The story of the Canava Santorini distillery began in 1974 when Evangelos Lygnos commenced producing ouzo and tsikoudia (raki) with tender loving care. Born on the island in 1946, he was taught a recipe for ouzo by an old ouzo producer from Smyrna (now Izmir) in Turkey. Combining the information with the experience he gained working at the Venetsanos winery, he created and launched the first Santorinian ouzo, Canava, in 1976.
Evangelos’s son, Loukas Lygnos, has been carrying on the tradition since 1997. Even as a child, Loukas worked with his father and made his first batch of ouzo at the tender age of eleven. With a life spent in the vineyards, harvesting the crop and distilling the fermented fruit of his labours, Loukas began to accrue knowledge, memories and objects from the past. The result was that he became, apart from a good distiller, a great collector of the tools associated with viniculture and distilling.
In the second decade of the current century, the Canava Santorini Distillery was modernized. New facilities, automatic machines and new products joined the existing ouzo and tsikoudia, such as four-year old aged tsikoudia and excellent liqueurs flavoured with the unique herbs of Santorini, such as strofyla from assyrtiko, saffron, etc.
Guided by respect for tradition and his personal quest for excellence, Loukas brought his collections together into an interesting Museum as an addendum to the distillery. In its rooms in Messaria one can see the entire distillation process, barrel-making and basket-weaving (his grandfather wove baskets) workshops, a traditional café as well as various reproductions of scenes from his youth. Thus, in this space and in the enclosed courtyard, visitors can sample Loukas’s creations and meet the man himself, a down-to-earth producer who honours the island of Santorini.