The Vassaltis Winery is not only the newest on Santorini but it was also founded by the youngest winemakers. And, not surprisingly, the winery which is located at Vourboulos, on the coast road to Oia, exudes the freshness of youth in every way. Its dazzling white building is stylish with very interesting architectural details and artful signage; the reception areas are uncluttered with an open cement floor and the play of black industrial sheeting and blonde wood in the construction of the tasting room and display area creates a very attractive ambiance for visitors, who are more often than not young themselves. I had the pleasure of sharing some thoughts with Yiannis Valabous, a young entrepreneur (b. 1980) in the winery, as we tried their very interesting wines.
“The story starts a few decades ago, when my father bought a summer house on Santorini in the late 80s, and along with it some 45,000 sq. m of vineyards. Twenty years later, after I’d finished my studies and had a brief career in finance in London, I came to Santorini in 2010 and decided to occupy myself with more tangible things, with the earth in general and with Santorini wine in particular, because I believe that we will only be able to lift ourselves from this crisis if we focus systematically on areas where we have a comparative advantage. Tourism, wine and culture are some of those areas. I shared my vision with Elias Roussakis and Yiannis Papaeconomou. In 2015 we founded the winery and opened its doors to the public. Its name Vassaltis (Basalt in English) is the volcanic rock that is formed by the rapid cooling of basaltic lava, which is particularly associated with Santorini. We were trying to find one word that ideally would connect the volcanic terroir with the potential of our wines.”
With Yiannis we tasted the Assyrtiko 2015, which had plenty of lively acidity, a mineral nose and a long aftertaste; the Assyrtiko aged in French oak barrels; and the Aidani 2015, a full-bodied wine with a complex aroma.
We wish the ‘kids’ at Vassaltis Winery good luck and the courage of their convictions.