Santorini has a fertile volcanic soil. Cultivated carefully over the years, this soil has made Santorini well known for its horticultural and viticultural product.
Santorini can boast a small but successful wine industry, based on the grape variety Assyrtiko. These vines are well adapted to the volcanic soils of Santorini, pruned to form low spiralling baskets, with the grapes protected inside the basket from chilling winds.
The white wines of Santorini are very dry, with a strong citrus scent and a slight sulphurous flavour, a result of the islands volcanic soils.
A traditional wine produced on the island is Vinsanto, which is a honey coloured white, sweet and an extremely strong dessert wine. The wine is made from sun-dried grapes and barrel-aged, which are both responsible for its colour and strength.
Fava beans are yellow Santorinian lentils. They make superb dips and other appetizers, but they are also good in salads, sauces, stews, pastas and risottos. The island exports the beans to many countries around the world.
White eggplant is a traditional crop of Santorini. The plant was originally introduced from Egypt and due to the soil and climate conditions, it is not bitter like other eggplants, being instead sweet and juicy.
Capers, courgettes, watermelon, sweet cherry tomatoes and katsouni (a thicker and longer type of cucumber) are also grown on the island.