Winetour to the South of Greece, the Peloponnese and Crete
By feature reporter and influencer Jens Hoffmann
The first thing that most people think of when they think of Greek wine is retsina, a resinated white wine – a relic of the country’s long wine-growing history and from the time when wines were transported in amphorae sealed with pine resin.
Today, the Greek wines bring together the best of the wine worlds: an intense, fresh fruit known from the new world, with the structure, good acidity and minerality that are considered characteristics of the wine world.
With their unmistakable aroma profiles and individual taste structures, they vividly illustrate how Greeks enjoy and love wine – and are perfect as food companions
So we went in search of the new modern wines from Greece.
I anticipate it, I found what I was looking for. Numerous tastings – e.g. in Hotel Electra Palace, on the Peloponnese and Crete – with a total of over 200 wines showed that Greece has a lot of excellent wines to offer.
The Greeks have been growing grapes since 4500 BC. Christ and produce an average of 3.5 million hectoliters of wine. That is more than significant. All the winemakers we visited have a lot of experience and take pride in what they do.
There were many nice conversations about the art of winemaking. Right from the start in Athens, the wines from Santorini & Samos were consistently good.
We tasted white Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Roditis, red Agiorgitiko, Kotsifali, Mavroudi and a multitude of – often unknown to me – Greek wines from different grape varieties.
Above all, it is the autochthonous varieties (a grape variety grows where it originated) that, in combination with technical expertise, are processed into amazing qualities.
Greek wine is exported all over the world, with Germany in first place. 50 percent of Greek wine exports end up here, followed by the USA with 15 percent.
Organic as a matter of course
Along with the modern renaissance of Greek viticulture, especially in recent years, there has been an ever-increasing awareness of the environment and sustainable use of it. More than five percent of Greek vineyards are now cultivated organically – and the trend is rising. This is favored in Greece by natural factors: the strong Greek winds, like the “Meltemi” winds of the Cyclades and the Aegean islands in general, as well as the high summer temperatures are favorable for the vine and prevent an extensive development of microorganisms.
Lets go to Nemea.
Here you will find “The Domaine Skouras” in the middle of the Nemea wine region with vines planted more than 600 meters above sea level in the Argolida highlands. The wines of George Skouras convince with the aroma of fresh flowers, avocados and the taste of citrus fruits.
The Moscofilero is flowery, dry, slightly acidic, with an intense aroma and taste. The beautiful red wine Nemea – Grande Cuvée made 100 percent from Agiorgitiko grapes smells intensely of wood (he spent the first 12 months of life in French barriques), blackberries, cherries, dried herbs, full-bodied, a well-balanced acidity and a long aftertaste make the wine to the classic.
Continue to Mountainous Achaia. It’s not that warm here, very mountainous and the vines grow at an altitude of over 1000 meters. The lower temperatures at these altitudes and the salty winds off the sea are a boon for winemakers.
The Tetramythos winery (also with vines up to 1000 meters high) benefits from both circumstances. The soils are lime and clay and the coast is not far away. The vinotheque with the adjoining restaurant and great view has one thing in particular to offer: Great wines, with well-balanced acidity, very elegant and with a nice depth.
Some of the best wines come from Crete.
We flew to Crete in search of the “New wines of Greece”.
The hotels in Heraklion City, the restaurants, the world-famous Knossos Palace and the cafes are busy, the pandemic is over.
Yes, it is easy to see that tourism works.
Greece not only has the most beautiful beaches and wonderful islands, but also has amazing wines.
Total: Don’t be shy, just try….