The Wines of Santorini on www.jancisrobinson.com
By Yiannis Karakasis MW
A fantastic review of The Wines of Santorini was published last week on jancisrobinson.com. Tamlyn Currin, who is appreciated for her penetrating and detailed perspective, wrote extremely flattering words about The Wines of Santorini. Among the other things she wrote, I would like to highlight the following:
"Over the years of reviewing books, my personal experience is that good design incorporates space. This becomes especially important when the intellectual load of the book is high. One could argue that content is everything, but space, on a page, quite literally allows the reader the time (and space) to take things in. Space to think, in a way. Maybe this is a psychological trick, but it really does work. This book does that beautifully."
"It is a book that communicates as much through the visual and textural elements as it does through the text. Every photograph is purposeful, beautifully constructed, as much a part of the story as the words themselves. The colours are so acute that they trigger emotions. The photos are poetic – stories in themselves, each one of them. I found myself soaking up this book for some time, just paging through, without reading a single word."
"It's immaculate: visually, editorially, intellectually, factually and (this may not be an actual word but here goes…) narratively. Karakasis puts Santorini under the microscope, quite literally, looking at this unusual, special wine region in exquisite detail. From its volcanic, cultural and oenological history to its terroir (uniquely uniform, thanks to the dominant power of volcanic action, and yet, somehow, almost inexplicably different from village to village), he explores the island's magic with the intellectual curiosity and discipline of an academic and the emotion of someone who may have fallen in love."
Having read the above makes me blush. I have to say that I always thought of a book as company, as refuge on melancholic and often cold winter nights. But, this is a book that can be enjoyed in any season. I assure you that it reads beautifully under the hot sun (ideally with a glass of Assyrtiko). And, for a book to be company it must read in a way that allows space to the reader. I have countless books in my bookcase that I have not managed to read beyond the first couple of chapters exactly because they do not allow the space that Tamlyn describes.
For The Wines of Santorini, we thought differently. We wanted a fair amount of text but also wanted authentic photos. Photos that are genuine and have not been used a thousand times over that narrate the peculiarities and difficulties of the terroir, the people and the wines. Nikos Koustenis worked his magic to the very late hours, day in and day out, and all of this he managed during the trying period of a complete lockdown, with absolutely nothing open on the island apart from two souvlaki take-aways.
We were also looking for a design that would be defined and could convey the essence of Santorini on every page. Doric and comprehensive. Something that would have perspective and substance. These requirements could only have the name of designer Marios Karystios written all over them. I'm so glad and proud that Tamlyn congratulates both these people and takes her hat off to them.
Finally, I could not but mention the people of Katikies Hotels and the iconic Selene Restaurant. They supported the effort from the very start, which shows the ageless bond between the food and wine of the island.
The Wines of Santorini is available
Thessaloniki: Moby Dick or the Whale
Crete: Mr. Vertigo Hub (Chania)
Zakynthos: Prosilio Restaurant