One of Greece’s native varietals, Assyrtiko is indigenous to the island of Santorini, where it thrives in the volcanic-ash rich soils. On Santorini, it is used to make both dry and sweet wines, as well as being used in blends. It is also one of the grapes used to make Retsina.
The wines of Santorini, made from Assyrtiko, are medium to full-bodied with high acidity. They are often referred to as “a red in white clothing,” due to their full body and higher alcohol levels. They usually express a crisp minerality, surrounded by lifted citrus notes.
In recent years, Peter Barry (of Jim Barry wines) made history by being the first grower/producer to make an Assyrtiko in Australia. Grown in the Clare Valley, and pruned in the traditional Santorini basket-style, the 2016 vintage expresses all the varietal characters of a good Assyrtiko. So far this is the only Australian grown Assyrtiko on the market. But could this be the beginning of a new trend in wine?
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