Greek wine: 4,000 years of culture in winemaking
Greece, the renowned birthplace of Dionysos, the god of wine, has the longest wine production and consumption history in the world, as well as the richest heritage. Greek wine has been produced for more than 4,000 years. Wine culture, intended as the consumption of wine as a social event and its sophisticated appreciation, was developed for the first time by the Ancient Greeks.
Today Greece is playing a major role in the international wine culture and industry. Through a better understanding of the physiology of the vine, matching site and grape variety and attention to detail, Greek wine producers have realized the potential of further developing and improving local viniculture.
Currently, the Greek vineyard is rich with a multitude of varieties and a limitless spectrum of choices.
Let us discover some of the most important local wines and grape varieties that better represent the fantastic potential of Greek wine.
Ksinómavro: the finest red variety of the Northern Greece. Depending on the time of maturation, it covers a wide range of tastes and nuances of red. Ksinómavro variety is one of the great divas of the Greek vineyard. It is capricious, demanding, and difficult to deal with, both in the vineyard and in the winery. The grape is capable of producing wines of stunning character and individuality and extraordinary complexity, with a seamless combination of intense extract and sheer finesse.
Ayioryítiko or Mávro Neméas: coming from Peloponnese, it is the red wine that was supposed to be the favourite of the mythical king Agamemnon. Thanks to its deep red colour, rich aroma, and velvet taste it is the ideal wine for red meat and sauces. With pronounced cassis and blackberry flavor and a rich, mature, velvety, luscious texture, the supple young Ayioryítiko wines are fruit-forward and are enjoyable early. However, there is enough big structure to support long-term cellaring (5-10 years). The Gaia Estate, Notios Red is a perfect example of what described above.
Mavrotrágano: an old red variety of Santorini, which has been brought back to life fairly recently. Fruity in taste, deep in colour and medium in acuity, it is marked by its high proof.
Athíri: The white delight of the Aegean Sea. Its yellowish colour with the reflections of green and its distinctive, subtle fruity taste render it suitable for many kinds of dishes. Its lovely floral aromas and mouthwatering attack wakes up the palate. Common to the islands of the southern Aegean and Halkidiki, in eastern Macedonia.
Assírtiko: Although cultivated in many other islands, Assírtiko reaches the apex of its originality on Santorini, but it has successfully migrated to Halkidiki, Epanomi, Drama, and Mount Pangeo in Northern Greece as well as to the Peloponnese. Bearing the island’s volcanic DNA, it is delightfully rich of aromas, ranging from citrus and apple to honey, raisin and incense. It maintains a high acidity even in fully ripeness. With crispy acidity and excellent minerality, its wines are rich and refreshing. The aromas suggest citrus, lemon blossom, orange zest and grapefruit. Gaia Estate, Thalassitis is a typical 100% Assírtiko wine from Santorini.
Moshofílero: archeological findings prove its age-long relation to the district of Arcadia and its plateau. It is a versatile variety used for making a whole series of wines, from dry to fruity sparkling ones, also known as a blanc de gris variety, meaning that its skin color can range from light pink to deep purple. The Gaia Estate, Notios White is a very pleasant a drinkable white wine made from this special grape variety.
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