English: Greek wine regions with OPE (Green) a...

English: Greek wine regions with OPE (Green) and OPAP Appellations (red) Deutsch: Griechische Weinregionen mit OPE- (grün) und OPAP-Appellationen (rot) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to the inspiration of Eklektikon LLC for motivation, I’ve decided to see who’s saying what about Greek wines; so you and I don’t get left in the dust with this one.

Greece’s wine history chapter is behind us and a new chapter has been opened to all of us by a new generation of native winemakers. They’ve inherited their ancestors’ passion for viniculture, and when these new wine devotees traveled to France and other regions to study in the best winemaking schools, they then returned to Greece to honor the country’s glorious wine history.

They’ve built state of the art wineries, and adapted the most modern techniques and contemporary knowledge to the best indigenous grape varieties. The alliance between this generation of vanguard talent and Greece’s multiplicity of terroirs and grape varieties has become a success story.

They’re crafting wines with such passion and art that they’re captivating wine lovers and professional sommeliers in the US…

Personally, whenever I’ve had the pleasure of tasting Greek wines, I’ve found them to be deliciously unique and worth seeking out. When you’re ready for a little adventure, that’s when you’re going to be ready for Greek wines… Taste the origin of what we love today, from where it originated thousands of years ago… It’s a great experience.

The creation of these wines is defined as “a genuine movement” by Doug Frost MS MW, one of the three people in the world holding both titles of Master of Wine and Master Sommelier. Doug is a Kansas City author who writes, consults, and lectures about wine, beer, and spirits.

Restaurant Wines’ Ronn Wiegand is another one, by-the-way. I can’t now help but wonder who the third one is.  I tried searching, but it would take an inordinate time to get to the bottom o f it. I think I’ll turn to Facebook to get the answer. Someone must know and save me lots of time here…

For Frost, the indigenous grapes are of extreme importance for this renaissance of Greek wine culture, since they “retain their acidic identity, allowing for crisp, citrusy wines – something California winemakers dream of.”

Greece’s ancient legacy is, in fact, “giving the wine industry serious clout in the modern world,” according to sommelier Sara d’ Amato. Greek wines, she says, “will forever have an edge; exhibit a fresh vibrancy, an extraordinary versatility with food, and complexities that will rival some of the most renowned European varietals.”

Greek wines’ quality standard is treasured all over the world, as Alder Yarrow, publisher of Vinography, wrote; “[Greece is] home to a wonderfully unique combination of interesting wines that represent phenomenal values on a global scale.”

The New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov: The whites are “lively and unpretentious” wines “that smack of sunshine, whitewashed walls and seafood,” and the reds are “promises of adventure and discovery.”

Food & Wine magazine, Ray Isle:  “Greek white wines may be more consistent, but the best Greek reds are fantastic.”

Continuing: Greek Wines: 7 Greek Varietals to Know ~ Agiorgitiko (ah-gee-or-gee-tee-ko), Assyrtiko (ah-sir-tee-ko), Athiri (ah-thee-ree), Malagousia (mah-la-goo-see-ah), Moscofilero (mos-ko-fi-ler-oh), Roditis (ro-dee-tis), and Xinomavro (zhee-no-mav-ro). Click here for the description of each and Ray’s full story.

I adore Jon Bonné. I’ve watched him leave the Northwest, where I knew him as working for MSNBC. He segued to NYC, when he became seriously involved in writing about wine and the world of imported wines really opened up for him,. And now, as the editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, he’s brought the old world to the West Coast. Jon writes, “In the five years since we last conducted a broad tasting of Greek white wines, they have stepped from a curious and ambitious side note to something truly exciting… These are white wines as compelling and complex as the best of Italy or Spain. Greece’s other issues aside, a sustained quality push among winemakers has succeeded.”

Elizabeth Gerst of CNBC: “Anywhere you go in the culinary world – Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, Chicago’s Girl and the Goat, or San Francisco’s Slanted Door – a similar trend is taking root. ‘The quality of Greek wines is great, and they are being increasingly well selected by importers,’ notes sommelier Juliette Pope of New York’s Gramercy Tavern. ‘Greece has an unbelievable amount of indigenous varietals that are only grown there,’ says chef Michael Psilakis, whose New York restaurants include the acclaimed Kefi. ‘You have warm sunny days, cool evenings, and vines typically growing on the slopes of mountains. The juice is very special.’”

Well, I could go on, but I believe I’ve gathered enough evidence that demonstrates that we need to be paying more attention to these old world wines gone modern, if we’ve not already begun that quest…



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