AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 35
Name of wine estate: Domaine Sigalas
Wine region: Santorini
Standout points: Centuries-old basket-trained vines; unmissable Assyrtiko wines
Winemaker: Paris Sigalas
Wine style: Volcanic wines focused on the Assyrtiko grape
An island’s transformation
It’s funny to think how, 30 or 40 years ago, barely a soul had heard of Santorini or its wines. How that has changed. It’s estimated that around two million tourists descend on Santorini every year, and it’s a good bet that a considerable number of those are attracted by its stunning wines. Of the wineries that have risen to prominence during the past three or four decades, Domaine Sigalas in Oia ranks among the very best.
The home of Assyrtiko
Situated on the ancient plain of Oia to the north of the island, Domaine Sigalas is owned by former mathematician Paris Sigalas and specialises in wines made from the island’s main white variety, Assyrtiko, along with two other indigenous white grapes, Aidani and Athiri, and reds Mandilaria and Mavrotragano.
Visitors to Domaine Sigalas can be assured of the warmest of welcomes from the hospitality team, led by the infectiously exuberant and wine-savvy Panatyiota Kalogeropoulou. Winery tours are available all year round. Here you can learn about the unique volcanic terroir of different parts of Santorini, its unique vine training methods, and how the island’s resistance to the phylloxera epidemic has resulted in the island being home to some of the oldest vines in the world.
Taste of the Cyclades
At the estate’s charming bar/restaurant area – surrounded by old Assyrtiko bush vines – you’ll have the perfect opportunity to sample the wines of the estate, from the stunning dry Assyrtiko to the historic Vin Santo sweet wines. And, of course, you can sample some of the culinary delights of the Cyclades Islands – Santorini has its own PDOs for fava (split peas) and cherry tomatoes. Wine tasting and degustation menus are available. A bit of advice regarding sunset watching: the tip of the plain of Oia is where the tourist hordes flock to watch Santorini’s legendary sunsets. A smarter option would be to take a seat on the terrace at Domaine Sigalas, order a chilled glass of Sigalas Assyrtiko and enjoy the sunset in tranquillity from there.