Greek wines showcased in New York
Wines of Greece hosted its Grand Tasting at City Winery in New York City on May 9, showcasing thirty-nine wineries from throughout the mainland and islands of Greece.
Promoting culture in a cup, the event introduced a sumptuous array of Greek wine to American importers, restaurant owners, and critics and drew a large crowd of oenophiles. Attendees even had the opportunity to taste wines that are not currently imported to the US.
Up until recently, Greece was known primarily for retsina – a term that is a protected designation of origin (PDO) for Greece and Cyprus. Made throughout the country, it is a strong, piney white wine that is traditionally sealed in Aleppo Pine resin. Kechris Winery, located in Central Macedonia, showed up to the event with its award-winning The Tear of the Pine, a dry white retsina made from Assyrtiko grapes. They also offered a dry rosé retsina made from Xinomavro grapes called On a Rosé Background.
In the past few years, wines from Santorini have been making a splash and garnering more attention from oenologists. What makes wine from this Greek island unique is that is made from two white grape varietals that originated here: Assyrtiko and Athiri. Assyrtiko has been planted on the mainland in the past few decades, but only in Santorini does it reach peak flavor thanks to the volcanic soil. J Boutari & Sons Wineries offered the Santorini Boutari 2016, made from 100% Assyrtiko, that was sweet to the taste but with a slightly metallic aftertaste. Athiri is the sweeter grape and was mixed with other varietals in the wines featured at the event. It could be found in Argyros Estate’s Vinsanto 4 Years Barrel Aged 20009 and in Santo Wines’ Santorini Aspa 2015, for example. By far, the administration region with the largest representation of wineries at the Grand Tasting was the Peloponnese. Of the seventeen wineries affiliated with the Peloponnese, Papaioannou Estate stood out with Old Vines Papaioannou 2010, a balanced and delightfully peppery red, and Papaioannou Microclima 2005, a meaty red full of oak notes. Gaia Wine’s Agiorgitiko By Gaia 2015 was unique and tasted distinctly Greek with herb notes reminiscent of oregano. All three wines were made from Agiorgitiko grapes, grown in Namea and known for their soft tannins and aromatic complexity.
The various administration regions of Macedonia offered a large selection of wineries. Here, the popular grape is the Xinomavro, which literally translates to “sour-black.” This red grape produces an acidic wine. It could be found in Estate Chrisohoou’s Naoussa Chrisohoou 2013, Kir Yianni Estate’s Akakies Sparkling 2016 and Ramnista 2013.
by Stephanie Nikolopoulos. Follwow her here
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