Assyrtiko or Asyrtiko is a white Greek wine indigenous to the island of Santorini . Assyrtiko is widely planted in the arid volcanic-ash-rich soil of Santorini.
Assyrtiko is a rare, classy white grape, possibly some of the greatest varieties found in the Mediterranean basin. It originated from Santorini (Assyrtiko-Santorini) but it spread all over Greece, becoming, in terms of quality, one of the most important native varietals. It produces mainly dry white wines, some of which are being aged in oak. However, a number of sweet wines are made, from sun dried grapes.
Assyrtiko is one of these rare white grape varieties that can grow on hot and dry climatic conditions, while at the same keeping the high alcohol in perfect balance by its crisp acidity. It is more of a textural variety, emphasizing extract, body and structure, rather than an aromatic grape. Assyrtiko originates from PDO Santorini, where it makes lean, mineral and very concentrated whites.
However, it has been planted to most Greek wine regions, from other Aegean Islands to Macedonia (PDO Slopes of Meliton), Central Greece and down to the Peloponnese. In these areas, Assyrtiko keeps the crispness and minerality but it also shows a higher level of primary fruit aromas and a less dense structure. Finally, sweet Assyrtiko (like, Vinsanto or PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia) is a rich, sumptuous, piercing wine.
Assyrtiko is made for people looking for unconventional, intense styles of whites, that lean towards texture and density. It offers sensations that are well away from the average, “commercially appealing” dry white. Very food friendly, especially with grilled fish and seafood.
All Assyrtiko wines, both barrel aged and stainless steel matured, can age confidently for five or even ten years, sometimes significantly more. Sweet Assyrtiko wines are eternal – time simply resists going into them.