The Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum on Santorini is certainly unique. It shows the history of the famous Santorini wine and how it was produced between 1660 and 1970. Here you can not only get in touch with the past and the tradition, but also with the family passion that resulted in the company, the museum and their own wines which can be tasted by tourists.
What makes the museum unique is that it is housed in a 300-metre-long tunnel 8 metres below ground (formerly used as a wine cellar).
History of the museum
The history of the museum (and perhaps even more so of the winery itself) dates back to 1870, when brothers Grigorios and Dimitrios Koutsoyannopoulos from Katavothra Molaon in Peloponnese sailed to Santorini. Here they engaged in trade and ten years later, in 1880, they established a winery. In 1970 the winery was modernised with the introduction of semi-automatic electric machines. It was made possible by the establishment of the first power plant on Santorini in 1967.
Currently, the winery and the museum are run by the fourth generation of winemakers, cultivating the family tradition.
As the current members of the Koutsogiannopoulos family emphasise, it took twenty-one years of work and perseverance to create the museum. However, thanks to this, tourists can see what it used to be like to work in a winery. The exhibition has been prepared with great attention to detail, and all stages of wine making are presented, starting with ploughing the soil in the vineyard.
Especially worth noting in the museum are:
- model of the Koutsogiannopoulos brothers’ family home in Katavothra Molaon,
- authentic furnishings from the house,
- manual rotary dryer from 1660
- A unique large-scale steam press brought from Bavaria,
- huge wooden barrels for storing wine,
- personal effects and stationery of the winery’s founder, Grigorios Koutsoyannopoulos,
- A documentary film about the history of the island of Santorini.
The museum is located about 4.5 kilometres from the capital of Santorini and just over 1 kilometre from Vothonas. There are also two beaches within four kilometres – Avis and Kamari.
The Koutsogiannopoulos Wine Museum on Santorini is open from November to March from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm) and from April to October from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm)
The ticket includes admission to the museum, an automatic audio guide (available in fourteen languages) or a book guide (available in twenty-two languages) and a tasting of wine produced on Santorini, which determines the price of the ticket. This is because the museum offers four packages with different prices:
- 14 euros – 4 different wines
- 26 euro – 6 different wines
- 45 euros – 8 different wines
- 95 euros – 8 special wines from the old harvest
Each package also includes chocolate and crackers to snack on between tastings of individual wines. The two most expensive packages also include a cheese tasting.
It is also worth noting that in addition to tasting the wines, you can buy them on the spot and enjoy their taste also at home, remembering your stay on the magical island of Santorini.
Motorised visitors can leave their car in a spacious car park right in front of the museum.