This absolutely lovely winery stands right at the water’s edge on Kamari Beach in the area of Exo Gonia. The large stone building, which dates from the beginning of the 20th century, was once home to an industrial-scale tomato canning factory; today, it houses a winery equipped with everything required for modern winemaking, from stainless steel tanks to amphorae and clay vats.

The wine-tasting area is right on the shore, in a small courtyard that looks more like something from a Mexican hacienda than it does a typical Santorini canava. But then again, there’s nothing really typical about this winery, least of all Leto Paraskevopoulou, the daughter of the winery’s co-founder, Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, one of Greece’s leading winemakers. It was her father who first came up with the idea of ageing Assyrtiko bottles in the sea, launching the Thalassitis Submerged label, which created a huge stir in the wine world when it was first released in 2014.

Leto Paraskevopoulou, who has been in charge of the winery for the last two years, is a dynamic young woman, full of passion and energy, and ready to lead the winery into its next phase.

 A self-proclaimed “rogue oenologist”, she studied biochemistry and biotechnology in England and Scotland and came to the island to work with Santorini’s pioneering winemaker Paris Sigalas.

As she takes us past the barrels and the clay vats, Paraskevopoulou says she would love to create yet another label from the wine resting in the vats, which at present goes into the blend for Assyrtiko Wild Ferment, the winery’s bestselling wine. As the name suggests, this is a wine fermented with native yeasts. A part of its blend, she explains, ferments in the clay vats, allowing the wine contact with oxygen and leaving it without the oaky character it would gain from fermentation in a barrel. Next we come across a clay vat where an orange version of Assyrtiko is ageing. This is one of the winery’s newer labels, Clay Assyrtiko, made with grapes from old ownrooted vineyards; she uses indigenous yeast and incorporates traditional methods into the winemaking process to create this gem.

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Leto Paraskevopoulou takes us to the next production area; it is full of stainless steel vats of different sizes.

The Assyrtiko that makes up the winery’s most popular label, Thalassitis, is vinified in these tanks, as is the Assyrtiko that makes up Ammonite, one of the winery’s new labels, which gained immediate recognition and garnered awards when it was first released in 2021. “This is my baby”, Paraskevopoulou tells us as we try the wine from the 2023 harvest. But this is not the first label she created; that was Nychteri 2019, a label that replaced Thalassitis Oak Fermented. Her Nychteri is the winery’s own version of a traditional Nychteri, a wine made from riper fruit; it matures and ages in older oak than the oak-fermented Thalassitis, resulting in a much better integration of the barrel.

  • ΝΥCHTERI 2020 Fermentation and ageing take place in different kinds and sizes of barrels. The wood is present, with notes of vanilla, all totally harmonized with the aromas of Assyrtiko. As always, the classic sharp acidity of Assyrtiko is apparent, but in this case, it is allied with a roundness, a greasiness and a volume that make this wine amazingly enjoyable.
  • GAIA WILD FERMENT 2021 100% Αssyrtiko from grapes that come exclusively from the vineyard in Pyrgos. After under- going the 12-hour skin contact process at around 10οC, the grape must is placed in small 1,000-liter steel tanks and in new 225-liter French and American oak barrels and acacia barrels.The temperature is then allowed to rise naturally, without any further intervention. The wild yeast strains that prevail are the ones which eventually determine the wine’s character.


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