A Passage In Time To Santorini's Domaine Hatzidakis Winery

A rocky peninsula reaches into the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean along with thousands (227 inhabited) of islands defined by hot dry climates and diverse cultural influences.  Europe's  southernmost and ancient country with the longest grape growing heritage.  It is on the volcanic Island of Santorini Greece that Domaine Hatzidakis produces some stunningly tasty wines that are now thankfully available worldwide.


Domaine Hatzidakis got its start in 1996 when a small vineyard was replanted in the village of Pyrgos Kallistis after being abandoned since a 1956 earthquake. Vineyards here have always been organic capitalizing on the island's volcanic soil, strong winds, rare rainfalls, and hot dry summers. Another unique characteristic of Santorini is that vineyards here have never been infected by Phylloxera. This means that the original ungrafted, non-irrigated vines remain producing low yields with distinctive aromatic finesse, mineral palate, and character that's intense and complex.

Here's what you can expect with several Domaine Hatzidakis vintages:mavrotragano

Mavrotragano 2013 PGI Cyclades – Bramble fruit tempered by the bright hot Mediterranean sun means a fiery sweetness on your palate. A unique minerality due to 100% Mavrotragno which is only grown in 2% of Santorini's vineyards. Deep dark personality with a royal opulent fruit at its core. Astringency of a dark chocolate combined with the fruity tang of cacao nibs make for great pairings with dishes of character. Languid squid inkiness in color while swirling, you get a sense of briny ocean on the nose packed into its overall profile.assyrtikomylos

Assyrtiko de Mylos 2013 – Made from over matured grapes from old Assyrtiko vines, this Vieilles Vignes drinks like a distinctive Pinot Grigio. Liveliness abounds on the palate with spring greens and green apple accentuated by the unique minerality that is a defining wow-inducing characteristic of Santorinian wines. Bright bold colors, salty air, and the wide open azure Mediterranean are all in the flavor. Its entire profile cuts across the palate no matter what else you have in your mouth.vinsantos

Vinsanto Sweet Wine – The name Vinsanto derived from the Italian words vino (wine) and Santo (Santorini) is a naturally sweet wine made from white grapes sun-dried for 14 days with their sugars dehydrated and caramelized. The result is a strong yellow brown color with the rich aromas of coffee, caramel, and dried fruits. It takes 5 kilos of dried grapes to produce a liter of Vinsanto. Aging begins in oak barrels in the winery's cellar 2-4 years before bottling. Aging can continue in the bottle for years after. A blend of Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Athiri grapes yields a fine balance between intense sweetness and acidity. Languid sweetness of raisin and plum combine with hints of Mediterranean brininess on the mouth feel and onward to the palate. It's hard to fathom that such character comes from a white blend but in this case made believable by its unique production.

Photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky and Domaine Hatzidakis Winery