Although wine has been produced on the volcanic island of Santorini since antiquity, it was not until the Middle Ages that fine wine began to be produced there by Venetian conquerors. Today, the winemakers at Boutari continue to employ the ancient training method known as “bush” or “basket” training: instead of the conventional trellis or stake, round baskets are used to train the vines.
The resulting “bush” helps to protect the fruit from the island’s high wines and also allows the vines to “migrate” in search of humidity in island’s arid climate. With every growth cycle, the vine-tenders can see the bushes literally move toward the more humid sections of the growing sites. The ancient volcanic subsoil (which dates back to the 15th century B.C.E.) and dry growing conditions are ideal for producing long-lived white Assyrtiko with mineral and fruit flavors.