The estate vineyards of Koutsogiannopoulos Winery comprise 15 hectares of vines which continue to be cultivated in the traditional way of weaving them into the shapes of baskets or crowns. These vineyards lie in the areas of Vothonas, Megalochori, and Fira. Long term contracts with farming families on the island also bolster the amount of fruit available in this bare and sparse land. What makes the vineyards in Santorini unique is the volcanic soil on which they grow. The soil consists of white volcanic ash mixed with schist and limestone; it contains hardly any organic matter and is therefore poor in nutrients. The ash soil traps the moisture in the air during the nighttime and early morning hours, acting as a kind of reservoir, initially storing water and then providing necessary moisture to the vine. The combination of the especially hot and dry climate with the volcanic soil works to keep disease in check. Phylloxera cannot survive in the Santorini climate and so root stock is essentially original, with some of the oldest continually producing vines on the island estimated at 400 years old.
The predominant variety of grape on the island is Assyrtiko. It is distinguishable from Assyrtiko grown in other regions of Greece due to its high level of acidity and minerality derived from its terroir. Koutsogiannopoulos’ well executed Assyrtiko is a wonderful anomaly to the palate compared to other world class varietals, though it can be intensely yeasty with flint stone and honey, somehow saline characteristics, petrol; white pepper can appear, and finally, and most easily, citrus. This traditional rendition of Assyrtiko brings all of the pedigree of the varietal, terrior, and history of Santorini together flawlessly.