Santorini has approximately 40 different indigenous varieties which grow at the 1.300 hectares of the island’s vineyard. The noblest variety is Assyrtiko, which covers the 75% of the total vineyards of the island. Alongside Assyrtiko, other varieties like Aidani, Athiri, Mavrotragano and Mantilaria are also used by wineries for producing dry and sweet wines.
Santorini’s climate is characterized by mild winters followed by hot long summers. The reduced rate of rainfalls and the strong winds have as an effect a very low yield which normally is about 3000 kg/ha. In order to protect the production by the winds, vines are been pruned in a low basket shape, called kouloura. At the same time, high moisture levels help the soil to absorb water during nighttime, giving it back to the vine during the day.
The soil is a mixture of lava and volcanic ashes. That volcanic soil lacks in organic matter making it resistant to diseases. Another important factor is that Santorini’s vineyard has never been affected by phylloxera. As a result, the vineyards of the island have never been replanted, making them one of the oldest in the world.