Whenever Jenn and I plan a vacation we try to mix enough relaxation time with activities as possible. So after a day of pure relaxation yesterday, today we were back off to enjoy more of Santorini. We finally rolled out of bed at around 8AM and went down for breakfast at the pool-side restaurant at 9:30AM. We had our normal breakfast and were off.
When researching the different things to do in Santorini, one of the most popular was to go on a wine tour. Since we've gotten more and more into wine we thought this would be the perfect thing to do. So a month or two before we left for our trip we booked it, and now we got to enjoy the fruits of that labor (see what I did there). Our tour guide picked us and another couple (from the UK) in front of our hotel. From there we went to Fira to pick up another couple (from New Jersey), and finally to the Red Beach to pick up the final couple (from New York) for our wine tour.
Our tour guide Stamatis was fantastic. He was originally from Crete and works in Edinburgh as a sommelier at a hotel. He was full of great information and kept things light hearted and not to serious. When we got to our first winery of the day, Boutari, we first went and viewed both the vineyards (which look like weeds) and the wine cellar. We spent the most time of any of our stops at Boutari. We then sat down at a table and learned the proper techniques for tasting wine. This is something I always struggle with when ordering wine at restaurants so it was nice to get the quick and easy guide. From there we tried two whites, a red, and two dessert wines. We also had different foods paired with each wine which were really interesting to see how it could completely change the taste of the wine, always for the better.
After five glasses of wine at Boutari we were off to our second winery, Gavalas Cellars. Here we got to see some aged barrels from the mid-1800's and also a pretty rustic looking grape stomping area. We then sat down to try four more wines, two whites, a red, and a dessert wine.
From the Gavalas Cellars we were off to a brewery called the Yellow Donkey that brewed three different beers aptly named Yellow Donkey, Crazy Donkey, and Red Donkey. I really enjoyed all three while Jenn didn't care for any of them. By far my favorite was the Yellow Donkey which was the lightest out of the three.
We didn't spend a ton of time at the Yellow Donkey brewery which meant I had to chug both Jenn and my beer pretty quickly. From there we went to our third and final winery Gaia Winery, and by this time I was tipsy while Jenn was perfectly fine. I'm not sure how she does that. At the final stop we got another tour of their massive cellar and then got to taste four more wines and luckily some more food. The whole experience was fantastic, we could recommend it higher. Our guide through the day was great, very friendly, and just wanted to make sure everyone had a good time. We also lucked out and got with a good group who weren't wine snobs but just wanted to have a good time.
We got back to Oia at around 4:30PM, dropped off our stuff in our room and went back out to take in the beautiful sunset. One of the best parts of Oia are the out of this world look out points and it seemed like we weren't the only ones with the bright idea to take in the beautiful sunset this evening. We walked around much of Oia with Jenn snapping photos every ten steps. Found a few nice places to sit and watch the sunset before heading to dinner.
Our first choice for dinner we had been scoping out for a while actually turned out to be closed for the season so we found another great restaurant right across from it called Skala. It ended up being a great choice. We started off with vegetable soup, and then Jenn got spaghetti bolognase and I had their greek ground beef/lamb. It was a really nice light dinner after a long day of drinking wine.
After dinner we walked around Oia a bit more before retiring to our room. After a day of relaxation, today was the perfect way to get back out and enjoy Santorini. I mean can you really go wrong trying a dozen wines and three beers in a four hour period? I think not, Yamas!