The azure sky, glittering sea and dramatic landscape that make Santorini such a desirable holiday destination are also key to it producing some of the planet’s finest white wines. This is a place conspicuously shaped by the elements, its craggy surface – with soils of pumice, sand and basalt – the result of millennia of volcanic activity. Rainfall here is low, but morning mists rolling in from the sea keep the vines sated, while chill northerly winds help to delay ripening and maintain freshness in the wines.
A number of grapes thrive in these conditions, but it’s Assyrtiko that has staked a claim for greatness as the island’s wine industry has been transformed by new investment and an influx of ambitious winemakers. Established in 2010 by former economist Yannis Valambous (who inherited several prime parcels of vines from his father) and oenologists Yannis Papaeconomou and Elias Roussakis, Vassaltis Vineyards is today recognised as one of the foremost exponents of Santorini Assyrtiko.
It was love at first sip for the Stannary team when we began listing the wines with the 2018 vintage. Since then, many of you will have marvelled, as we do, at the sheer tension, concentration and salinity that characterise both the unoaked and barrel-aged Assyrtikos.