Santorini Vinsanto Wine – The Nectar of the Gods

Friday, 07 February 2014
santorini wines vinsanto volcano view santorini wines vinsanto volcano view

Vinsanto is Santorini’s most historic wine, popular since the ancient times. “Vino di Santo” as was named by the Venetians according to place of origin as was the custom, later became known as Vinsanto. One of the most renowned wines throughout the ancient world, Vinsanto was especially prized during the Byzantine years, when the Venetians controlled the trade routes of the Mediterranean.

A white and naturally sweet wine of superior quality, it must be from at least 51% of the Assyrtiko variety with the remaining percentage allowed from Athiri and Aidani and some small amounts of locally grown native white varieties. Traditionally, Vinsanto is made as a “vin doux naturel”, from late harvested grapes sun dried for 12-14 days, then crushed and fermented with a minimum 9% of alcohol.

The orange-yellow color is paired with an unusual aroma dominated by aging, spices, lemon flower, honey and raisins. The traditionally sweet taste is intense but it is balanced with the variety's acidity. It is served cold between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius as a dessert wine to be enjoyed alone or to accompany fruits and sweets.

Vinsanto can also be made as a “vin de liqueur” with the addition of alcohol or distillates of wine. In this case the alcohol required must be at least 15%. The wine develops a golden-orange color with a complex bouquet of dried fruits and raisins, together with sweet spice, such as clove and cinnamon. It is served in 9 degrees Celcius as a dessert wine to be enjoyed alone or to accompany sweets, ice cream, pistachios, almonds, cheeses and foix-gras.

The famous traveler of the 19th century Lois Lacroix describes in his 1853 book named "Ils de la Grece", after visiting Santorini:

"No dessert wine can be compared to the white Santorini Vinsanto. It is produced by grape, which is placed in the house terraces, displayed in the sun for 15 days before it goes to the wine press. After one year it becomes an exceptional sweet wine."
Vinsanto is still produced in the same way, offering the same divine experience to the senses as it has done for centuries. To try it, all you need to do is book your next holiday at a Santorini luxury villa!

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