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24 December 2019

My top stories in 2019

It has been quite a fruitful year for karakasis.mw; new additions were made and new projects are underway. The Wine Ratings section now contains more than 1000 tasting notes on Greek and Cypriot wines, and in 2019, I published the first Terroir Report for Amyndeo (Amyndeo Explained: The Highlands of Xinomavro). Another new development is the Greek varieties section, an ambitious project that will progressively include all Greek varieties. For the moment, information on 30 Greek varieties has been published, with illustrations by Manolis Moumalidis. Assyrtiko is further explained with approximately 4000 words. The next variety that will be described in detail is Agiorgitiko.

This year, approximately 60 articles were published by the whole team, and I am thrilled to present the ten most-read stories. Best wishes to all of you and Merry Christmas. 

1. 2019 Harvest in Santorini: Trouble in Paradise

''...The harvest just started in Santorini a few days ago, and although it is just the beginning, it seems as though it will be a very tiny one. Predictions from all producers speak of a pocket harvest; less than 1000 tons of grapes, in total, when in ideal conditions, this is 3000 tons. Nevertheless, quality seems high, but my feeling is prices will be difficult to control, despite the fact that producers seem eager to do so. For the 2018 harvest, prices per kilo ranged between 4.5-4.7 euros. It seems that this vintage will be a critical one for the island of Santorini. Many questions have arisen concerning prices, quantities, protection of the product, better communication between the producers, and many more; no answers can be given for the moment...''

2. How Santorini ages: The oxidation game

''...Santorini can age, and the brilliant examples show no sign of fatigue; they exhibit pale colours and an amazing nutty, toasty character, which resembles that of a Hunter Valley Semillon. For now, the 10 year mark is not one that is easily achieved, but I feel optimistic, that with the progress we are already witnessing on the island, future tastings may show even better results...''

3. My favourite places to eat in Athens - updated July 2019

This is a personal list of some of my favourite places to dine in Athens. This year, I decided to keep the list even more compact, so I only included places that I have visited in the last few months. These restaurants satisfy my requirements in three areas: quality, innovation and attitude. Some of them employ a trained sommelier; his/her suggestions help maximise the overall enjoyment and experience. 

4. Can I skip a wine if the winemaker is an ass***?

Gregory Michailos almost reaches the top - 3 with this intriguing post that poses an interesting dilemma.  

5. Amyndeo Explained 2019 -The Highlands of Xinomavro

A 32 pages report, with more than 8000 words, THAT cover all the necessary information about the highlands of Amyndeo and its signature grape variety, Xinomavro. It furthermore discusses other varieties and how they are expressed in these distinctive, high altitude, sandy soils.

7. Τhe Economou Wines – A Mad Max Universe at the end of the world

''...Ιn this unique world, Economou is an evangelist not only of Liatiko but of a new vision of things not completely understood by everyone. But by the few. As are his wines. But he would not want it otherwise...''

8. Announcing the 50 Great Greek Wines

''...50 Great Greek Wines is not just another wine contest. My objective and that of the whole team that includes Marianna Makrigianni and Gregory Michailos is for these 50 wines to open doors for Greek wine. For these to lay the foundation for buyers and wine-lovers around the world to desire to find out more about Greek wine and to access Greek wine more reliably and easily...''

9. What will be the next big thing after Santorini?

''...Although the Greek vineyard has many interesting terroirs, there is not a single one that, on its own, can follow in the footsteps of Santorini’s Assyrtiko. The first reasonable possibility is to talk about Assyrtiko in general, but this does not broaden the discussion. Though Crete, Cephalonia, Tinos, and Paros cannot stand on their own, as each fulfills only some of the criteria needed for a region to develop a strong identity as a fine wine region, "the Islands" together offer quality, name recognition, lifestyle, and gastronomy—enough to become the next big thing for Greek wine..."

10. Elegant Greek Reds

"...The good news is that there are already more than a handful of wines that have moved in that lighter direction and have achieved a combination of drinking pleasure, silkiness and immediate drinkability; a more “Pinot Noir” character..."

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