I didn’t go to any wine tastings this month. So I thought that I would write instead about some interesting wines from Greece that I have recently discovered. (And not a word about resin.)
The new wine makers in Greece are often young people who have joined their parents’ wine business or taken over the family production with ambitions, strategies and knowledge gained from studying and working abroad. They have turned to the many indigenous grape varieties that have been under-appreciated, and they are taking advantage of their local unique terroirs, to create quality wines, both red and white.
To take just three examples:
In Crete, an island south of the Greek mainland, there are many exciting developments, with replanting of indigenous varieties and attention being paid to terroir.
The great white grape assyrtiko is grown in Crete and elsewhere. This grape originated in Santorini, an island north of Crete, where it is celebrated for amazing, complex, distinctive, very fine wines of unique character. The poor sandy soil, resulting from high volcanic activity over centuries, suits its growth. Summers are hot and dry, with little rainfall, but there can be high winds. Yields are low. Santorini also produces full-bodied, intense red wines, from Mavrotragano and Mandelaria native grapes, amongst others.
Naoussa is in the north of Greece, and produces wine from xinomavro, Greece’s finest red grape. The styles range from light for easy drinking to highly structured aromatic.
The renaissance in experimentation and innovation is throughout Greece. Do try some of these sensational wines!
After three years, I am taking a break from blogging. You can follow London Branch’s activities in wine and food tasting activities at: https://www.facebook.com/IWFSLondonBranch