Whoever knows Santorini well, must surely have a great deal of respect for Haridimos Hatzidakis, the pioneering yet humble oenologist who contributed decisively to Boutari’s work when the latter established himself on the island in 1992 and whose choices changed Santorini’s wine scene.
At Boutari’s Winery, Haridimos met Konstandina Chrysou who was also working there. The pair fell in love and decided to develop a vineyard on the road to the monastery of Profitis Elias, which had been abandoned by Konstandina’s parents when they had left for Athens following the earthquake of 1956. Haridimos began replanting and they created a little underground winery in a cave at the bottom of the field. The lovers went to Crete to get married and when Haridimos’s parents tried to offer the traditional gift of gold to the bride, she disarmingly told them that she would prefer a gift of barrels, which were expensive at the time, so that they could begin making wine.
In 1997 Haridimos produced his first 10,000 bottles and since then a great deal of time has passed to the point that his wines are now considered among the best of Santorini’s. In 2016, nearly twenty years later, one of Haridimos’s dreams is on the verge of becoming true. The new Hatzidakis Winery, an amazing underground facility on the border between the Pyrgos Kallistis vineyards and Megalohori, is being equipped with machinery and barrels.
Haridimos’s goal is to expand the use of Santorini’s native varieties and to showcase the wealth of the Santorinian vineyard which still has many ‘hidden secrets’ while a large part of his production will be organic wines.