|Wine with a view|
In my previous post about Estate Argyros in Santorini I talked about being spoilt for choice for wine when you visit Santorini. There are fourteen vineyards on the island producing top quality wine, with the Assyrtiko grape variety being the star of the show. During my last trip I visited Venetsanos Winery which offers amazing views of the caldera – one of the best moments of the trip was sitting here admiring the breathtaking view in the bright sunshine, sipping Vinsanto and tucking into the best chocolate souffle I’ve ever tasted!
Built in 1947, Venetsanos was the first winery on the island and due to it’s unique position on the cliff edge, the builders had to get creative when it came to powering it (access to electricity was limited so they had to use gravity as an energy source). It has recently been revamped to keep up with the times, and if you’re interested in finding out more about the history of wine production on the island, the expert staff here are happy to tell you more and take you on a tour.
I took the bus from Fira towards Akrotiri and got off at the Suites of the Gods, which is five minutes walk from the winery. As I walked in, I realised that the winery was in a truly unique setting – I looked down and saw a table of ladies enjoying wine tasting and food pairing on a private table built into the cliff. I was shown to table close by and took some time to just sit and take in the amazing setting.
I couldn’t wait to start tasting the wine. First I tried the Santorini Venetsanos, made from 100% Assyrtiko and fermented in stainless steel tanks. This wine has predominantly citrus flavours – bitter orange and a hint of pear and fennel. It was the perfect partner to the salty soft cheese topped with goji berries. Next to taste was the Nykteri Venetsanos, also made only from Assyrtiko but half way through the fermentation process it’s put into French barrels for four months, which gives it a hint of vanilla alongside the main notes of lime and magnolia flower. It also has aromas of wood and roasted coffee. This went well with the hard cheese from the platter.
I also tasted the red – the Mandilaria Venetsanos 2016, which is fermented in both barrels and stainless steel tanks. This tastes like fig jam and cherries, with a hint of vanilla and was a perfect accompaniment to the prosciutto. Their rose wasn’t bad either, the Anagallis 2016. It’s made from a variety of grapes (Assyrtiko, Aidani and Mandilaria) and combines pomegranate flavours with strawberry and cherry and went well with the goat’s cheese.
I finished off my tasting session with the Liastos 2008, which is very similar to Vinsanto and is made from naturally sun-dried Mandilaria grapes. The nose has flavours of figs and plums, raisins, cinnamon and chocolate. I enjoyed it so much I ended up ordering another glass with a chocolate shuffle, and felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. Combined with the view it was almost too much, and I even forgot to take a photo of dessert because I was totally blissed out!
I can’t recommend Venetsanos Winery highly enough if you’re thinking about visiting Santorini, everything was top notch and it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the sun in October.
*I received a tasting experience in exchange for a review