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  • A Cruising Couple | August 8, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    A Wine-Lover's Guide To Santorini

    A Wine-Lover's Guide To Santorini

    Photos by A Cruising Couple

    Think of great travel destinations for wine lovers and the first few places to come to mind are likely Tuscany or Napa. But if you're seeking a wine tour that's as unique as it is delicious, then look no further than Santorini. The famous Greek island known for its iconic white-washed villages and beautiful caldera is also home to a fascinating wine culture, quite unlike anywhere else in the world. Grab your glass and go—and use this guide to Santorini wine to ensure you look like a pro while you're there:

    Understanding Santorini Wine

    Above Blue Suites A Cruising Couple

    While Santorini might not be the most popular wine destination, that doesn't mean it's a newbie when it comes to vineyards. In fact, many historians believe the cultivation of vines in Santorini dates back some 5,000 years.

    There are a few factors that make Santorini wines so unique. The first is the traditional koulara method of winemaking used. This involves weaving the vines close to the ground, essentially creating a circular basket to protect the grapes from the harsh Santorini wind and sun, while simultaneously capturing humidity to "water" the vines.

    The second critical component of Santorini wines is the mineral-rich volcanic soil in which the vines grow. Volcanic ash, solidified lava, pumice stone, sand and other minerals produce a wine that is distinctly unique in taste and body.

    Types Of Santorini Wine

    Gastronomy Santorini White Wine Sunset

    Santorini winemakers produce a large variety of wines, but it's the island's white wines and Vinsantos that are the true gems.

    The Vinsanto (not to be confused with Italian Vin Santo) is a sweet wine produced from naturally sun-dried grapes. Pair it with cheese, fruit and dessert.

    The Assyrtiko is a grape indigenous to the island. It's used to produce a white wine with citrus aromas and earthy finishes. You'll often find it blended with Athiri and Aidani, two other native grapes. Pair Assyrtiko with seafood or spicy dishes.

    There are numerous wineries around the island. Estate Argyros is our personal favorite—with over a century of winemaking, they've had plenty of time to perfect their trade. Don't miss their 20-year aged Vinsanto. Santo Wines is perhaps Santorini's most touristic winery, but with sweeping views of the Aegean Sea, it's hardly any wonder why. Try one of their tasting menus to make the most of the experience and view.

    Santorini Greece

    For more inspiration, try this list to the 13 best Santorini wineries.

    The Full Gastronomy Experience

    For the ultimate wining and dining experience, try a five-course dinner at Above Blue Suites with Gastronomy Tours Santorini. The meal is paired with a glass of white, rose, red and vinsanto. What's more, you'll have the best seat on the island to enjoy Santorini's legendary sunsets.

    Santorini Sunset Greece

    Whether you're a wine connoisseur, or you simply enjoy sipping a glass of white under the Mediterranean sun, you can't go wrong with Santorini as your next wine destination. Just be sure to leave some extra room in your suitcase for a few bottles to bring back home. We speak from experience—they're just too delicious to resist!

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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