Founded in 1903, the Argyros Estate is located on the island of Santorini, famed for its spiraling vines and white washed churches. In 1950, the Argyros vineyards were passed down to the founder’s son, who tripled the estate from 5 to 15 acres. Yiannis Argyros, the third-generation owner of the estate who took over in 1974, began looking beyond the local market for his wines. The inorganic soil of the island of Santorini is naturally immune to Phylloxera and many other vineyard pests, reducing the need for synthetic herbicides & pesticides. Estate Argyros practices sustainable viticulture, using composted grape must as fertilizer, and plowing the vineyards with mules.
The estate vineyards are located primarily in Episkopi and Pyrgos, which are prime locations for Assyrtiko. The ungrafted vines range in age from 30 to over 150 years, and are trained into basket-shaped bowls, a traditional technique called ""kouloura"". Today, Mathew Argyros, the fourth generation of family winemakers, continues his father's legacy by making legendary wines from Assyrtiko and other indigenous Santorinian varietals, using traditional techniques.
The remains of an ancient volcano that erupted around 1600 BC, Santorini is one of the southern Cyclades islands and is most recognized for its white wines made from the fruity and mineral-rich, Assyrtiko.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.