The award-winning winery of Santorini, Domaine Sigalas makes powerful and complex wines with the character of this unique volcanic terroir. Their flagship Assyrtiko has gained a cult following across the world as one of the most glorious expressions of this grape.
Sigalas wine is arguably the most prominent and critically acclaimed in all of Greece. The Domaine is found on the ancient plain of Oia, in the northern part of Santorini. Its story started in 1991, at the dusk of the Greek wine renaissance. The winery was initially located in the traditional canava of the Sigalas family. Later on, in 1998, a new production, bottling and ageing facility was constructed, located in a privately owned area.
From the start, the winery focused on the indigenous grapes. Moreover, Sigalas were among those who saw the potential of Mavrotragano grape and helped resurrect this unique variety which had become almost extinct.
Mavrotragano, as well as the famous Assyrtiko are the two grapes native to Santorini. This beautiful island is one of the most ancient wine regions of the world. In fact, archaeological evidence found on the island, in the prehistoric city of Akrotiri, suggests that grapes were cultivated here as far back as in the 17th century BC.
These prehistoric vineyards, just as most of the island, were destroyed by the huge volcano eruption, around 1620 BC. The vines were then resurrected on new volcanic soil in circa 1200 BC. Since then, Santorini has an uninterrupted history of winemaking and that is 3,000 years of wine traditions!
From Vines To Wines
Santorini island is famous and praised in the world of wine for its unique volcanic soils. These soils provided natural protection from phylloxera, which devastated most of the European vineyards in the 19th century. As a result, today, Santorini has some seriously old vines, and most of them are ungrafted, growing on their own roots.
At the same time, growing conditions on the island are far from perfect: burning heat, scarcity of water and ferocious winds, which sometimes exceed 80 kilometers per hour. To protect the plantings, the vines are cultivated using a unique training system called ‘basket’ or ‘kouloura’. Naturally, the yields here are extremely low.
All of this results in incredibly powerful and complex wines with pronounced minerality and a great ageing potential. While all of the bottles from Sigalas wine range represent outstanding examples of the above, their flagship Assyrtiko is one of the most acclaimed wines of Greece. Moreover, Sigalas Assyrtiko wine has gained a cult following worldwide and has proven its capability to age for at least a decade.