Wine Advocate 89 points - The 2012 Santorini is 100% Assyrtiko, listed at 13.5% alcohol and tank-aged, having spent four months on the lees. This charmer seems surprisingly open and expressive for its very young age, showing fine and quite delicious fruit from the first pour, with a touch of lemon and salty brine on the finish. It manages to be well-balanced as well, with grip and tension, plus surprisingly velvety texture. This is not the biggest or the most concentrated Assyrtiko you can find – styles on the island most certainly vary – but it does everything well and it is a pleasure to drink. It was notably better on Day 2, however, and probably at its best on Day 3. On Day 3, most of the briny notes were gone, but there was a little salt still, plus better grip on the finish. It will be interesting to see if it continues to evolve as well in the bottle over the next several years, at which point it might deserve a little uptick. Drink now-2018. (Oct 2013)
Leave a Comment
Hatzidakis WineryIn 1996 Haridimos Hatzidakis replanted a small vineyard which was abandoned since 1956, because of the large earthquake in Santorini. This vineyard of half hectare, which lies at an altitude of 330 meters, in the village of Pyrgos Kallistis, was cultivated organically with Aidani, an indigenous variety of Santorini.
An existing traditional small cave was transformed, in the summer of 1997, into a winery or ‘Kanava”, which is the traditional name of the wineries of Santorini. The first bottles of wine of the winery were released in May 1999, with the ”Santorini”, harvested in 1998 and the Red ”Mavrotragano» vintage 1997.
This was the beginning for the Hatzidakis Winery.
Winery and vineyards are located within the classified zone of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Santorini, especially in the villages Pyrgos Kallistis, Megalochori, Emporio and Akrotiri.
We cultivate a total of 10 hectares of vineyards, at an altitude from 70 up to 350 meters, with mainly South or Southeast orientation and with the white varieties of Assyrtiko, Aidani and the red variety Mavrotragano. In all of our vineyards we apply organic farming.
We make up our production from grapes of cooperating winegrowers in order to produce more dry white wines, a red dry, a sweet traditional Vinsanto wine, from sun dried white grapes and a sweet red Voudomato wine from also sundried red grapes of the Voudomato variety.
Based on the contractual agriculture, we have already concluded agreements with growers who also cultivate their vineyards organically and are controlled accordance with the European control system of organic farming. We produce two organic wines from the varieties Aidani (100% Aidani – PGI Cyclades) and Assyrtiko (100% Assyrtiko – PDO Santorini).
Wines and vineyards of Santorini
The peculiarity of the vineyards of Santorini is mainly associated with the indigenous varieties, the island’s unique ecosystem, which is characterized by volcanic soil, strong winds, rare rainfalls, hot and dry summers but also with the very important fact that the Vineyards of Santorini have never been infected by Phylloxera.
The old ungrafted, non-irrigated vines of Santorini are trained by the growers into basket-like shapes on the soil surface or like short Cups, in order to protect them from strong winds. They are watered by the summer night humidity that remains on the volcanic soil.
The low yields, ranging between 3 and 3.5 tons of grapes per hectare (or 20 hl/ha) gives to the wines aromatic finesse, mineral palate, lavish volume and a high capacity of ageing and resulting in wines of an intense and complex character.
As such, the wines of Santorini are offered as wines of high gastronomic value.
Oenologist Haridimos Hatzidakis
Haridimos Hatzidakis was born and grew up in Crete. He studied in Athens at the Higher College of Oenology and Beverage Technology and worked as an Oenologist in Crete and Santorini. He follows the principles of organic farming and is also currently experimenting in making natural wines. He aims to explore the indigenous varieties of Santorini and to highlight the unique complexity of the vineyards of Santorini.