Last year as the Gotham Gal started planning our trip to Greece, we made it a point to sample greek wines so we’d know a bit about the local grapes and producers on our trip. One night we were sitting at Milos (amazing greek restaurant in NYC) at the bar and the bartender poured us each a glass of a white wine. We loved it and asked her what it was. She said Hatzidakis (hot – si – dok – is). I searched our favorite wine stores throughout NYC to find it to no avail. But in doing my research, I found out that it was made in Santorini. So I figured we’d find it in Santorini.
Yesterday was winery day. We try to do this in every country we visit that makes wine. We did it in South Africa, we did it in Italy. The kids love doing it too. We visited a bunch of the well known producers. Each had a tasting room, they had a system. It was nice, but we didn’t drink anything that we loved.
I saved Hatzidakis for the last stop. We drove through the town of Pyrgos and headed to the mountain. On the left I was told we would find Hatzidakis. We did see a vineyard and a sign that said Hatzidakis. So we drove in. Jessica and I got out and walked around the tiny shack on the property. Nobody was around. So we left dejected and drove up to the top of the mountain for some amazing views.
On the way back down, we passed two guys working in the fields. The Gotham Gal stopped and Jessica rolled down the window and asked "wine tasting?". One of the two workers stood up and I asked "Hatzidakis"? He said yes. It was the man himself. No wonder he makes the best wines on the island.
We introduced ourselves, told him we loved his wines and that we’ve been searching for them in the states. He took us downstairs in the shack to his tiny office. He opened the fridge and pulled out some wines and we tasted them.
Josh took this picture of the three wines we tasted.
The wine on the left is a local sweet wine called Vinsanto. We’ve been having it after dinner all week, but have not tasted anything near as good as Hatzidakis’ 1999 Vinsanto. It was like a great Muscato. Jessica and Emily said it was like driking honey made out of raisins. It wasn’t that thick but it sure was wonderful.
The wine in the middle is the Nikteri (night wine) made in the old style. This is a white wine made primarily from Assyrtiko (the primary grape in Santorini). It’s light and crisp and lovely. The wine on the left is called Santorini Barrel which is the barrel aged version of the basic Santorini wine that he makes (which we’ve been drinking all week). Here’s a list of all the wines Hatzidakis makes. I like all of them with the exception of the red wine (Mavrotragano) and I don’t love the Santorini Barrel. The Santorini, Aidani Assyrtiko, and Nikteri are all wonderful light crisp white wines, perfect for summer nights with fish and seafood. And if you like sweet wine, you should try the Vinsanto.
I still don’t know how to get these wines in NYC. When I get back I am going to call Hatzidaki’s distributor Trireme Imports and find out how to buy them in NYC. If you want me to share that info with you, leave me a comment.