Assyrtiko is perhaps Greece’s premium grape, with increasing single varietals offering classic European virtues of clean apple/lemon flavours and an influence of the vineyard (terroir). Originating on volcanic Santorini island, Assyrtiko is rare in being able to survive these desert conditions and grows in a most unique way, with vines widely spaced and trained into dew-gathering bushes or sheltering baskets to protect fruit from high winds and sun. Here the grape’s ability to maintain acidity when ripe is desperately required. Acid is a virtue too for the Island's traditional sweet ‘Vinsanto’ production, but dry versions must check its acidity through good winemaking or blending. Assyrtiko is mostly too prized or too acid for humble Retsina blends, the resin-infused style of Greek tradition.
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