The Vineyards and Wines of Greece, an introduction
Greek wine has travelled a long way from the Retsina era of the 60's producing now vivacious, mineral, terroir-driven whites and intriguing, serious reds capturing the essence of the country's spectacular mesoclimates. Assyrtikos, Xinomavros and Agiorgitikos have caused a rising tide of interest these last few years but I strongly believe there is so much coming up in the not so distant future.
A very dynamic and energetic wine scene has emerged, something that I sense in all my trips and all my tastings in regions and wineries. And this is something that occurs despite the hard times the Greek economy experiences, which by the way is not necessarily bad for the local wine-industry. Messages now are somehow easier sent in international markets, it is harder perhaps for the domestic market.
Much of this energy is driven by passionate winemakers and pioneers but also by efforts to bring wine personalities in Greece who eventually become Greek wine ambassadors spreading the word that Greek wine might be or ought to be the next big thing.
Greek wine is authentic with real character and sometimes attitude!
So yes, there is a lot of excitement, discussion, indigenous varieties are stars and ... love is in the air, but now I truly believe it is the momentum, to nucleate around something solid, firm and permanent. It is the absolute crucial point for all this Greek movement to crystallise, synthesise and grow further, for all this discussion to be framed in a central square.
The plaza, around which all interesting discussions will be held, where people debate ideas and future directions. A meeting wine - place that will benefit both the trade and consumers. Otherwise once the dust has settled, everything will go back to where it was before and we will be none the wiser for all these efforts.
To be continued...