The cultural roots of Greek wine go deeper than the vines themselves.
One could claim that Greece is simultaneously one of the world’s oldest and newest wine producing countries, with more than 40 centuries of winemaking history.
After the country joined the EU in 1980’s, the industry started to modernize with huge capital investments in vineyards and wineries. Improved quality started to appear on shelves at the beginning of the 21st century, and continues to show progress.
Modern Greek white wines are fragrant, dry, and brilliant, reflect the flavours of the variety and are enjoyable with food.
Red wines tend to be acid driven ands tannic at bottling, and require cellaring.
Although Greece has a wide range of indigenous grape varieties (aidani, assyrtiko, athiri, debina, malagousia, moschofilero, muscat of Samos, robola, roditis, savatiano, and vilana for whites) growers have planted and continue to plant popular European varieties (chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, just to name two), for beldnign and to produce varietal wines.
For red wines, the following varieties are popular – agiorgitiko, kotsifali, liatiko, limnio, mandilaria, mavrodaphne, mavrotragana, xinomavro. Now, more and more cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah are being planted, and are being used in blends with local varieties.
Greece has five main regions of viticulture – Northern Greece, Central Greece, Peloponnese, Ionian, Aegean Islands, and Crete.
Representatives of export-oriented wineries visit Canada and the U.S.A annually to proudly pour their wines to an eager trade of agents, restaurateurs, and wine writers.
This year my favourites were:
Moschofilero, 2014, Zacharia
Malagousia, 2014, Wine Art Estates
Savatiano, 2014, Domaine Vasilliou
Moschofilero, 20145,Trouois Winery
Assyrtiko and Athiri, 2014, Sigalas
Assyrtiko Reserve, 2012, Santo Wines
Assyrtiko Grand Cuvee, 2011, Domaine Skouras
Assyrtiko, 2014, Gavalas (wild ferment)
2400, 2104, CAIR Winery
Laotripi, 2014, Sokos Winery
Syrah, 2011, Pavlidis
Reserve Nemea, 2010, Parparoussis Winery
Paros, 2011, Moraitis
Paros Reserve, 2009, Moraitis
Diaparos, 2011, Kir-Yianni Estates
Most of the wines above are private imports in Ontario.
Interested parties can contact the winery to find out its Ontario agent.