Santorini, the mythical Atlantis, creation of lava and fire, unique and extraordinary, features a rare beauty and value landscape. The uniqueness of Santorini is due to the unique ecosystem which was created by successive volcano eruptions and the lava which burnt the land and created a sandy, porοus, rich in pumice ground.
In such a peculiar volcanic ecosystem, it is natural for somebody to expect that there will be produced produce with unique taste features. Asyrtiko wine, fava and Santorini cherry tomato.
The Santorini climate is intensely warm and dry, with sporadic and often heavy showers, mainly during winter, average rainfall comes to 349,7 mm. The temperatures are relatively high and there are strong winds, especially in summer.
The plants are not irrigated artificially, whereas rainfall is rare. The lack of rainfall, especially during the summer months, is replaced by the night wetness, which in Santorini is much more intense than any other island in the Cyclades.
The high temperatures during the day, especially during the summer months, cause intense evaporation of the sea water in Caldera. These wet air masses, when western winds blow, are forced to go over the Caldera wall, (up to 350 meters), with the result that when they rise, they become cool, form clouds of humidity, which is absorbed by the Theran land and irrigates the crops in a natural way.
For this reason the measure by the quarter land of plants is low, but the fruits of the earth have exceptionally qualitative features.
The volcanic soil and climate of Santorini do not favour the growth of weak plants and vines. Traditionally, farmers don not use pesticides and virtually cultivation on the island has the characteristics of organic cultivation.
All the works in all the fava production stages, for the cherry tomato (sowing time, cultivation, harvesting) but also in the vineyard, from pruning until grape harvest, are done manually. In areas where the terrain slope is steep, farmers have shaped the terrain in levels, the so called “Terraces”, so that the cultivation and the rain water absorption are made easier.
The vineyard of Santorini stretches today in 13.000 stremmas, it is unique in the whole world and is considered a worldwide heritage monument.
Volcanic terrain: The volcanic eruption formed a unique appearance terrain, which consists of lava, volcanic ash and pumice. Its composition results in the low stremma production of vines, is its natural shield against diseases and gives grapes particular characteristics. It is immune to diseases, since the phylloxera disease, which destroyed the whole vineyards in Europe in the mid 19 century did not affect it at all, because the volcanic soil has a natural resistance to diseases. Thus, the history of the vineyards which grow on the island, dates back thousands of years.
Cultivation is arid. Rain is rare and the plants are watered only in a natural way, when they draw the moisture they need from the mist which is created by the sea breeze, which is absorbed by the rich in pumice Theran soil. For this reason the stremma production does not exceed 400 kg per stremma.
The vineyard is cultivated with special human labour and care. The terrain formation in terraces, for the facilitation of cultivation, is a particular feature of the Santorini vineyard. The traditional vineyard cultivation is characterized by the specific way of pruning, which thousands of years ago was invented by the cultivators and which is called “Kouloura”. The vines remain low near the ground, are weaved in a basket shape and so the grapes ripen in the cove of the vine, protected from strong winds.
Native varieties: The variety which excels in its homeland, Santorini, is mighty Asyrtiko. Alone or with the fragrant Athiri and the delicate Aidani, give us the P.O.P. Santorini wines (Protected Origin Name). White, dry wines with low acidity, intense mineral taste, particularly suitable for ageing.