Santorini under snow

Santorini’s kids have been whooping it up in the snow that fell 17-18 Feb. Although it’s only three years since the last snowfall, white fluffy precipitation is still quite a rarity on this island. According to Konstantina Hatzidakis, owner with her husband Haridimos of the Hatzidakis winery and sender of this picture of the island’s vineyards under snow, the last week has been extremely cold all the way from central to southern Greece, with up to 20 centimetres of snow in Athens.

Grower and winemaker Haridimos is also pretty pleased about the snow and this very unusual cold spell: ‘Generally February is the coldest month of the year on Santorini, at least in the south Aegean Sea, and this year is the coldest of the last five years (second coldest in the last 20 years).

‘The cold wind and the snow mainly reduce the temperature of the under surface soil delaying the development of the vines.  This cold helps the wood of the vine (and especially the new wood) to form better. Micro-organisms (bacteria) that can destroy the vine wood are not active. (But if the vines already had any green growth, this would be burnt by the snow.)

‘Snow is also a very good way of watering the soil because it is easily absorbed as the snow melts, thus building up reserves for the dry summer ahead.’