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The history of winemaking in Santorini goes back around 3500 years. However, due largely to 400 years of Ottoman occupation which ended less than 100 years ago, many of the traditions of the past were lost. Koutsogiannopoulos was founded in the late 19th century by brothers Georgios and Dimitris. From 1870 until 1917 most of their exports went to Odessa, in what was then part of the Russian empire. With the beginning of the Russian Revolution, this changed. Western Europe became the focus for imports. Koutsogiannopoulous is one of the oldest continuously operating wine producers in Greece; 1870 to 1917.


Today, run by the current Georgios Koutsogiannopoulos, the domaine consists of 15 hectares, cultivated traditionally. The vines are trained into Stefáni, small baskets on the ground protecting against the wind. Their vineyards are in the areas of Vothonas, Megalochori, and Fira. Additionally, they source from other families producing fruit to supplement their production levels.


Santorini is a unique terroir. There is very little to no annual rainfall. The soils are mostly volcanic ash with small amounts of schist and limestone. There is little organic matter, and subsequently the soils are quite low in nutrient content. As a result, the vines struggle, and burrow deep into the craggy rocks in search of what they need to survive. What little moisture the vines do get,  is often derived from humidity trapped by ash in the nighttime and into the early mornings. This geographically specific phenomenon creates a reserve of water, sufficient enough to keep the vines alive. Moreover, these conditions make it impossible for the destructive aphid, phylloxera to survive. Therefore, the rootstocks are often ancient, frequently exceeding 150 years, often much more. Some are believed to be in excess of 400 years of age.


Assyrtiko Estate


Strikingly minerally, with almost electric acidity, Assyrtiko from Santorini is its own local celebrity; a poet that writes for and about the locals, but on a level that garners respect, accolades, and admiration from poets and readers worldwide. In any given vintage, and Salveto often keeps more than one, Koutsogiannopoulos Assyrtiko is a beam of minerally acid, adorned with flint, honey, honeysuckle, hints of baguette, white pepper, petrol, citrus zest, and very young apple skins. There is never anything casual about these wines, apart from their very honest and humble origins. This poet is the local genius, and no one fails to notice this peculiarity. The farmers and residents of Santorini are well aware that they are neighbours to something profoundly specific, a brilliance that cannot be ignored, nor relegated to the dungeons of anomalies. This wee island, a geological and historical abstraction, is the foundation for a wine that ranks among the greats. 




Nikteri references the vital significance of the nighttime in the delicate process of producing balanced wines on Santorini. Traditionally, grapes were foot trodden at night. Today, grapes are harvested in the still, wee hours, to preserve natural acidity and balance. Nikteri sees some oak influence, and as a result possesses elevated levels of elegance, via the integration of all of the grape’s inherently advantageous attributes, as well as the oak’s added tannic structure, vanilla, and baking spices. Here, one finds the ideal mate to oceanic delicacies such as Halibut, lobster, and Sea Bass.  


Ksera Homata Old Vines


The Assyrtiko grapes that go into this very low production wine are from a single vineyard, low-yielding, and extremely old vines, some in excess of 120 years of age. As is expected, and typical of the very top tier of Santorini wines, it is a monumental effort in every sense; massive scale, elegant to a point, breathtaking details. With tropical fruits, citrus, minerals and more minerals, we have an absolute archetype of this grape and place.










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