On an island with no shortage of wine and wineries, Hatzidakis stands apart. More than any other Santorini producer, the wines of Hatzidakis are individual and authentic - inimitable artisan expressions of this unique place and its ancient vines.
Hatzidakis Winery started in 1997 with the resurrection of a long-abandoned vineyard. The parents of Haridimos Hatzidakis' co-founder, Constantina Chrisou, had left the island following the 1956 earthquake and not returned. Here Haridimos began cultivating Aidani, an obscure native grape variety, farming organically and transforming a small cave at one end of the vineyard into a traditional underground winery. For two decades, Haridimos experimented endlessly, working with traditional (and often previously neglected) Santorini varieties, identifying the character of individual vineyards and testing different winemaking techniques. He was Santorini's finest artisan winemaker, and when he tragically took his own life in 2017 he left a huge hole in the Greek wine world. But the Hatzidakis story is far from over. A new winery was recently completed, and Haridimos' daughter, Stella Hatzidakis, together with his assistant winemaker, Stella Papadimitriou, are continuing along the path laid out by Haridimos. They craft authentic, artisan wines with a rare sensitivity and skill.
The Hatzidakis vineyards consist of 10 hectares, mostly on the outskirts of the village of Pyrgos Kallistis, 150-300m above sea level facing north/north-east. All are farmed organically, and thanks to Santorini's Phylloxera-resistant volcanic soils, contain very old (often 100 years+) vines. As is traditional in Santorini, the vines are trained into basket shapes on the ground to protect them from harsh winds and to trap moisture during the humid nights. They are low-yielding (around 20 hl/ha) and native Santorini varieties - Assyrtiko, Aidani and Mavrortragano. More grapes are sourced from selected organic growers on the island.
Haridimos Hatzidakis was a pioneer of low-intervention winemaking on Santorini. He introduced wild ferments, late harvesting, low sulphur levels and single vineyard bottlings, showing the world just how great Santorini Assyrtiko could be. His red Mavrotragano and white Aidani brought even more obscure, endangered Santorini varieties to wider notice, and his sweet wines are among the island's best. The new generation are dedicated to continuing his pioneering work, ensuring Hatzidakis remains the first port of call for lovers of Santorini's finest wines.