Island wines are special and attract wine lovers to explore and discover new flavors in the world of wine. These wines from Sicily and Santorini capture the unique flavors of their land, blending tradition and innovation for exceptional taste.

Santorini isn’t just about tourism, it's also about extraordinary wines (Credit: H Fall,

The Intriguing Terroir of Island Vineyards

To talk about island wines, we must understand how geography, climate, and soil work together to create unique flavors. Islands, with their diverse microclimates and distinct soil compositions, offer an extraordinary canvas for winemakers to express their creativity.

For instance, in Santorini, the Assyrtiko grape grows well in the volcanic soil from past eruptions. Vines are trained in basket shapes called "kouloura" to shield them from strong winds on the island. This shows ancient vine-growing methods closely connected to the land.

Corsica has a diverse terrain with granite hills and limestone cliffs in the Mediterranean. Indigenous grape varieties such as Niellucciu and Sciaccarellu find their home here, yielding wines of exceptional character and finesse.

Embracing Tradition in Island Winemaking

Many producers in island winemaking draw inspiration from centuries-old techniques passed down through generations, steeped in tradition. In Santorini, families grow vines on terraced slopes overlooking the blue Aegean Sea, making viticulture a way of life.

One tradition is using underground wine cellars called "canaves" carved into volcanic rock, dating back to ancient times. These subterranean sanctuaries provide the ideal environment for aging wines, maintaining a constant temperature and humidity year-round.

Winemakers in Sicily produce well-known wines such as Nero d'Avola and Etna Rosso. They have a rich history of winemaking that goes back to ancient times. Here, ancient amphorae and oak barrels coexist with modern winemaking equipment, bridging the gap between past and present.

Innovation and Exploration: Island Wines in the Modern Era

Island winemakers blend tradition with innovation, using new techniques and grapes to make exceptional wines. They push boundaries to create unique and high-quality products.

The Canary Islands have a growing wine industry. They use the island's volcanic soil and special climates to make high-quality wines. Varieties such as Listán Negro and Vijariego Blanco take center stage, offering a fresh perspective on island viticulture.

Winemakers in the Aeolian Islands, near Sicily, are experimenting with local grapes such as Malvasia and Nerello Mascalese. They aim to create wines that capture the distinctiveness of these volcanic islands.

A Voyage of Discovery

In the world of wine, few experiences rival the enchantment of island wines. From Corsica's rough terrain to Crete's sunny vineyards, each island has its own special mix of land, culture, and flavor.

Let's raise our glasses to celebrate island wines. Let's explore history, embrace new ideas, and look towards the future.

Whether you're drinking Assyrtiko in Santorini or Malvasia in Sicily, each glass of wine has a story to tell. It's a story about the land, the people, and the special magic of island wines.

Let us raise a toast to the islands—to their beauty, their bounty, and the wines that embody their spirit.







Canary Islands




Cheers to the endless adventure of island wines!

Lotte Gabrovits

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