We’re off to Santorini and Crete this summer. My wife and children begged me to ask the community if you have any recommendations for good wineries to visit or good wines to drink (as that’s far more life-enhancing than lounging by the pool).
In Santorini try Vassaltis, I have not been but their Assyrtikos are great. They get good reviews on Tripadvisor. Nice people, too.
Yes, they were first on the list!
Sigalas wines are fantastic, as are Hatzidakis and Gaia estate. Not sure about how they are set up for visitors though
Hatzidakis as mentioned.
I didnt visit Lyrarakis on Crete, but enjoyed a few of their wines. They have some interesting native varietals as well as the usual suspects.
We were on holiday in Crete last May and enjoyed wines from the Lyrarakis winery. They have a good reputation and some of their wines are stocked by Berry Bros & Rudd. The winery can be visited for a modest fee which includes tastings although we didn’t manage to get there. Their website is https://www.lyrarakis.com/en/home
Estate Argyros on Santorini. The whites are lovely but the Vinsantos are phenomenal, the 12 and 20 year barrel aged versions are amongst the best sweet wines in the world for me.
I’m not sure if you’ve tried the Mavrotragano grape before but TWS have sold the Hatzidakis version which I really enjoyed, so I’d be seeking out a few more examples if I was off to Santorini!
I was there last spring. Visited Sigalas, who have a well-oiled visitor operation with the possibility of matching the wines with some well-prepared food (nice to get some modern veggie-based food on the island. Not cheap but a lot better value than anywhere with THAT VIEW). Their wines are very good, of course. Would particularly recommend the tasting of assyrtiko from nine different terroirs.
Agree about Gaia, and Argyros.
Sadly I don’t think Hatzidakis (the best winery in my book) are up to visits these days, since the tragic death of Haridamos. I tried to book last year but to no avail.
Reds are thin on the ground. I only came across one Mavrotragano, for example, in four days of wine geekery. It’s all about the whites (and mostly the assyrtiko).
I was also in Crete. The wines were a great surprise in terms of quality, especially the whites. There is plenty of good stuff (Lyrarakis of course included). Availability will depend on where in the island you are - it’s a long way from west to east!
If you’re in the west, Chania has a brilliant wine shop which is a must - Miden Agan.
My favourite of the many white varieties was definitely vidiano, which makes a more complex wine than some of the others.
Highly recommend the wines of Idaia. I loved everything I had from this small winery.