Wine Museum Koutsoyannopoulos

koutsoyannopoulos-1Being the only one of its kind in Greece, the Wine Museum occupies a natural cave. It is eight meters below ground, 300 meters long and has a labyrinth-like shape. The Wine Museum presents the history of wine and the life of vine-growers in Santorini from 1660 to 1970. The visitors can learn about the history of wine by viewing semi-mobile and still-life figurines. An automatic audio guide is available in fourteen languages (Greek, English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, and Brazilian Portuguese), and a guidebook is also available in twenty-two languages (Greek, English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, and Serbian).

Our family created the museum out of its love and passion for tradition and wine. As fourth-generation winemakers, we are proud to continue the tradition of producing high quality wines. It took twenty-one years of hard work, patience and perseverance to create the wine museum. This endeavour was funded entirely by our family.

koutsoyannopoulos-2“The whole range of tools, vessels and machinery are genuine and rare pieces, which have been valued greatly by past generations of the Koutsoyannopoulos family through years of use”.

The exhibits in the museum are presented in a certain order. The stages of the winemaking process and the whole range of machinery are presented in chronological order. The visitors can experience the stages of pruning and ploughing of the vineyards, harvesting, stomping and weighing of the grapes. The rare exhibits, including winemaking machinery and tools, will take the visitors back in time to another era. Visitors end their tour at the head office of the founder of the winery, Grigorios Koutsoyannopoulos, where all his personal belongings and stationery dating back to 1870 are exhibited.

Lastly, the visitors will have the opportunity to taste four of the best wines that our winery produces today, in a specially designed wine-tasting area. In this manner, the visitors will keep the memory of travelling into the past alive.

The Cycladic culture, the process and the hardships of winemaking continue to captivate thousands of visitors each year.

Opening times

November to March 09:30-14:00 Monday to Saturday (Sunday closed)
April, May 10:00-17:00 Monday to Sunday
June to October 10:00-19:00 Monday to Sunday

Admission fee

7 € per person

Process of WineMaking- ……….Let there be Wine

The process of winemaking is fairly easy to describe. However, it is not an equally easy task for the winemaker. Winemaking requires knowledge and skills regarding ploughing a field, pruning vines, harvesting, vinification, analysing grape juices, bottling and storaging; above all, winemaking requires a certain quality known in Greek as meráki, which means putting your soul, creativity, and passion into what you are doing.

koutsoyannopoulos-3Ploughing

Ploughing in Santorini at the beginning of the 20th century. Vinedressers would plough three times a year to oxygenate the soil and make it fluffy, so that the vines can produce more fruit. The Santorinian plough was manufactured in such a way that would not go more than 12cm deep. This prevented the vine roots near the surface of the ground from breaking, and helped keep the roots moist which was vital to the lifecycle of the vines, since the island was arid.

Pruning

The pruning season for vines in Santorini takes place between November and February. We always leave three or four of the strongest branches intact and three bud-eyes on each branch, which are the points from which the grapes will develop. The branches with bud-eyes are woven into circles to form a basket (Greek kouloúra) where all the bud-eyes can gather together for the grapes to grow and be protected from strong winds.

Harvesting

Harvesting in Santorini usually takes place in mid-August. Due to high temperatures and lack of water, grapes tend to grow faster here than in other areas. In Santorini, harvesting is a big event celebrated in the fields by numerous harvesters. In the vineyards, it is common practice to whitewash stones so as to create paths and check that all vineyards have been harvested. Santorini presents a rather low yield of 400kg in relation to other areas which present yields of 3000 to 5000kg.

Vinification

A word so easy to say, but so hard to carry out for any winemaker. Winemaking requires knowledge, but also love and meráki. Winemakers must use their knowledge, raw materials, and modern technology effectively in order to achieve great results worthy of their efforts. Winemakers must love what they do. They are required to give their best by making effective use of their knowledge, raw materials, and modern technology in order to achieve great results worthy of their efforts. They need to prove to themselves that a year of hard work was not in vain, but that it produced a successful outcome.

Vinification is a process responsible for the aroma, taste, body, colour and duration of a wine. It is the transition phase from grape to wine. It is a ritual. And the wine is a living being; it is born, it grows and it matures. It reveals its personality at every stage, giving you the opportunity to enjoy every single moment. Wine is also like a woman; in the beginning she is petite, restless, fresh, undeveloped yet. Then, adolescence marks her first step towards maturity. As she grows, she becomes sensible; and as she matures, she becomes wiser. It is not until a winemaker feels the velvety taste, the aroma and the texture of the wine he created that he feels complete.

koutsoyannopoulos-4The Laboratory

In our laboratory, we analyse the properties of grape juice and the wine we produce. Our facilities and equipment enable us to run tests and learn more about the hidden secrets of grapes and wine. The laboratory is an important part of any winery.

Bottling Facilities

Here we can standardise our products with the use of the latest technologies in bottling equipment. We put forth our best effort to provide great appearance, excellent condition and aesthetic quality in marketing our products.

The Cellar

Located beneath the winery, the cellar is insulated and equipped with a cooling unit that maintains a constant temperature level of 14º C. It also has a ventilation system to provide fresh air. High-quality white and dry red wines, as well as the most distinctive wine of Santorini, Vinsanto, are aged here. The aging process takes place in 250lt and 500lt oak barrels made in Greece, France and the USA.

Vineyards

Archaeological excavations at Akrotiri provide evidence that the cultivation of vineyards in Santorini dates back 3.500 years. What makes the vineyards in Santorini unique is their particular soil. The soil of volcanic origin has a minimum amount of organic matter and is poor in nutrients. Pumice traps humidity during night time and early morning hours. It functions as a water tank, firstly by storing water and then by distributing the necessary amount of water to the vineyards. The particular hot and dry climate of the island in combination with the volcanic soil prevents the development of diseases. For instance, phylloxera, an insect that plagues all vineyards on the planet, failed to survive in the climate of Santorini. It is rich in ash, sulphur, porcelain and iron. The most popular grape variety is called Assyrtiko. It is largely cultivated in Santorini and can be distinguished from Assyrtiko grown in other parts of Greece, due to its high levels of acidity and alcohol, metallic and earthy aftertaste. Assyrtiko produces wines that are sharp, aggressive and extremely dry. It is one of the few indigenous European vineyards. The vineyards owned by our winery are located at the areas of Vothonas, Megalochori and Fira. We continue the tradition of cultivating the vines by using the kouloúra method, namely weaving the branches into baskets.

An ancient technique is used for pruning:
Strong winds in the area tend to scatter pumice all around the island. In order to protect the new buds from the fierce sand blasts, the vine-grower prunes and weaves the branches into a basket in which the grapes will grow. The vineyards are all arid. In general, yield per stremma (1 stremma=1/10th of a hectare) may amount to 5.000 kg of high quality grapes. Our winery maintains approximately 100 stremmata (10 hectares) of traditional vineyards. The vineyards are gradually being renewed each year, so that old and weak vines are replaced by young, strong and productive ones.

Stepping Grapes

Enjoy this rare experience in a particular area.
Feel, your participation in the creation of the grape, like years ago, the old inhabitants of Santorini.
Feel the wonderful sense that you embrace.
Is about pressing the grapes in a traditional wine press in the vineyard.
The area is harmonized and configured to accept our visitors.
You’ll find your point left your shoes and just next to wash after the end of this unique experience.
Τhis service is provided on request.
There is a choice for indoor or outdoor stepping grapes area.

Price: 900€ up to 25 people.
We think that if 25 people step on grapes the sense of touch is getting lost. That is why we have the limit of 25 people.