THE FIRST FAMILY OF GREEK WINE
The Tsantali family has been cultivating vineyards and distilling ouzo in Greece since 1890. Today, Tsantali’s vineyards stretch from Northern Greece to Santorini. They are renowned worldwide as a leading producer of fine Greek wines.
The vineyards of Agios Pavlos Halkidiki, southeast of Thessaloniki, stretch across gentle slopes rolling down to the sea. The unique microclimate and sandy-clay soils here yield the crisp, mineral Assyrtiko white wines of Tsantali’s organic Klima Klima range. Rich, rounded Xinomavro red wines are also crafted here.
In 1969, while out hunting, a sudden storm drove Evangelos Tsantalis to seek shelter in the Saint Panteleimon monastery. Upon seeing the dilapidated vineyards surrounding the property, Evangelos began an ambitious ground-up restoration. Soon after, the Agioritikos white wine of Mount Athos was recognized as the first ever regional wine of Greece.
The vineyards of Rapsani extend across the southern slopes of Mount Olympus. In the 1980s, the vines were on the brink of abandon with local growers living below the poverty line. Investments by the Tsantali were instrumental in reviving the region. In 2015, their Rapsani Grande Réserve red was named best Greek Wine by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Maronia is located on the Aegean Sea in northeastern Greece. Tsantali’s vineyards form a natural, southeast facing amphitheatre rising up to 300-metres in altitude. The native red variety Mavroudi thrives on the deep clay-sandy soils here. This vineyard was the first in Greece to use precision agriculture.
In 2012, Tsantali formed a strategic partnership with the 1200-member substantial Santorini co-operative winery, Santo Wines. The combination of volcanic soils and low yielding, ungrafted old vines give incredibly vibrant dry Assyrtiko white wines and lusciously sweet Vin Santo.