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Wines of Greece
by
Terry Sullivan

Greek WinesThis year’s Wine Bloggers Conference took place in Oregon, and there was certainly an emphasis on Oregon wines. However, the conference reaches out beyond the region hosting the conference. We had two opportunities to taste wines from Greece.

During registration, several tables were set up for attendees to visit. One of the tables had New Wines of Greece. Several white and red wines were available for tasting. A larger venue was set up the second day. Prior to the conference dinner, a room was arranged with eight tables. Twenty-seven wines were available for tasting from different regions of Greece. Food was also available and even though a five-course dinner was to follow, it was hard to pass up shrimp, lobster and salmon.

The selection of Greek wines showed well. Many were made from varietal grapes not previously experienced. Several of these were ancient varieties. The tag line for New Wines of Greece is Eternally Modern. This tag sums up the wines. As in Italy, ancient varieties are making a strong comeback. When modern winemaking techniques are used to make wines, these ancient varieties produce wonderful wines that can give the standard wines competition. There is an eternal aspect to varietal grapes grown thousands of years ago. Some wine enthusiasts like the historical experience of drinking a wine that was made from the same grape variety that was made into wine a millennial ago. The wines prompted a haiku.

New ancient vineyards
Eternally modern wines
Destination Greece

Greek WinesDessert Wine

The 2004 Santo Vinsanto was a hit with the group of tasters. The wine, from the Santorini region, was a blend of Assyrtiko and Aidan. It had a heavenly golden color and just enough acid to tame the sweetness. This Vinsanto reminds me of a holy wine. It is a wine that belongs in chalices and used in Mass as well as enjoyed for dessert.

White Wines

The 2011 Domaine Spiropoulos Mantinia was made with the Moschofilero grape. The wine hales from the Mantinia region. It had citrus and roses on the aroma and taste. A 2011 Domaine Porto Carras Malagousia represented the Macedonia region. This white wine made from the Malagousia grape had yellow stone fruit aroma and taste. Sigalas Santorini 2011 was produced with the Assyrtiko grape and comes from the Santorini region. This wine was crisp and citrusy. Representing the Peloponnese wine region was a 2011 Oenoforos made from the Roditis grape. The wine had lemony characters. From the island of Crete came a 2011 Alexakis Vidiano produced from the hard to find Vidiano grape. The wine had some apricot on the aroma and taste. From the Cephalonia wine region was a 2010 Robola of Cephalonia. This wine made from Robola had a lemony aroma and taste.

Red Wines

Ktima Papaioannou Nemea was a red wine made in 2006 from the Agiorgitiko grape. The wine from the Nemea region had red fruit and tannins. Several wines were made from the Xinomavro grape. The 2008 Thymiopoulos Uranos is from the Naoussa region. This ageable wine offered red fruit and spice.

The tasting of Greek wines produces a desire to travel to Greece to explore vineyards and wineries. The traveler can experience varietal wines the Ancients drank.

 

 

 



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