01. “D. Nomikos” Tomato Industrial Museum
In an eerie, barren landscape, a tall chimney stands as a reminder of the island’s industrial history, eager to whisper stories about man, society, production, and even life itself to every visitor. We are next to Vlichada beach, at the “D. Nomikos” Tomato Industrial Museum, transformed in 2014 from a factory into a modern cultural venue.
Its goal is to offer visitors a flashback to the past, following the course of cultivation, processing, and production of Santorini’s trademark. Cherry tomato has been a PDO (product of Protected Designation of Origin) since 2006, and at the same time, one of Santorini’s most famous traditional products. A visit to the museum is an authentic experience. It allows the visitor to understand the traditional methods used by Santorini’s tomato growers while exploring the history of the place, its people, and its traditions.
The visitor can also taste the local tomato paste and even get a can as a souvenir -which he will seal for himself by using an old, traditional sealing machine.
Vlichada, Santorini, tel. +30 2286085141
02. Good Friday’s “tin cans” at Pyrgos, Santorini
One of Santorini’s characteristic Easter customs is the “tin cans,” which takes place in the village of Pyrgos during the Epitaph procession on Good Friday. Thousands of tin cans are being placed during the Holy Week on every spot imaginable; house roofs, alleys, et al. These tins – which can be close to 20,000 – contain woodchips and paraffin. During the Epitaph procession, groups of young people light them, creating a unique spectacle. If you have the chance to overview the village of Pyrgos, you’ll see it glowing from one end to the other. These tins will keep burning until the early morning of Good Saturday. It is a unique spectacle worth seeing and experiencing.
03. Santorini’s oldest winery
This is the island’s first industrial winery, built back in 1949 by the Venetsanos family. It is located just above the port of Athinios, with a stunning view of the Caldera. Visiting this unique facility is a remarkable experience, as you feel like you’re walking through the rock, trying to find a way out to enjoy Caldera’s unsurpassed view.
However, at the same time, it brings you closer to the island’s wine history, as the Venetsanos family has a long tradition in this specific field. In the beginning, they were producing and distributing it on a local level. As it became more popular, the family started exporting it. The company broke one record after another. As the founder’s children, George and Tzanes, took over, they expanded the product range, including other alcoholic drinks. Right after World War II, in 1947, Santorini’s first industrial winery was built to significantly reduce energy consumption, as both the must and wine were moved through the facility without any mechanical means by using the force of gravity solely. This was a practice also used for the wine’s transportation to the docks for export.
After a short interlude, the family reacquired the winery -in specific, the heirs of George Venetsanos, Anastasios-Nikolaos Zorzos, and his brother Evangelos Zorzos. Along with the oenologist Ioanna Vaivakouri, they founded the Venetsanos Winery. The company’s primary goal is the production of high-quality wines, focusing on local varieties such as Assyrtiko. At the same time, however, their goal is to educate the public in terms of wine knowledge. A visit to the winery will help you understand and assimilate the history of wine in Santorini and the significant role of the island’s volcanic soil in producing outstanding wines.
Megalochori, Santorini, tel.: +30 2286021100, www.venetsanoswinery.com