(Vino di Santorini= “Vino…Santo” = Vinsanto.) The “King” of Santorini’s wines. Once the grapes destined for the production of Vinsanto (like Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani) have been harvested in late August , they are laid out to dry under the hot Aegean sun and made into “liasta” ,sun-dried grapes, protected from rotting by the capacity of Santorini’s soil for self-draining. It matures to a sweet dark amber orange or darker red dessert wine that has achieved worldwide fame.
It is a white-wine grape variety of ancient origin grown exclusively in Greece .It has been said that Athiri is a modern name for “Theriaki” , an ancient grape variety appearing in many historical wine-related documents. Another hypothesis suggests that Athiri’s name comes from “Thira” the ancient name for Santorini. It is best known for its use in blends , particularly as a foil for the steely Assyrtiko grape variety in the PDO Santorini wines. Low levels of both acidity and alcohol mean that varietal Athiri wines are best drunk in the first couple of years after harvest.