Santorini, Cyclades

Gavalas Winery

On the island of Santorini, the Gavalas family has been making wine for about 300 years. George Gavalas is the fourth-generation winemaker and owner of Gavalas Winery which is one oldest winery in continuous production on the island. Today, his son, Vagelis is leading the winery into the fifth generation. Winemaking on Santorini has been continuous for at least 3500 years, given archeological evidence, and is considered the oldest vineyards of Europe. The island has 30 extant indigenous varieties that have persisted because Santorini was never affected by Phylloxera. Currently 75% of Santorini’s vineyards are planted with its highly prized Assyrtiko and some of the root stock is assumed to be 400-500 years old, possibly making these the world’s oldest vines. Crisp, fresh, full bodied white wines, mineral and fruity red wines, and the distinguished dessert wine Vinsanto make up a diversity of wines that come from this volcanic terroir.

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Santorini

Varietal/Blend

Assyrtiko 100%

Notes

A classic Santorini Assyrtiko made from the free-run juice that ferments in stainless steel tanks and matures with fine lees for at least 5 months. Aromas of citrus, lemon, pear and peach accompany the typical saltiness and minerality of Assyrtiko. Full body with high acidity and long aftertaste.

Food Pairing

White fish with lemon sauce, hard cheeses and assorted fruits.

Additional

Very old vines grown in a traditional “kouloura” or basket.

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Santorini Natural Ferment

Varietal/Blend

Assyrtiko 100%

Notes

Aromas of pear and white flowers. Fresh acidity and pleasant flinty aftertaste. Fermented by wild yeasts of Santorini creates a unique and traditional Assyrtiko with a bit more complexity and body than the above Santorini that uses commercial yeasts for fermentation.

Food Pairing

Lightly seasoned seafood, pasta, white meats with light sauces and pungent or salty cheeses.

Additional

Vines grown in a traditional “kouloura” or basket.

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Nykteri

Varietal/Blend

Assyrtiko 100%

Notes

A late harvest and oak aged Assyrtiko. On the nose it is deep with notes of jasmine, citrus fruit and pear. Dominating on the palate with an evolving profile of Assyrtiko and minerality of volcanic soils, but characterized by aging in oak which gives unique hints of nuttiness and light petrol notes. Six months in French Oak barrels, this white wine ages very well and is a traditional white from Santorini.

Food Pairing

Heavy seafood and pork dishes with light sauces (Nikteri and pancetta goes very well), fig jam and funky soft cheeses. Also accompanies spicy Southeast Asian cuisine.

Additional

Vines grown in a traditional “kouloura” or basket.

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Katsano

Varietal/Blend

Katsano 85% Gaidouria 15%

Notes

Only produced by Gavalas, it is a very rare dry white wine possessing green highlights and aromas of flowers, honey and lemon blossoms. Katsano and Gaidouria are indigenous varietals to Santorini and represent less than 1% of the island’s vineyards. Pleasant acidity and a long aftertaste, it is a bit more aromatic that Assyrtiko with less complexity and body.

Food Pairing

Grilled fresh fish, salads with lemon dressing and simple pastas

Additional

Vines grown in a traditional “kouloura” or basket.

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Voudomato

Varietal/Blend

Voudomato 100%

Notes

Another rare and indigenous varietal of Santorini Gavalas works with. Pleasant red fruits on the nose with a fresh character. Aromas of fresh cherries and pomegranate dominate the palate but a background of the volcanic minerality persists. This is a dry wine with a refreshing acidity and rich body.

Food Pairing

Pasta with red sauce, prosciutto and hard salami.

Additional

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Xenoloo

Varietal/Blend

Mavrotragano 50% Voudomato 45% Athiri 5%

Notes

Another rare Santorini wine Gavalas makes, Xenoloo is a wine characterized by its vivid personality, velvety taste and a rich nutty bouquet. The production is strictly limited but is representative of a classic red of Santorini that goes with coastal cuisine and tomatoes.

Food Pairing

It is an ideal accompaniment to seafood with red sauces, bruschetta, game meat and lightly spicy cuisine like Spanish tapas.

Additional

Vines grown in a traditional “kouloura” or basket.

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Mavrotragano

Varietal/Blend

Mavrotragano 100%

Notes

Another indigenous varietal from Santorini that almost went extinct. “Mavro” translates to black and “tragano” translates to crispy. This describes the dark Berries from this varietal that have crispy, delicate skins. A wine with intense deep red color and ‘crisp’ acidity. Concentrated aromas of red fruits with hints of leather and tobacco, this red has very delicate and velvety tannins. Considered a prestigious red wine that not all the Santorini producers have the opportunity to make.

Food Pairing

Accompanies red meats, slightly spicy sauces and grilled fish.

Additional

Vines grown in a traditional “kouloura” or basket.

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Vinsanto

Varietal/Blend

Assyrtiko 85% Athiri 5% Aidani 10%

Notes

The “original” dessert wine of the world, this is a long-standing gem of Santorini that was exported all over the Mediterranean and Europe for centuries. It is a blend of sundried white grapes, predominately Assyrtiko but small portions of Athiri and Aidani. Flavors of dried raisins, honey, chocolate and roasted nuts are only a few descriptors of this amazing rich wine. Deep in color and taste it is perfect dessert wine aged 6 Years in very large, old, used Russian Oak barrels.

Food Pairing

Accompanies pastries, desserts, strong flavored cheeses, honeycomb, nuts and chocolates.

Additional

Vines grown in a traditional “kouloura” or basket.

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