An exceptional, multifaceted white variety of Greece.
It was formerly only grown in the Cyclades and particularly on Santorini, from where it originates. From there it successfully immigrated to Halkidiki, Epanomi, Drama, Pangeo, Attica, the Peloponnese, to finally end up being cultivated all over Greece on over 1.150 hectares. This variety has been widely used to create vineyards all over Greece due to its high acidity, its aroma and the ease with which it adapts to different soils and climates while still retaining its character.
The Assyrtiko produces wines of high alcoholic content and acidity, a rare combination for a white Mediterranean variety. Assyrtiko wines are known for their lively, robust palate and distinctive nose, which is more mineral and earthy in Santorini while in mainland Greece – and northern Greece in particular – it is particularly fruity and floral. They do however tend to become oxidised, so particular care needs to be taken during the vinification.
This variety is used in making the V.Q.P.R.D. `Santorini` (the dry, crisp or barrel-aged wine, or the sweet aged Vinsanto) and `Côtes de Meliton` as well as a number of Vin de Pays (of Epanomi, of Drama, Agioreitikos [of Mount Athos], Macedonikos [of Macedonia], Plagies Vertiskou [Côtes de Vertiskos], of Attica, etc.) and Table wines.
[Text and photos taken from the book 'Wine-producing varieties of the Greek vineyard' by Haroula Spinthiropoulou - Olive Press Publications, 2000 (in Greek)]