The Greek island of Santorini, the southernmost of the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea, is the remnant of a very ancient volcano. Never affected by phylloxera, the vineyard is made up of free-standing vines, often more than a hundred years old, of endemic varieties, notably Assyrtiko, a great white variety of which Haridimos Hatzidakis, who died in 2017, was the undisputed master.
Originally from Crete, 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 purchased grapes: the estate has gradually been built up (10 ha) with a desire for natural cultivation and vinification, a pioneering approach on the island. On this volcanic terroir (tuff, pumice stone, pozzolan) with very little watering, subject to strong sunshine and a wind laden with sand and salt from the sea, the vines are trained in ambelia, a sort of "crown goblet" which protects the grapes, assyrtiko and aïdani for the whites, mavrotragano and voudomato for the reds. The winemaker's work is simple and unsophisticated, entirely focused on the expression of the grape variety and the inimitable terroir of Santorini, a work - too soon interrupted by the winemaker's death in 2017 - which translates into admirable vintages of purity, frankness, life and energy, and which is part of the renewal movement of Greek wines.
Old vines of Assyrtiko - a great white grape variety of the Mediterranean basin -, 12 hours maceration with the skins, 8 months maturation on lees in vats. One of the last wines made by Haridimos Hatzidakis.