The vineyards of Greece go back almost 30 centuries. In antiquity, wines from this country were shipped to everywhere in the then known world.
The occupation of Greece by the Ottoman Empire for almost three centuries set back the industry since rulers prohibited alcohol consumption. Although the population paid scant heed and continued to make wine, quality suffered a great deal.
After Greece joined the European Union in 1982, many young winemakers started studying in France, and Italy learning techniques developed in the 20th century and becoming familiar with modern equipment.
Upon returning to Greece, many worked at least fro a few years as winemakers in large and well-established wineries. Eventually, some decided to buy suitable land for vineyards and planted indigenous and French and/or Italian grape varieties, and invested in modern equipment including French oak barrels. Domaine Gerovassiliou, owned and operated by Evangelos Gerovassiliou, studied at the University of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, and Bordeaux. The winery owns 48 hectares planted to Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc for white, and Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Limnio, Mavroudi, and Mavrotragano for red.
Ktima Biblia Chora in northern Greece owns 15 hectares. V. Tsaktsarlis and V. Gerovassiliou collaborate to make modern, flawless, aromatic, and refined wines, using exclusively French oak barrels.
Domaine Katsaros is a small winery close to Mount Olympus in northern Greece. The vineyards cover 20 hectares planted to chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Low yields of five to six tones per hectare yield intense and complex wines that can be cellared for many years.
Recently, Mr. Gerovassiliou was in Toronto and conducted a tasting of a seleciton of above wineries.
Areti, 2009, Biblia Chora – citrus aromas waft out of the glass. The wine offers a fine mouth feel with underlying acidity and good balance.
Gerovassilious White Blend, 2009 – consists of equal parts of Assyrtiko and Malagousia, smelling of citrus fruit, white pepper, melons and herbs. A delicate, harmonious sine with a pleasant and long finish.
Chardonnay, 2009, Domaine Katsaros – smells of pineapple, honey and linden are noticeable. Smooth, medium-bodied, well balanced and flavourful wine superbly suitable for grilled salmon, brandade, seafood pastas, calamari.
Viognier, 2008 Gerovassilou aromas of peach, apricot and grapefruit dominate. A full-bodied wine with pleasant acid undertones and smooth, long finish.
Ovilos, 2009, Biblia Chora blended of equal parts of Assyrtiko and Semillon. Aromas of apricot and honey are perceptible. An excellent food wine especially with deep fried seafood i.e breaded sole fillets with dilled-mayonnaise, roasted pork loin stuffed with apples.
Evangelo, 2008 Domaine Gerovassiliou 92 per cent Petit Syrah, and eight percent Viognier. Although both grapes varieties are French in origin, they seem to have found suitable terroir in northern Greece. The brilliant deep red colour signals intense flavours and the wine delivers chocolate and ripe berry flavours. Full bodied, balanced, and cellarworthy. Enjoy with roasted whole sirloin, beef stews, game stews, roast rib of beef, roasted filet of beef with Sauce Choron.
All are represented by Cava Spiliadis.
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