The Greek island of Santorini, the southernmost of the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea, is the remnant of a very old volcano. Never affected by phylloxera, the vineyard is made up of ungrafted vines, often more than a century old, of endemic grape varieties, in particular Assyrtiko, a great white grape variety of which Haridimos Hatzidakis, who passed away in 2017, was the undisputed master.
Of Cretan origin, Haridimos Hatzidakis created his estate in 1996 in Santorini, in the south of the island near the village of Pyrgos, from abandoned vines belonging to the family of his wife Konstantina. Owned plots, rented vines or purchases of grapes: the estate was gradually built (10 ha) with a desire for natural cultivation and winemaking, a pioneering approach on the island. On this volcanic terroir (tuff, pumice stone, pozzolan) with very little water, subject to strong sunshine and wind laden with sand and salt from the sea, the ungrafted vines are grown in ambelia, a sort of “crowned goblet” which protects the grapes, Assyrtiko and Aïdani for the whites, Mavrotragano and Voudomato for the reds. The work of the winegrower is simple, without any sophistication, entirely focused on the expression of the grape variety and the inimitable terroir of Santorini, a work – too soon interrupted by the death of the winemaker in 2017 – which results in admirable cuvées of purity, frankness, life and energy, and which is part of the renewal movement of Greek wines.