Aegean Islands Wine

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The Greek Aegean Islands are one of the world’s oldest wine-making regions. Their geographic location between Greece and Egypt made them a great trading hub in the ancient world, their prized wines marketed throughout the empires. The temperate climate, volcanic soils, abundant sunshine and climate moderators from the Aegean all contribute to outstanding grape growing conditions. 

Though wine is produced in some capacity throughout the Aegean island system, the most important wine-making islands are Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and Samos. 
 
The tradition of wine-making on Santorini, a.k.a. Thira, dates back to the Bronze Age. One of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in recorded history happened here around 1650 BC, covering the island in ash, pumice and lava, and destroying Minoan settlements. But in its wake, this contributed to very favorable soils for wine grapes, with some extant old vines that never suffered from Phylloxera. Assyrtiko is the region’s star white Read more »

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Popular wines made in Aegean Islands under $20

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Varietals Produced in Aegean Islands View all

  • Athiri

    Athiri is an ancient Greek variety found on the island of Santorini (or Thira as it was known in ancient times.) Athi...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Muscat

    History of the grape: Muscat existed as far back as the Ancient Greeks. It spread throughout the world as empires gre...

  • Mandilaria

    Mandilaria is an ancient red grape variety indigenous to Santorini, Greece. It has deep red coloring, medium body and...

  • Assyrtiko

    Assyrtiko is a white Greek wine grape indigenous to the island of Santorini. Assyrtiko is the most widely planted on ...

Subregions of Aegean Islands

  • Santorini

    The tradition of wine-making on the Greek island of Santorini, a.k.a. Thira, dates back to the ...

  • Samos

Popular Wineries in Aegean Islands View all

  • Domaine Sigalas

    The company was founded in 1991, under the name Sigalas Winery Ltd. The winery was initially loca...

  • George Moraitis

    The Moraitis family came to Paros from the Peloponese during the revolution of 1821. In 1970, The...

  • Gavalas

    Our winery is located in Megalochori, and you will get there by walking through a small lit up st...

  • Volcan Wines

    Volcan Wines, founded in 1880 by Grigoris and Dimitris Koutsoyannopoulos, has become known for it...

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Aegean Islands on Snooth

  • Nychteri Boutari Aoc Santorini 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Boutari Santorini Santorini 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by alanb1108


  • Gavalas Vinsanto 2004

    Snoothrank:

    10% 300 grams/liter RS Lightly spiced and honied on the nose with notes of gingerbread, dried meat, pruny fruit and pine needles. Bright and clear on entry with a terpene rich entry followed by some dusty tannins that parry the modest sweetness on the palate. The flavors tend to the orange end of the spectrum with a long, clear finish that show... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Iris Rose 2010

    Snoothrank:

    13% - A blend of 80% Mandilaria, 10% Voudomato, and 10% Mavrotragano. Slightly musky on the nose with dark, slightly sour fruit tones and a touch of cured fat top note. Rather high acid on entry with nice fruit edged in austere tannins. The fruit really grows on the palate, all wild berry and gamy with the acidity lending a sour plum aspect tha... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Iris Rose 2010

    Snoothrank:

    A blend of 90% Assyrtiko and 10% Mandilaria Smells a bit dominated by sulfur. SO2 shows heavily o the palate as well but given time this reveals a nice crisp, focused character with a touch of crisp tannin that supports lightly jammy, slightly smoky strawberry fruit. This is cleansing and refreshing and the fruit is nicely covering the structur... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Iris Rose 2010

    Snoothrank:

    13% - A blend of 80% Mandilaria, 10% Voudomato, and 10% Mavrotragano. Slightly musky on the nose with dark, slightly sour fruit tones and a touch of cured fat top note. Rather high acid on entry with nice fruit edged in austere tannins. The fruit really grows on the palate, all wild berry and gamy with the acidity lending a sour plum aspect tha... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Gavalas Xenoloo 2010

    Snoothrank:

    2010 Xeneloo 13% - A red wine made with ½ day skin contact then 8 to 12 months of barrel ageing. Some Malvasia spiciness great s the nose here along with gamy, foxy undertones and some black spice. Bright and a bit sweet up front before the fairly assertive, drying tannins emerge. The black cherry fruit here is accented with a touch of plum and... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Gavalas Nykteri 2009

    Snoothrank:

    2009 Nikteri 14% - Fairly woody on the nose with dried fruit aromas, particularly dried pineapple and plenty of ginger from the oak. A touch of tannin up front gives way to a leading edge of wood induced sweetness which helps add depth to the fruit on entry but the backend turns too woody and those tannins pop back out. There is some wood spice... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Gavalas Winery Santorini White Dry 2010

    Snoothrank:

    2010 Santorini 13% 95% Assyrtiko, this has a sweet citrus element on the nose with an edge of burnt sugar and some smoky, dusty concrete tones on the nose. Lots of mineral charter in the mouth compliments subtle notes of mint, dried apricot, and even a touch of caramel with sweet peach nectar notes emerging on the short finish which is a touch ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Gavalas Katsano 2010

    Snoothrank:

    2010 Katsano 13% According to the Mr. Gavalas this is a balcony wine. Well when compared with Assyrtiko perhaps, but this blend of the indigenous Katsano and Gaidouria grapes (2 of perhaps 30 little known grapes that compete with Assyrtiko, Adaini and Athiri for attention on Santorini) still present some of the mineral and acid driven flavors ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


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