Originally from Crete, Haridimos Hatzidakis came to Santorini after graduating from the Technical School of Wine and Beverages in Athens where he studied agronomy and oenology. After graduation and beginning in 1991, Haridimos carried out an internship at J. Boutaris and Sons, where he eventually became head oenologist at the Santorini winery, while also being in charge of production at the Fantaxometoho Estate in Crete.
Hatzidakis Winery itself was started in 1997 after Haridimos met and married a local girl of the island, Konstantina. Konstantina’s family owns vineyards in the village of Pyrgos Kallistis, on the road that leads to the monastery of Prophet Ilias. The land had not been cultivated since 1956, when the earthquake on Santorini forced her parents to leave the island for some time. After extensive re-planting and nurturing of older vines, they found a cave on the outskirts of Pyrgos Kallistis, which was transformed into a winery.
Hatzidakis Winery has come to be known over the years as Santorini’s answer to a cult winery. The style of the wines have always gravitated towards the pure and powerful, foregoing pure reductive winemaking which has become the international face of Santorini for more authentic and terroir driven expressions. Indeed single vineyard bottlings from the Mylos and Louros vineyards nestled between the villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori have set Hatzidakis Winery apart for their exploration of the terroir tapestry of Santorini which was once assumed to be homogenous. Additionally, Hatzidakis has further distinguished himself by being the first to bottle monovarietal wines of the rare Aidani (2000 vintage) and even rarer Mavrotragano (1997 vintage simultaneously with Domaine Sigalas).
Today Hatzidakis Winery is expanding out of it’s “garagiste” beginnings by building a new winery, a series of tunnels buried into a cleft of a ravine in Pyrgos on the way to Megalochori. While production still remains small, 7,500 cases of their entry Santorini bottling and a scant 200-300 cases per vintage of their other cuvees, Hatzidakis continues to both push the envelope on the exploration of Santorini’s rich patrimony of varieties and mico-climates while retaining a strong connection to the stylistic heritage of the island’s wines.