Dec 14, 2014

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#TakeMeToSantorini – Volcan Koutsoyannopoulos Assyrtiko 2013

#TakeMeToSantorini is a hashtag I created after my very first whiff and sip of the 2013 Volcan Koutsoyannopoulos Assyrtiko.  An incredibly alluring combination of succulent citrus fruit aromas (sweet grilled pineapple, tangerines, Meyer lemon and Key limes) highlighted by toffee, honey, spice and smoke, resulting in a gorgeous white wine with great depth, character and complexity.  Minerals and vibrant acidity burst mid-palate and continue in flow in seamless waves to a lengthy, elegant finish that is simply unparalleled.

assyrtiko holding bottle

My first experience with a Santorini Assyrtiko – a gorgeous wine

The expressive mineral nuances, smoky characteristics and vibrant acidity have piqued my curiosity: are they indicative of the terroir of Santorini – a unique volcanic island?  If I could just examine the soils of where these vines thrive; perhaps taste the wine while breathing in the Santorini air, or experience the layout and the elevation of the vineyard lands… #TakeMeToSantorini.



These extraordinary terroir-driven qualities have me scrambling for the contact information of the person who sent me the 2013 Volcan Koutsoyannopolous, along with a 2012 Assyrtiko from Boutari.  Because big changes (new email address, new job) and events (major surgery) have occurred since I received them, I have no idea who or what company sent them to me.  Now that I’m on the mend and life is finally returning to what it once resembled, I will be pulling the corks on the many wines that have been waiting to be sampled. Being floored by the quality characteristics of the Volcan Koutsoyannopoulos Assyrtiko was unexpected and absolutely palate pleasing – I want to learn as much as I can about the Assyrtiko varietal and Santorini wines.

golden hue

The straw and golden hues of Volcan Wines Assyrtiko

So the research begins.  I was able to find some information on Volcan Wines through the website, where a 2011 Volcan Koutsoyannopoulos Assyrtiko is featured and some information about the winery is provided:

Volcan Wines, founded in 1880 by Grigoris and Dimitris Koutsoyannopoulos, has become known for its leading role in support of the ancient winemaking and cultural traditions of this unique volcanic island.  The winery is now being lead by George, the 4th generation of Koutsoyannopoulos winemakers, who has continued the family’s commitment to developing the huge potential of the island’s unique indigenous varieties, including Assyrtiko, Aidani, Mavrotragano, Mavrathiro and Mandilaria.  The winery also features an impressive underground museum that recreates the winemaking traditions of generations past.”

The expressive characteristics and vibrant acidity of Volcan Assyrtiko stole my heart and palate. I love this wine.

The expressive characteristics and vibrant acidity of Volcan Assyrtiko stole my heart and palate. I love this wine.

There was also a link to the Volcan website:, which automatically directs visitors to information on the Wine Museum that took twenty years to build – funded entirely by the Koutsoyannopoulos family.  The website includes a history of the family winery, a photo gallery of the museum and some basic information on the Assyrtiko varietal, which has been thriving in Santorini for over 3,500 years!  Clearly, my first experience with this fascinating varietal was a stellar one for many reasons.

I’m looking forward to sampling and sharing my thoughts on the 2012 Boutari Assyrtiko, which is currently chilling in my skybar™ ONE Wine System.


The perfect stemware for the Volcan Assyrtiko - Gabriel Glas "One for all."

The perfect stemware for the Volcan Assyrtiko – Gabriel Glas “One for all.”

Note: If you know me well, you know I appreciate fine stemware and truly believe that the proper glass will most certainly enhance an overall experience with wine.  My favorite stemware to date is the Zalto Brugundy glass, Riedel’s XL and Veritas lines, and the super unique “one for all” universal stem from Gabriel-Glas.  The Gabriel-Glas was an absolute perfect match with Assyrtiko.

If you are the person who sent me these wines, please contact me at