On the island of Santorini, which is referred to by foreign travel guides as Greece’s best vine region, a sweet wine was produced and continues to be made from sun-dried grapes without any added sugar or alcohol, and aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels.
It is the most authentic continuation of ‘passos’ sweet wine as the ancients used to call it, which the islands of the Aegean Sea are famous for.
During the Middle Ages merchant, crusader and worshipper ships on their way to Constantinople, to the ports of the White Sea, the Venetian markets and to the Holy Land supplied themselves with this sweet wine by stopping off at Santo Erini-Santorini, as the ancient volcanic island of Thera had been baptized, most likely by Italian sailors, during the Dark Ages.
The ‘passos’ of Thera took the name Santo from the first component of the island’s new name. This name became vino di Santorini – vino Santo, Vinsanto during the years of the Frankish occupation in the Venetian markets and across the eastern Mediterranean.
This name – in Greek ‘Βινσάντο’ – has survived until today. It simply means: wine of Santorini, and stands for the island’s traditional sun-dried wine. And so it is a ‘historical name of origin’ and one of the very few that have remained ‘alive’ and is now protected in Greece.
It is a naturally sweet VQPRD (vin de qualité produit dans une region determinée) of Santorini and, in other words, is produced from the island’s white varieties Assyrtiko, Aidani and Athiri. The wine owes its colour to the grapes’ exposure to the sun for 12 to 15 days and also to its ageing in oak barrels.
Vinsanto 2003, white natural sweet wine, PDO Santorini, Assyrtiko 80% – Aidani 20%
Over matured Grapes from low altitude vineyards, sun dried for 15 days.
Vinification: crushing of the sundried grapes results in concentrated grape must.
Clarification and fermentation with selected yeasts for 3 months in stainless steel tanks.
Aged in oak barrels for at least 7 years.
Characteristics: deep red/amber colour with caramel reflections, intense aromas of dried fruits, raisins, honey, butter caramel and minerality. Full and velvety on the palate with balanced sweetness and freshness of acidity. Long aftertaste of candied orange peal.
Enjoy it at 12 ° c as a dessert wine or served with chocolate, oriental sweets, foie gras and strong cheese eg Roquefort.
Potential aging for at least 30 years.
- Natural sweet white wine
- Variety: Assyrtiko 80% – Aidani 20%
- Origin: Santorini, Cyclades
- Alcohol content 13%vol
- Vintage 2003
- Net content 375ml