A journey to the island of wine
Make a tour of the wineries, discover the history of the wine on the island and taste the exceptional wines produced.
Since vineyards and wine play the first role for many years in Santorini, it is worth spending some of your time in order to visit some, if not all, of the wineries that run in the island today; or maybe the vineyards that are spread along the slopes and the lowlands of Santorini. Make a tour of the wineries, discover the history of the wine on the island and taste the exceptional wines produced. Before you begin your tour of the wineries in Santorini, it would be a good idea to know some things about ventema and canava, two concepts that are directly related to the vinification tradition of the island.
For Santorini, ventema means singing, dancing, and merrymaking in all over the island. Before the dawn, the big bell of Panagia church rung 36 times giving signal to the harvesters to stream into the plains and collect the grapes. After harvesting the grapes, musicians arrived at the canavas and excited everyone, while at the same time men with their trousers rolled up and they feet cleaned up got into the wine-press. The day the wine pressing was completed, it was the biggest festival and an excuse for a great party. It is said that whoever experienced ventema in the old days, will never forget it.
In the old days, canava was an integral part of every captain’s house. Canavas had a specific architecture and various agricultural activities, especially wine making, where performed there. Vine harvesting took place in the morning and the grapes were brought to the canava in order to obtain a stable temperature; afterwards they were made into wine. The grapes were put inside the canava, in the dark wine-press, where the must was running into the wring that was also built under cover. The same process applies for the production of red as well as white wine. Finally, the wine was transferred directly into the “amphoras” (barrels), through the use of wooden buckets. The first part of the canava is open and shorter. It has two windows, one facing the North and the other facing the South, in order for the place to be ventilated from strong odours and exhalations.