The Greek Wine Promotion Agency has now established a traditional annual tasting in Toronto and Montreal, the biggest markets in Canada.
Since the country joined the EU in 1982, millions of EU funds have been invested in viticulture, education, research and wine making equipment.
Greece now exports a considerable amount of wine to western European countries, mainly to Germany, the United Kingdom, and others where Greek restaurants abound.
In addition to these markets wineries spend a lot of effort and money to expand their market share in the U S A and Canada.
Greece has hundreds of indigenous grape varieties and all have adapted to the terroir, yet many growers plant cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, sauvignon blanc, and semillon, either to blend with local grape varieties, or vint them as varietal wines.
This is to entice consumers to buy varietals with which they are more familiar.
Greek grape varieties are difficult to pronounce (at least for unilingual English and Americans) and the appellation system is too convoluted for the uninitiated, and geographically challenged foreigner.
This year there were fewer wines than last. This is a good idea, since most attendees rarely remember the wines they taste, except wine writers who write down their impressions, and at least are familiar with some of the grape varieties of the land.
Large wineries were well represented, although this year a few small establishments presented their wines.
Overall white wines were vibrant, clean, balanced, and reflected terroir much better than reds.
It seems some winemakers still believe that barrel aging red wines for a long time makes them taste better. This has been proven long ago not to be the case. Barrel aging, pending on the provenance of the wood, and age of the barrel, must be carefully considered by the winemakers to achieve desirable results.
The following wines stood out:
Cuvee Prestige, (roditis/moschofilero), 2012, Skouras
Moschofilero, 2011, Spiropoulos, Mantinia
Moschofilero, 2012, Tselepos
Santorini, (assyrtiko), 2012, Sigalas
Barrel Fermented Santorini (assyrtiko), 2011, Sigalas
Ovilos (assyrtiko/semillon), 2011, Biblia Chora
Katogi-Averoff (cabernet sauvignon/merlot), 2008,Katogi-Strofili
Private Collection, (Mavrodaphne/Merlot), 2005, Antonopoulos
St. George Nemea (agiorgitiko), 2010, Skouras
Reserve Old Vines (xinomavro), 2008, Alpha Estates
Muscat Of Limnos, 2012
Vinsanto (assyrtiko), 2004, Siaglas
Vinsanto (assyrtiko), 1998, Argyros