Oinousses is a complex of islands located in Northern East Aegean between Chios and Minor Asia, 9 nautical miles from the Hora of Chios and 4 from the Minor Asian shore.
The complex has been called Oinousses since the ancient times, it is encountered in written historical documents since the 6th century BC and it means “land full of wine”. Indeed, up until mid 20th century the island had a booming small scale wine production.
For many centuries there is no historical reference to the islands and the name until 1521, when the island re -appears in Ottomandocuments bearing the names «Qoyun Adasi» and «Qoyun Adalari».
References to the islands become more frequent following the 17th century. Oinousses appear under the name “Spalmadori” that will become dominant in foreign documents until the 19th century. Also, in some maps and travellers texts we find the names «Agunto», «HippyIsles» and «Oenuses».
Nowadays, we use again officially the name “Oinousses”, while “Aignousa”or “Egnousa” is also a second way of calling the main island. It comes either from the word “agnos” (a very common plant that thrives on the island) or from the word “aiges” (goats) from the first settlers who were shepherds.