Santorini Sampler: Wine Tasting & the Tradition Fira Tour by Private Vehicle
- Oia village: A harmonious jumble of bright blue-domed roofs and whitewashed homes tumbles down the cliffs to the sea. Picturesque and postcard-worthy.
- Wine tasting and mezes (snacks): Nature's wrathful volcano created soil that nurtures ancient vineyards. The result is as close as you'll get to nectar of the gods.
- Fira village: Marvel at a stunning landscape formed by one of the biggest explosions in history. The volcano may be quiet, but its power still speaks.
- Cable car ride: Descend from the quaint pedestrian-only village of Fira with sweeping views from the cliffs.
About this Santorini tour
When a huge volcano blew its cork on Santorini in the early 1600s B.C., it was a blessing for wine lovers. The explosion smothered the island with volcanic ash, creating soil that produces famous grapes with flavors found only on this island.
As your motorcoach climbs to the top of the caldera cliffs, your GoBe guide will explain how Santorini's ancient geological calamities created its present pleasing form. From this high vantage point, the vineyards look very different from the rows of trained vines usually seen around wineries. Over the 3,000 years they've been producing wine, Santorini's vintners have developed their own unique methods, and death has come swiftly to anyone suspected of revealing their secrets. (Just kidding. We think.)
The vines, left unstaked and growing close to the ground, are carefully woven into baskets with the grapes growing inside to protect them from strong winds and sunlight. Since there's little rainfall, grapes absorb moisture from morning dew and humidity. It's challenging, but oh so worth it, as you'll discover: Santorini produces astonishing wines, with per-acre yields lower than 20 percent of what's typical in France or California.
The pride of the island is Vinsanto, a sweet, strong dessert wine made from sun-dried grapes and barrel-aged for up to 25 years. As you sample this amber-orange nectar, look for notes of citrus, nuts, raisins, figs, and honey. You'll find the citrus-scented white wines are dry and crisply delicious. All yours for the tasting on this tour – Santorini winemakers are tight with their secrets, but generous with guests.
Days of wine and Russians
When the Ottoman Turks captured Santorini in 1579, the island's wines were already highly prized. Although the Turks' Muslim faith forbid alcohol, they continued trading it, using the excuse that Santorini's soil and harsh climate couldn't produce much else. When the Russian Orthodox Church officially adopted the wine for its Eucharist, the Ottomans happily supplied them, even through their frequent wars with Russia.
Santorini is famous for Vinsanto wine (liqueur wine) and fava (a yummy yellow split pea puree).
Please consider your physical fitness when planning your private experience.
Cultural, Food and Wine, Scenic, Walking Tour, Shopping
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Travelers must be 18 years of age or older to participate in this tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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