Gavalas Winery is located at the traditional settlement of Megalochori, Santorini. This stone building used to be an old canava-winery, following the traditional architecture of the ancient Thira. With respect to the local culture we have retained all the original areas of the winery, such us cellars, grape stomping rooms and old entrances. Meanwhile we created a modern section with high tech equipment in order to produce high quality wines.
Today our winery produces ten different labels with purpose to express the complexity of Santorini’s terroir. Production is focused in Assyrtiko which is the noblest Greek variety, while we try to revive some indigenous rare grapes like Katsano, Voudomato and Mavrotragano.
Our wines are now distributed all over Greece and exported to many international markets like USA, Japan, Cyprus, Belgium and UK.
End of the 18th century – The beginning
The winery was founded by the first generation winemaker who mainly produced wine for his family, but he also sold an amount of this.
1920 – Export to Egypt
Up until the 1920ʼs the production was mainly distributed to customers throughout the island of Santorini as well as being exported to the city of Alexandria, in Egypt.
1930 – Distribution to Athens
Later on, in the 1930ʼs we started to ship the wine to Athens and Piraeus. The shipping procedure could be described as a feast. From Canaves, the mules carried goat skins which were filled with wine, and transferred them to the port of Fira, into barrels of 600 kgs (called bombs).Then the barrels were loaded on to small boats (caiques) and were shipped to Piraeus.
1998 – First Bottling
For the first time in 1998 the family bottled their own production of Vinsanto and Santorini at their small, but modern winery-canava in Megalochori.
2004 – Open to visitors
In 2004 the winery formed so to be accessible for wine tours and tastings. Nowadays it is available almost all year round , so people can visit it and have an extended experience at wines from Santorini.
2006 – Reviving Katsano
The winery did the first effort of reviving this rare indigenous variety that covers the 1% of the whole vineyard of the island. Nowadays, we are the only winery that vinifies Katsano with a very limited production of 4.000 bottles
2013 – New labels
At that year we launched a series of new labels, covering the whole range of local varieties. Specifically 3 new labels, Voudomato, Mavrotragano and Assyrtiko wild fermented were produced.
Nowadays the winery produces 10 different wines, all from indigenous varieties, with total production of about 80.000 – 100.000 bottles.