Volcanically Grown Wine from an Aegean Sea Island
At first taste, this white wine is fresh and light. You put the glass down and your attention turns to something else on the table— the chopped chicken liver has just arrived and looks delicious. You take a bite and your suspicions are confirmed; the dish is rich, salty and fantastic. It makes you a bit thirsty and you instinctively grab for your glass and take another sip. This second sip is different- richer, more honeyed, more structured. It’s a great compliment to the chopped chicken liver and you smack your lips, go back for a third sip. Red apple and ripe citrus tones have become present, followed by a long, dry finish. You’re already looking forward to your second glass. The ease of drinking this wine belies the challenges that this Santorini vineyard faces in producing wine. Santorini
The wine is an Assyrtiko/Aithiri blend from Domaine Sigalas. Located on the island of Santorini, in the Aegean sea, this winery is known for blending modernity with tradition. They have been producing wine since 1991 and built a new production facility in the late 90’s. This new equipment is centered in ancient land with volcanic soil- the island used to be an active volcano and is home to one of the largest volcanic eruptions ever recorded. This rocky, volcanic soil is rich in minerals and encourages strong vines. The climate is so windy that these vines have to be trained low to the ground, in ‘Stefani’ shaped baskets. The grapevines are pruned in a way so that they bend and grow their vines around this low-lying basket shape. A Stefani basket
Although these low baskets help protect against climatic elements and preserve moisture, the grapes are incredibly hard to harvest. They are hand-picked; grape harvesting is always labor intensive, but having to bend down to find these grapes is an added physical stress.
All of these challenges result in a unique, complex wine that is terrior driven. It has an impressive and distinctive wine identity- ripe citrus tones, great structure and a stunning minerality, all characteristics that are becoming synonymous with Greek wine. These wines have an old world elegance that is becoming more and more relevant in a modern world. Stop in for a glass at Au Cheval.
— Jean Tomaro