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Santorini is one of Greece's best known islands, mainly for its stunning views, whitewashed chapels and black sand beaches.
Hatzidakis Winery is named after the winemaker and oenologist, Mr. Haridimos Hatzidakis and is located near Pyrgos at the centre of the island. Hatzidakis studied oenology at the higher school of Oenology and Spirits Technology in Athens, graduating in 1986. He then went on to train with, and work for, the Greek wine giant Boutaris, before setting up this family venture in 1997.
Domaine Hatzidakis produce a range of red and white wines, including some organic offerings. Production is small but quality is high. All wines are made from indigenous varieties Assyrtiko, Aidani, Marotragano... A few words on Santorini Vinsanto wines: From ungrafted vines (phylloxera never reached Santorini), many of which are over a century old and some of which are allegedly five hundred years old, comes a blend of the indigenous Assyrtiko grape as well as Aidani, a grape widely grown throughout the Cycladic islands. The method of viticulture involves growing the vines into baskets (pictured below) to protect the grapes from the aggressive sun and wind on Santorini. Any moisture from the night air is also collected in the basket shape, aiding the survival of these un-irrigated vines on a volcanic island that often receives rather less than 6 inches of rain a year. On Santorini Vinsanto is made in the following way. The grapes are harvested from early August and laid out on nets in the sunshine to dry for about 10 days. The Aidani grapes are the latest grapes to be harvested as the vineyards are at altitude. As is the family tradition here, the wine is aged for at least 6 years in used oak barriques. The barriques are kept in north facing caves excavated into the volcanic pumice soil.