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Want to take an unforgettable wine tour in Santorini, Greece? From private wine tasting tours to spectacular sunsets with wine and tapas, these are the best Santorini winery tours available for 2024.
Greek wines (and food!) are a memorable part of a vacation in Greece. And a small, but important, group of Greek wines come from islands in Aegean Sea, the most famous being Santorini.
We just got back from almost two months exploring notable wine regions in Greece. Our journey began with the red wines of Nemea in the Peloponnese and wrapped up with the crisp, dry whites of Assyrtiko on Santorini.
Unlike the nearby island of Naxos, where there’s really only one winery to visit, there are many wineries — 21 at last count — in Santorini.
And a dizzying number of wine tastings and tours to choose from!
We’ve done the research so let us show you in this post how to find the best Santorini wine tastings for your trip!
Basic Facts About Santorini Wines
As someone who studied agriculture at university, I was particularly intrigued to learn about Santorini’s unique volcanic viticulture.
To begin, Santorini was formed from the remains of a caldera created by a massive volcanic event around 3,600 years ago. Its volcanic soils are mostly ash and pumice.
While touring the island’s vineyards, it’s especially interesting to see how the vines are cultivated. They aren’t planted in rows to grow vertically on trellises.
Instead the vines are shaped into kouloures (woven baskets) that protect the grapes within the circle from the drying Aegean winds.
The grape vines’ roots are deeply embedded into the soil drawing moisture from the pumice stone. This helps with moisture retention so the plants can survive long periods without rain or irrigation.
Both the volcanic soil and method of cultivation contribute minerality and depth to the grapes. And the island’s arid climate and powerful Aegean Sea breezes stresses the vines.
This fosters the development of a crisp, dry acidity that’s earned PDO Santorini a place among the PDO Wines of Greece (“Protected Designation of Origin”) for its Assyrtiko varietal.
Five Main Grape Varieties in Santorini
- Assyrtiko: The dominant and most celebrated grape variety, producing dry white wines with high acidity, minerality, and citrus notes.
- Aidani: A white grape variety used in both dry and sweet wine production. It’s aromatic and often found in blends.
- Athiri: Another white grape variety often used in blends to add complexity and balance.
- Mavrotragano: While not widely planted this is one of the most acclaimed red grape varieties grown in Santorini. Mavrotragano produces dark, full-bodied red wines with a rich profile of dark fruit flavors and often a spicy character.
- Mandilaria: This red grape variety found in Santorini is often used in blends. Wines made from Mandilaria can be tannic and have flavors of red fruit.
Much as in the Niagara wine growing region in Canada, the larger wineries often purchase grapes from smaller producers.
Best Santorini Wine Tour at a Glance
No time to read the whole article? Our top pick for a wine tasting tour is the Santorini Half-Day Sunset Wine Tasting.
It includes visits to three wineries, nine tastings and tapas at sunset overlooking the caldera. It gets lots of 🤩 5 Star reviews too!
🌟 Pro Tip: To avoid disappointment, book your preferred winery tour or tasting early. Especially if you’re visiting in peak season from May to September.
Best Private Santorini Wine Tasting Tours
1. Private Wine Tasting Tour With Santorini Sunset
Taking a Private Wine Tour with Sunset is the best option for true wine lovers. Not only do you get to visit three different wineries but you’ll wrap up the wine tasting tour at one of my favorite wineries on the island.
If you are wondering why Santo Wines is so special: they have an amazing terrace offering panoramic views of the caldera and the sunset.
Because this is a private wine tour, the guides are open to adjusting the schedule and itinerary. You can simply tell them your preferences.
I much prefer private tours because they give me much more time with the guide to ask questions.
You also don’t waste time boarding a bus and waiting for the inevitable stragglers. Transportation is in a private vehicle.
The only downside of this wine tour is the unpredictability of the weather. In case of rain (which rarely happens) you won’t get to see the sunset in the evening.
However, all the other wineries on the island have plenty to offer, so it’s still an enjoyable program.
Duration: 5 hours
Included: 3 different wineries, 12 + glasses of wine, private transportation.
Check prices and availability of a Private Wine Tour with Sunset on Viator.com
2. Private Wine Tour with Sunset and Photos
This Private Wine Tour with Sunset and Photos is a popular option for honeymooners or couples looking for an especially memorable wine tasting experience.
After your guide picks you up at your hotel (cruise port or airport) you’ll visit the 150 year old winery and Wine Museum Koutsogiannopoulos, set within a natural cave.
Much like the famous cave hotels in Santorini, it’s carved right into the rock. So visiting it is a memorable Santorini experience.
Next, you’ll enjoy wine tastings at Estate Argyros and wrap up your evening with a wine tasting at Venetsantos Winery. You’ll enjoy traditional snacks and final glasses of wine with the sunset.
The guide will also take some pictures of you during the tour for some memories.
It’s important to note you have to bring your photography equipment. However, a smart phone will do.
Duration: 4.5 hours
Included: 3 wineries with tastings, entrance to wine museum, private transportation.
Check prices and availability of Private Wine Tour with Sunset and Photos on Viator.com.
3. Santorini Private Wine Tasting Tour and Cooking Class
This Private Wine Tasting Tour and Cooking Class is another one of the best private Santorini wine tastings.
This six-hour tour will appeal to wine and food lovers as you get to learn how to make some traditional Santorini food specialties.
First, you will visit two wineries and sample some delicious Santorini wines. Later, the chef will teach you how to cook my favorite Santorini dish: caramelized pork with wine sauce.
And, you’ll learn how to make Santorini-style Greek salad with tiny tomatoes, cucumbers (called katsounia), capers, chloro cheese and barley rusks.
I love the combination of wine tasting and cooking class. You can learn so much about the island’s traditions and food customs!
🌟 Pro Tip: You can bring up to 8 people to this tour, so it’s a fun group event! This is a great idea for bachelorette or bachelor parties and girls getaways.
Duration: 6 hours
Included: 2 wineries with 8 glasses of wine, cooking class with a 4-course meal, private transportation
Check prices and availability of a Private Wine Tasting Tour and Cooking Class on Viator.com
Best Santorini Wine Tastings with Sunset (Group Tours)
4. Santorini 4-Hour Sunset Wine Tour ( Small Group)
One of the most popular wine tours in Santorini, this 4-Hour Small Group Wine Tasting and Sunset Tour was the first wine tour I ever took on the island.
It’s still one of my favorites and offers great value.
On this small group tour, you’ll visit three Santorini wineries including Anhydrous Winery, Hatzidakis Winery, and Santo Wines.
At each stop, you’ll be treated to a tutored wine tasting with delicious wines and snack platters filled with Greek delicacies.
Our group consisted of 8 people, so we had the chance to make new friends.
Wrapping up the evening at Santo Wines with a sunset tasting overlooking the caldera is magical!
Duration: 4 hours
Included: 3 top wineries with 9 wine tastings, snacks at every stop, hotel pick-up/drop-off, group transportation.
Check prices and availability of the Santorini 4-Hour Sunset Wine Tour on Viator.com.
5. Santorini Wine Road Tour with Wine Tastings Morning and Sunset
The Santorini Wine Roads Tour with Wine Tastings Morning & Sunset is another popular option for a wine tasting in Santorini.
There are multiple things I love about this wine tasting tour. Not only can you taste up to 15 different wines, but it features exclusively family-owned wineries. That’s something I totally appreciate.
Some of the independent wineries in this tour include Art Space Winery, Artemis Karamolegos Winery, Gaia Winery, Boutari Winery or Vassaltis Vineyards. The actual wineries you visit will depend on their availability.
Another cool feature of this wine tasting is that you can taste wine directly from the barrel!
There will be up to 10 participants (usually less) on the tour, so it’s still pretty private and chill.
This wine tour is a good option for cruise ship guests in Santorini, as it’s also available in the morning.
Duration: 4 hours
Included: 3 different wineries, 15 glasses of wine, hotel or cruise port pick-up and drop off.
Check prices and availability of Santorini Wine Roads Tour with Wine Tastings Morning & Sunset on Viator.com.
Best Unique Santorini Wine Tasting Tours
6. Wine Tasting and Carving Lesson
If you are a lover of arts and crafts then you’ll be interested in this wine tasting and carving lesson in Santorini.
This hands-on class features wine tastings, a selection of tapas and instruction in sculpting with volcanic rock (pumice stone).
The lesson takes place at Melina’s tavern at Akrotiri Beach rather than a winery. This uncrowded beach on Santorini’s south coast is interesting for its cave houses, used by fishermen to store their boats.
Lastly, much as with the mosaics classes in Sparta, at the end of this tour, the hosts will wrap up your work of art so you can take it home as a souvenir.
Duration: 2 hours
Included: wine tasting, finger-food platter and materials.
Check prices and availability of a wine tasting and carving lesson on Viator.com.
7. Santorini Photography and Wine Tasting Tour
This Santorini Photography and Wine Tasting Tour is another unique winery tour to consider.
You will explore one of the oldest wineries on the island together with a photographer.
He’ll teach you how to take stunning shots and help improve your techniques with your camera.
You’ll begin in Oia, stop at the village of Finikia and drive by Imerovigli for some architecture shots and end the day at Gaia Winery for wine tasting and swimming.
This winery is located on the east coast of Santorini north of Kamari.
This is a very popular place to snorkeling in Santorini. So be sure to bring your swim suit.
Duration: 2 – 4 hours
Included: wine tasting, visits to Oia, Finikia and Imerovigli, photography instruction and transportation.
Check prices and availability of a Santorini Photography and Wine Tasting Tour on Viator.com.
Best Wineries in Santorini
If you are looking for wineries to check out in Santorini independently, I have four special wineries to recommend.
However in order to visit them you’ll need to take a taxi, a public bus or rent a car.
We rent our cars on Discovercars.com. It’s an online car rental booking site that compares rates from several companies to find the best deal.
Check for the best car rental rates at Discovercars.com
Santo Wines Winery & Tourism Center
It also offers the most memorable wine tasting on the island.
The Santo Wines Tourism Center, located at the edge of the caldera, offers an amazing views from the spacious terrace where the tastings take place.
We enjoyed the Santo Sparkling Rosé, the Santorini Assyrtiko, as well as the Santorini Nykteri paired with a plate of local delicacies.
The day wrapped up on a sweet note, with the dessert wine Santorini Vinsanto.
The Vinsanto is a naturally sweet, white dessert wine, made from sun-dried grapes. It has an amber color with hints of dried apricot, cinnamon, and raisin.
There are several excellent restaurants in Pyrgos as well.
Founded in 1836, it produces high-quality wines of a wide variety: Assyrtiko, Athiri, Aidani, Mandilaria and Mavrathiro.
The tasting takes place in a beautiful garden area and is accompanied by small snacks. We were able to tour the small museum and have a look around the winery itself.
Our favorite wine here was the ‘Love Wine” of the Mavrathiro varietal.
Winery Anhydrous is one of the most convenient places for an independent wine tasting tour in Santorini.
While the winery production facility is further afield (and not open for visiting), the tasting room, Anhydrous Cellar Door, is located close to Fira (Google Map) and operates from May to October.
We tried five different wines. The Santorini, which is a blend of Assyrtiko, Athiri, and Aidani, has an aroma of lemon blossoms, and chamomile. The slightly salty aftertaste reminds me of the ocean.
Another notable wine to taste here is the red wine Saint Nickolas, which is a blend of the Mavrotragano and the Mandilaria grape. This wine has an aroma of blackberries, vanilla, and sweet spices.
The tapas consisted of regional fish, seasonal fruit, and vegetables as well as cheeses and spreads.
Another winery well worth visiting is the Hatzidakis Winery, close to the village of Pyrgos (Google Map). Founded in 1997, it was previously an abandoned vineyard that hadn’t been cultivated since 1956.
Hatzidakis Winery was the first vineyard in Santorini that was organically cultivated. To this day, it is the only organic-certified vineyard on the island. Their philosophy is mainly concerning the vineyard itself, and up-keeping an outstanding quality of the raw materials.
The tasting is located in the wine cellar next to the oak barrels. It’s an atmospheric setting to sample their famous Aidani wine.
The Aidani is made from 100 % Aidani grapes that grow in the villages of Pyrgos, Megalohori, and Akrotiri. It has a gold-yellow color and is reminiscent of nuts, pear and citrus fruit.
The Rosette is made from 100% Mandalorian grapes and a bright magenta color.
During the tour you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the production facilities and learn about their wine-making process.
Where to Stay in Santorini for Wine Lovers
For all of the wine tours above it doesn’t matter much where you stay, since they all offer pick-up and drop-off service (much needed after all the wine tasting).
On our most recent trip to Santorini, we stayed at Kafieris Blue Studios in Firostefani. The views of the caldera were stunning however the breakfast was rather basic compared to what we enjoyed in other regions of Greece.
The studio came equipped with a small kitchenette, a pretty swimming pool and private terrace offering sunset views.
In general, I recommend staying outside of Oia or Fira to avoid the crowds and enjoy a calmer experience.
If you are looking for an adult-only place to stay in Santorini, try Azanti Suites in Megalochori, a charming village that dates back to the 17th century.
These spacious suites (some with private pool) are located very close to the popular Santorini winery, Santo Wines. There are also quite a few other wineries nearby.
For a Santorini hotel with its own wine cellar, try Akra Suites in Imerovigli, located between Oia and Fira.
The sommelier hosts private tastings of a selection of Santorini and international wines.
Conclusion: Best Santorini Wine Tasting
In my opinion, Santorini is a wine-lovers paradise with a wide range of wine-tasting experiences and tours to choose from.
We’ve enjoyed every single wine tour we’ve taken on the island but I recommend taking at least a private or semi-private wine tour for the best experience.
I hope this post will help you find the best Santorini wine tasting to fit your interests and palate!
When in Santorini, be sure to visit renowned wineries like Santo Wines, which offers panoramic views and a vast selection of wines. Gaia Wines offers a modern twist on traditional methods, while Venetsanos Winery combines history with breathtaking caldera vistas. Also don’t miss Sigalas Estate, known for its Assyrtiko grape varietal.
Santorini is indeed known for its distinctive wines. The island’s magical mix of volcanic soil, unique microclimate, and indigenous grape varieties create exceptional wine characteristics. Santorini’s flagship grape, Assyrtiko, produces crisp, mineral-driven whites, while other local varieties add depth and character to blends.
Santorini’s wines possess several unique qualities that set them apart. The volcanic soil imparts distinct flavors and minerals while the strong Aegean winds and climate stress the vines, resulting in concentrated flavors and vibrant acidity. Santorini’s indigenous grape varieties, particularly Assyrtiko, showcase their character in crisp, citrusy whites.
More Travel and Food in Greece
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Our Favourite Hotels in Greece 2023
Mythos Villas in Kalogrias Beach, Stoupa, Mani Peninsula
Nikos Apartments and Studios in Agios Prokopios, Naxos Island
Horizon Blu Boutique Hotel in Kalamata, Messinia, Greece
Kafieris Blue Studios in Firostefani, Santorini
Mystras Grand Palace Resort & Spa near Sparta
Athenaeum InterContinental,an IHG Hotel (with Club InterContinental Executive Lounge Access) in Athens
The Port Square Hotel in Pireas Port, near Athens
Kinsterna Hotel in Monemvasia, Greece
Makis Inn Beach Resort in Ermioni, Peloponnese, Greece
Liotrivi Organic Estate and Mansion near Monemvasia,Peloponnese
AKS Hinista Bay an average 3-star hotel with an excellent location near Porto Heli
Managing editor, Francisco Javier Sanchez is a photographer and content creator who is passionate about the interrelation between food, sustainable tourism and heritage. He studied agriculture at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and his work has appeared in leading print and online publications. Learn more about Francisco Sanchez.