Greece: one of the oldest-producing regions in the world of wine and yet, at the same time, one of its most exciting “new” horizons. It is no exaggeration to say that all of modern Europe (and therefore all New World regions as well) owe something of their winemaking traditions to the Greeks. And now, after dalliances with non-indigenous varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay in an attempt to follow the market, a new crop of winemakers have returned to the grapes of Greece’s longstanding (meaning “since antiquity”), traditional varieties, creating some of the most delicious and unique wines to be found anywhere. These are some of the most exciting new wines to have arrived in our store over the last few months, and no small part of the reason that we strongly believe that Greek wines deserve your attention.
Assyrtiko has been grown on Santorini for more than three thousand years. Santorini, a crescent shaped island in the Agean, is the remnant of an ancient volcano which erupted cataclysmically in 1650 B.C. – there is ample evidence that vines were being grown before then, and as soon as the island was livable, the ancient Greeks began tending those vines once again. Paris Sigalas returned to Santorini after earning a degree in Mathematics at the Sorbonne and unexpectedly became a self-taught winemaker, the results of his efforts need to be tasted to be fully understood.
Made from a blend of two indigenous grape varieties (Roditis and Moscofilero) grown in vineyards on the Peloponnese, this is a classic example of a great “Summer White” – fresh and clean, fermented in stainless steel, it’s great for warm weather drinking and will compliment a wide variety of dishes – especially seafood preparations.
Zee-no-mah-vro. Father and son Konstantinos and Petros Karydas produce one wine and one wine only from their organically farmed estate in Macedonia. Utterly unexpected (unless you’re extremely well-versed in obscure Greek grape varieties), this delicious red from the north of Greece bears more than a passing resemblance to an “old-school” Barbaresco. Definitely worth a look and, more importantly, a taste!