Common aromas of Assyrtiko are: Lime, Green Apple, Lemon, Yellow Nectarine, Golden Raisins and Dried Apricots
Assyrtiko is a white grape with a famous island-home in Santorini, Greece. Here it produces incredible dry white wines as well as some of the most hauntingly beautiful sweet wines; Vin Santo. An incredible feature of the Assyrtiko vineyards in, the ever-windy, Santorini is that they are trained into nest-shapes to stop damage from the high winds.
Scientists are unsure of the exact history behind Assyrtiko, though believe that it may in fact be a Spanish grape that was brought to Greece from Jerez, in the south of Spain – and home to Sherry wines.
Assyrtiko produces wines that are refreshing and with high acidities. As a dry wine it has flavours of lemons, green apples, yellow nectarines and lime zest. It is perfect by itself but can sometimes be blended with other Greek grapes, such as Aidani, that bring more stonefruit aromas to the wines.
The high acidity of Assyrtiko makes it a perfect candidate for sweet production – the acidity helps to cut through the sweetness but also helps with preserving it for longer ageing. Santorini winemakers will often make Vin Santos out of Assyrtiko, a style of sweet wine where the grapes go through an extended drying process. This process helps to produce complex flavours and concentrate the sugars. The wines are then fermented and aged in oak for a minimum of two years. The resulting wines give incredible flavours of crème brulee, dried apricots, figs, dates, chocolate, vanilla bean and golden raisin.