The man, the myth, the legend – Dionysus is the Greek God of grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth. What a guy!
We decided to go to Greece on our honeymoon, of course for its beauty, but also because of its significant wine history. It’s not entirely clear when winemaking began in Greece, but historians know that grapevines were probably first brought here around 2200BC. The wines of Greece were some of the most important in history, mainly because they led to the discovery that wine made you feel happy! The ancient Greek man had intellectual discussions that stemmed from drinking this magical beverage, which led to the first “symposia” – (aka parties) resulting in the beginnings of Western philosophy. The Greek’s trade and colonization spread throughout the Mediterranean, and the rest is history!
For a quick overview of the indigenous grapes in Greece, check out Wine Folly’s Intro to Greek Wines here. My favorite and Greece’s most famous grape is Assyrtiko.
I booked everything with TrueGreece, they were very easy to work with and made easy revisions to our itinerary when we wanted to change things around!
Below are photos and corresponding links to the places we stayed and visited in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini!
We started in Athens and stayed at The New Hotel. It was small, cozy, designed beautifully and located right downtown Athens! It also has a distinct (delicious) cologne smell that Jon and I still randomly smell (“smells like the New Hotel in Athens!”) They also have a really great restaurant at the top of the hotel too!
One of our favorite dinner spots in Athens was Orizontes. It’s at the top of the Hill of Lycabettus, the highest peak in Athens.
Another spot to check out that is a MUST, if you visit the Acropolis, is Dionysis. It’s right across the street and has the most beautiful view of the Acropolis at night, not to mention the perfect name.
TrueAthens handled all of our transportation which was really important to us. We hopped on a 2 hour ferry ride to Mykonos, our first island stop!
We stayed at the Myconian Collection and had a little pool outside of our room! They also have a lot of great restaurants and own multiple hotels with free shuttles that get you around day/night!
Next stop was Santorini! If we ever go back, we decided that we would rather stay in Santorini the entire trip (Oia specifically). We stayed at The Mystique. This is hands down our favorite hotel that we’ve ever stayed at. As most of the hotels are in Oia, the rooms are built into the side of the cliff. The rooms and decks are very private with hot tubs, lounge chairs and tables for morning coffee.
Okay, so onto the wine! Only our close friends will know this – but Jon was the first wine fanatic. So at the time of our honeymoon, while planning, I wanted to surprise him with a few winery tours. This is what we call my, “pre-wine life.” I liked wine, but wasn’t fully invested in learning about it the way Jon was. Once I started working at Vino Volo 2 years later, I was officially hooked. I must have known I would start a wine blog because going back into the archives for these blog photos was pretty easy. Anyways, Jon started dental school, so I officially adopted and decided to turn our hobby into my career.
We did 3 wineries and booked through Santorini Wine Tours. Our first stop was Estate Argyos. They are representing Greek wines in a huge way globally, winning Top 100 Wines of 2018 and placing on the cover of Wine & Spirits in 2018! They also have some of Santorini’s oldest vines, over 200 years old!
Next was Venetsanos Winery! I clearly loved their wine, hence the empty glasses. All the classic Greek varietals here!
The third winery and literally the MOST GORGEOUS VIEW ever, is Santo Wines. Hands down, out of control, all the pinch-me moments.
A few other random tips: If you are in Santorini, rent a 4-wheeler and cruise around the whole island. You can explore all of the beaches in 1 day (red, white and black beach). You can get one at the little rental shops in Oia. Also, get your toes manicured by little fishes in the Oia markets. TrueGreece can also take care of booking a day boat – with captain, food and drink included. We loved being able to see the classic white and blue towns from the water! Also went scuba diving… but I got sea sick (didn’t realize that was possible, being UNDER water, but it is!) So, if you get queasy, take some anti-nausea!
Ahh Greece, such a magical place. The early beginnings of wine, and the early beginnings of us. Such a special trip! Hope this helps with your travel plans! Let me know if you have any questions about booking your trip!