Koutsogiannopoulos, Santorini Assyrtiko “Ksera Homata”
Koutsogiannopoulos, Santorini Assyrtiko “Ksera Homata”

Koutsogiannopoulos, Santorini Assyrtiko “Ksera Homata”

Santorini, Greece 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$60.00
Your cart is empty.
  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way
  • Free worldwide shipping

Koutsogiannopoulos, Santorini Assyrtiko “Ksera Homata”

Welcome to part two of our thrilling Santorini feature. While I could easily use this space to chronicle my bizarre visit at Koutsogiannopoulos—which holds an underground maze complete with winemaking antiques, preserved grapes, and unsettling animatronics—it would be a great disservice to the extraordinary (and fleeting) offer that’s in front of you. The limited cuvée is “Ksera Homata,” a best-in-class, single-vineyard Assyrtiko that’s bottled by a genuine Santorini legend and scarcely allocated to America. 

If that doesn’t have you on the edge of your seat, allow me to add more fuel to the excitement: This rare volcanic masterpiece hails from a super-low-yielding parcel with gnarled vines pushing well beyond the century mark! How they survive without irrigation, in nutrient-deprived volcanic ash is a mind-bending construct, but a single taste of today’s powerful “liquid terroir” will provide instant clarity. Connoisseur, wine geek, oenophile—whatever you call yourself, it cannot be official until you’ve checked “Ksera Homata” off your list. Give this spellbinding wine a healthy decant and you’re in for a wild ride—when it comes to unoaked whites, I cannot imagine a more powerful, pedigreed, age-worthy wine! PLEASE NOTE: This special offer will be arriving at our warehouse in 2-3 weeks. 

Surrounded by the electric blue waters of the Aegean Sea, Santorini’s poor volcanic soil is the product of an ancient volcano whose explosion dwarfed that of Mount St. Helens by more than 100 times in magnitude. One of the largest seismic events in Earth’s history, the eruption of Thera left behind hundreds of meters of volcanic ash and the current-day crescent-shaped caldera (crater) poking out from the Aegean waters. This volcanic terroir is one of the major factors that define Assyrtiko’s incredibly unique flavor profile. Its smoky minerality, coupled with the lack of any groundwater on the island and its surrounding sea air, merge seamlessly to reveal a flavor profile that is totally inimitable. So how do the vines stay hydrated? Drop by drop, they soak up the condensation of mist that blows in from the sea, which creates the magnificent salinity in the wine. 

Although wine is believed to have a 3,500-year-old history on the island, with some current rootstocks that are conceivably older than 400 years (phylloxera is deterred by sandy soil), most of Santorini’s estates are relatively young due to the centuries-long Ottoman occupation. By Greek standards, however, Koutsogiannopoulos is a relic, having been established in 1880. Further, they have been a pioneer in reviving the island’s ancient vine-growing and winemaking traditions. Today, Giorgos Koutsogiannopoulos is the fourth-generation winemaker to craft Assyrtiko from the family’s small estate, and the old vines for his hyper-limited “Ksera Homata” cuvée (which roughly translates to “dry soils”) are trained in the classic kouloura method, farmed without chemicals, and harvested by hand. 

Here are more geeky details directly from Greek wine luminary Dionysios Grevenitis: “The Ksera Homata vineyard lies within the Fira. This is at low elevations on the outer rim of the island, a stone’s throw from the Aegean. The vines are 100+ years old and are some of the lowest-yielding on the island. If the village of Pyrgos is known for density and power then Fira, at least where it descends to the sea, should be known for its discrete elegance, finesse, and accessibility. If Pyrgos is Meursault with all its heft then Fira is Chassagne with its effortless charm. Lemon blossoms, lace, green apples, Himalayan salt. So, so good.” 

In the cellar, the free-run juice—no press or mechanization, only gravity—is used for spontaneous fermentation and the wine matures on lees in stainless steel for about 6-8 months before bottling. Wait, no oak? Exactly: Assyrtiko is the most formidable example of an unoaked white wine with incredible aging potential. This 2021 “Ksera Homata” is all about energy, precision, and extraordinary tension. After an hour in a decanter, it unleashes intense, superbly high-toned notes of finely crushed volcanic rock, iodine, sea spray, struck flint, and crushed shells. The palate unwinds with deeply satisfying layers of salty citrus, green pear, bruised apricot, yellow apple, and exotic fruit zest before a tidal wave of thirst-quenching acidity roars through. Allow this to open up, and be sure to save some for day two. Enjoy now and over the next decade—it’s built to last. Cheers!

Koutsogiannopoulos, Santorini Assyrtiko “Ksera Homata”


Central Greece


Thessaly is in Central Greece, covering a coastal plain and surrounding mountain ranges. Headquartered in Tyrnavos, in the foothills ofMount Olympus, the Zafeirakis vineyards cover 12 hectares, in clay soils mixed with sand and limestone. Altitudes range from 200-300 meters in vineyards that feel an exchange of mountain- and sea-borne air.

Northern Greece


Named for its historic anchor city—mythical home of Dionysus himself—the Drama wine region is in the northeastern-most corner of Macedonia, surrounded by an array of mountain ranges that provide a “rain shadow” effect much like the one felt in Alsace, France. It is a cool, dry,“continental” climate, with soils comprised mainly of sandy clay. The Aegean Sea is about 20 miles to the south.

Southwestern Greece


Vineyards are in the shadow of the Arcadian Mountains, in soils of alluvial gravel and reddish clay that is high in iron. As in other areas of the world with this kind of red soil, it lends a sanguine quality to the reds. It’s an arid, but relatively cool, climate, with wide diurnal shifts in temperature

Northern Greece


The Naoussa appellation is in Macedonia, in northern Greece. Vineyards are nestled in the southeastern foothills of the Vermio Mountains, far enough from the Aegean Sea to be considered a cool, “continental” climate.

Others Like These