem with amazing views where you can even have a frappe or…a freddo cappuccino!
What are the Best Santorini Wine Tours ?
All the above are wineries and breweries that you can literally visit by yourself. In most of the cases it won’t hurt to contact the winery or the brewery to check if they are open (especially between the months of November-April) as they are mostly offering the tours and the wine tasting experience during the high season (between April-October). You can easily find the wineries by locating them on Google Maps. However, there are many organised Wine Tours in Santorini that will basically drive you with a mini-bus to a few of the above wineries and let you experience the wine tasting as a complete package during a single day (or half day) tour.
Here are the Best Wine Tours in Santorini:
Some of them even offer online booking so you can tailor your tour as you wish.
One thing is for sure: Santorini’s wines and a visit to the amazing wineries is one of the Best Things You Can Do in Santorini. You won’t regret it… Picturesque terraces, unique wines, friendly winemakers with hundreds of years of wine production on their backs, yummy local greek food and the amazing Santorini landscape will make your Santorini wine tasting experience one of the best you’ll ever have in your life. Leave your smartphone behind, forget the selfies, forget that amazing instagram shot and indulge yourself in the moment… (Plus, you can always order or buy a few bottles of Santorini wine (or more…) to bring back home! :))
(Γειά Μας = Cheers in greek!)
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