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27 February 2024

Artisanal Wineries of Greece: The Evolution

By Yiannis Karakasis MW

With countless tastings now gracing our country, attending all remains challenging, though I manage to explore just a select few. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting the 5th exhibition of the Artisanal Wineries of Greece (SMOE), where, as per their statutes, they own or collaborate with long-term contract vineyards, constituting 60% of their total vineyard holdings. Their production spans up to 120,000 litres of final product, with 60% sourced from their vineyards and 75% bottled in glass containers up to 1.5 litres. Yields from owned or collaborating vineyards should be at most 84 hl/ha. To simplify, their production totals at most 160,000 bottles, emphasising owned vineyards and aiming for moderate yields, though this also depends on each variety's dynamics.

I endeavoured to visit as many wineries as time allowed, and I was delighted to find that their exhibition showcased the highest quality compared to previous tastings. Never before had I encountered such diversity and excitement in wines. The sparkle in the producers' eyes and the consistency in their wines reflect what Greek wine truly needs—to offer complete and authentic wines.

Below, I highlight what stood out among the approximately half, if not more, of the wineries I explored (the stars that captivated me). But before delving into that, let me outline the tasting's key highlights:

Skin Contact Wines: Not limited to orange wines, these can also originate from pink-skinned varieties like Roditis or Moschofilero. One of the most consistent styles of wines' presented.

Zakynthos Island: Known for its Verdea, a traditional, multi-varietal dry white aged for several years, Zakynthos is now making significant strides with the Avgoustiatis variety. With efforts from Grampsas, Goumas, Oinolpi, and Kefallinos (not a member of SMOE), things are looking bright.  

Blends of White Varieties: Again very charming and consistent 



Adam Malagousia 

Apostolidis Vidiano Lofos * 

Vatistas Petroulianos  

Gavalas Santorini Natural Ferment *

Goumas Pavlos

Grampsas Verdea Traditionelle

Liappis Cuvee Blanc Assyrtiko - Muscat 

Moropoulos Late Release Mantinia and Newly Released Mantinia *

Oinolpi Verdea

Papathanasiou Assyrtiko - Chardonnay

Papargyriou Cuvee Helene Goustolidi



Ganis Mythical Kingdom *

Oinolpi Skiadopoulo Skin Contact *

Poultsidis Selene Orange *

Tsikrikonis Rozaki Orange Amphora

Oenops Rawditis



Apostolidis Rosé du Vieux Village Rosé Brut 

Vriniotis Iama (new composition with 100% Vradiano)

Thivaiki Gi Story Mouchtaro



Aivalis Nemea

Akriotou Wild Mountaineer Red

Manolesakis Pelagia 

Dougos Rapsani Tourtoura  

Petrakopoulos Mavro (old vintage from 2010!) 

Kon Pyrgakis Nemea 

Chrisohoou Rapsani Ραψάνη *

Wine Therapy Arho (a blend of Xinomvaro from the four different PDOs - Naoussa, Amyndeo, Rapsani, Goumenissa)

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