Wine with 170 years of tradition

• Category: Interviews
Apart from the sunset and the volcanic caldera, Santorini is also famous for its delicious wines. Drive around the island and you will certainly notice some lovely wineries, particularly in the centre of Santorini. Canava Roussos is the oldest traditional cave winery (canava) on the island, with more than 170 years of tradition. Mrs Agape Roussos, marketing assistant of this canava, has talked to about the history of the winery, the varieties they produce and also she explains the reasons why the barren landscape of Santorini favors wine production.

What is the history of Canava Roussos?

Canava Roussos has a long history in wine production and in fact this is the oldest cavana in Santorini. Established in 1836, our aim was to produce high-quality wines, such as Asyrtiko, Athiri, Aidani and Mantilaria. That time, in the middle of the 19th century, the trade of Santorinian wine was flourishing and the locals would travel and sell their production in Europe. It was then when our canava was created. Five generations have taken over Canava Roussos since then and our philosophy remains the same: to love our island and take the best care of our vineyards.

What includes a tour in your winery?

Tours take place only in tourist season. We welcome visitors in a world of Santorinian flavors and tastes. We explain the traditional and modern methods of wine production, the eccentricity of the volcanic microclimate of the island, the varieties of vineyards, their combination with food and other interesting information. After the tour, visitors can taste our wines in our flowered backyard and share your comments with us.

Which are your most popular wines?

Nama is a very popular red sweet wine that is used for the Communion. Mavrathiro is also a nice sweet wine that is used as aperitif or into a cocktail. Extremely popular is also Caldera, a red dry wine with amazing flavors and powerful tannins. It accompanies grilled meat and spicy red sauces.

How does Santorini produce so high quality wines?

There are many factors why Santorini produces so unique wines, but they can all be briefed into a single factor: its unique volcanic microclimate. The volcano gives to the soil a variety of materials, including lava, limestone and ashes. A sandy soil, poor in nutritious ingredients, as well as a warm environment with intense sunshine, high humidity at nights and few rainfalls give a small but dynamic production. Moreover, the natural process of fumigation through the "breathings" of the volcano sterilizes the ground, protects the vineyards and keeps diseases off.

Canava Roussos accepts visitors every day from late May till October, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Entrance is free

More info at: Canava Roussos