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Santorini is famous for its white dry wines and its sun-dried dessert wines. The main grape variety grown in Santorini is Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko is a white wine grape indigenous to the island of Santorini. It is considered one of the noblest varieties of the Mediterranean region. Assyrtiko grapes are cultivated in some of the world΄s oldest vineyards dating back to 3500 years. Assyrtiko is widely planted in the arid volcanic-ash-rich soils of Santorini and occupies 80% of the total area of Santorini’s vineyard. The other two major indigenous white varieties of the island are: Athiri and Aidani.
Santorini has an ideal Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, dry summers and limited rainfall. Winds blow at a great speed through the year. The winds are very beneficial not only for lowering temperatures and allowing slower ripening of the grapes but also for protecting the grapes from rot and diseases. The soil is sandy of volcanic nature, and it is covered with scoria rocks, lava, and pumice stone. The winds, in combination with the low rainfall, the volcanic soils, and the Mediterranean climate contribute to Santorini’s unique ecosystem.
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