Mavrotragano

The Mavrotragano red wine grape is native to the island of Santorini. It produces small, thick skinned grapes of saturated red to black colour, on very low yields and it matures quickly by the end of August. The wines are redolent of red currants, spices, with opulent fruit, overlaid with mineral notes, and wrapped in, finely-grained tannins, reminiscent of the style of a Nebbiolo grape.

When the phylloxera devastated European vineyards in the late 1800s, the vineyards of Santorini were left unscathed; the sandy, volcanic soil of the island offered natural protection, and Santorini's Mavrotragano vines remain ungrafted in their natural rootstock. Nevertheless, plantings of Santorini's Mavrotragano have shrunk considerably.

Traditionally, it was used in the production of sweet wines but since the early 1970’s most of the plantings had been replaced by Assyrtiko, which guaranteed more lucrative options for growers.

Haridimos Hatzidakis was the first to experiment with Mavrotragano grapes for making dry wine in 1985 while working at the Boutaris Santorini estate. After setting up his own winery, he bottled Mavrotragano from the 1997 vintage. At the same time, in 1998, Paris Sigalas was also working on the same concept and produced a dry version of Mavrotragano, that garnered critical acclaim. The efforts of the two winemakers resurrected this great but almost extinct grape variety.

Mavrotragano is harvested entirely by hand. The wine is fermented for nine days and subsequently stored in oak barrels for at least one year.

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