A winter detour to the wine empire of the Hellenes
All economic troubles aside, there is barely one country in Europe conjuring dreamy eyes and smiling look to the faces of the Globetrotters when they just hear the name of it – marvellous, welcoming, blessed with abundant nature Greece. It is not an overstatement to say that this country offers space for all and sundry: the city person “thirsty” for culture and sightseeing, the nature lover walking a lonely pathway, sun-worshippers enjoying concealed bays and crystal clear water, as well as the gourmet adoring this country for its national cuisine. The culinary art possesses ingenious simplicity and is a part of a welcoming savoir vivre, self-evident for the local people.
And what about wine? Opinions diverge on this question. „Rustic-style“ and “strange” are the wide-spread descriptions. And sometimes people define it as “unfamiliar”.
Obviously, the last-mentioned one is often the case. Compared to our commonly beloved fruity-clear right up to crispy white wines or velvety-berry reds, now and then the Greeks reveal sensory surprises with rough edges. However, once one opened up to this world of savour, many of these authentic products capture taster’s imagination by its complexity, authenticity and aromatic deepness. The vast diversity, which we are keen on – a thrill-boosting element of every degustation offering a space for frictions and often leading to surprises – is little short of invented in Greece.
Even after six years of PAR Wine Award Greece this millenniums-old wine producing country with its diversity of location, soil, climate and autochthonous grape types watches for vine varieties which were thought to be long extinct to descend on the degustation tables. Wine and its history are wedded to the inhabitants, who grow grapes in every corner of the country – from the mainland via a vast number of islands through to the Peloponnese, partly using the smallest vineyard plots.
Likewise, further on country-wide cultivated old varieties (f.i. the rare Agianniotiko, the Kontokladi endemic to the Ionian Islands or the famous Assyrtiko), the Greeks cherish specialities bound by tradition. Let us mention the Nykteri (produced on the island of Santorini), the Verdea (traditionally pressed on the isle of Zakynthos), the Marouvas from the Western Crete and of course the Retsina and Vinsanto.
The combination of as old as the hills established practice and modern cellar technology knowledge, applied or sometimes deliberately omitted, turns the land of Hellenes into a chamber of marvels with a guarantee that Greek wines always remain eclectic, most commonly authentic, often maverick and first and foremost never lifeless.
Also, this year we have a focus on the Greek wine in all its forms and variants. Anyone who wants to know the news, learn the competition results (available as from the 25th of February 2017) or to submit the wines cannot miss this event. Read more under www.griechischerweinpreis.de.