Harvest calendar:

2016 harvest started a week earlier than the average starting date of the last decade and 10 days earlier than 2015. The grapes matured on time leading to the following calendar:


Beginning of Harvest | Variety (type)

28 July | Athiri (white)

1 August | Assyrtiko (white). For the sparkling wine from the vineyards at Pyrgos village

2 August | Mavrotragano (red)

2 August | Voudomato (red)

3 August | Assyrtiko (white)

17 August | Aidani (white)

20 August | Mandilaria (red)


All varieties from all the vineyards were handpicked and transferred to our winery by 30 August.

Weather conditions during the year:

  • Winter: Mild with scarce rainfall. From September 2015 to July 2016, the total rain depth reached 199 mm (in comparison to 341 mm for the same period in 2015 vintage).

  • Spring: Hot with scarce light rainfall.

  • Summer: Typical insular, with cool “meltemi” winds in July and August, lack of extreme heatwave and lack of humidity that accelerated ripening.

Overall a particular dry vintage.

Despite the initial estimations for a year with higher than average production volume, the drought did not allow the vines to yield to their full potential. Nevertheless, the vintage resulted to healthy grapes and quality ripening due to the lack of humidity during summer and the absence of diseases. Sugars maintained a relatively high level per variety, yet with no extreme increase in alcohol content.

2016 production:

The total 2016 production reached almost 3,000 tons, recording:

  • An increase by 20% in comparison to 2015 (2,600 tons – one of the lowest production figures vintage in Santorini)

  • A decrease by 25% in comparison to the average Santorini production

The Union of Santorini Cooperatives (SantoWines) received almost 40% of the total production; it remains the major wine producer in terms of volume, in a total of 15 wineries operating in Santorini.

Winemaking and estimations for the vintage:

2016 vintage showcases so far an excellent potential for high quality wines. While fermentation is almost done in all tanks, the results are very encouraging.

2016 Santorini wines are expected to be intensely aromatic and pleasant.

  • Aromatic bouquet of white flowers, citrus like lemon, grapefruit and white-fleshed fruit like melon, white peach and pear.

  • Kicking acidity on the mouth combined with the trademark Santorini minerality.

  • Rich and intense flavors.

The alcohol content, the total acidity of the vintage –which depending on ripeness degree is estimated to range between 6.2 – 7.0 gr / lt (expressed in tartaric acid)-, and the pH level between 2.9 - 3.2, indicate wines with high ageing potential.

Nikos Varvarigos

Santo Wines Head Oenologist

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