The Vineyards and Wines of Greece: Challenges and new Trends
Less is more: Whites, especially the ones with no oak during fermentation and/or maturation have reached a satisfactory to high quality level, demonstrating an expressive character full of freshness, minerality and elegance.
However, when it comes to reds there is still considerable room for improvement since it often involves more complex winemaking protocols. I have witness though a trend for a more judicious use of new oak, which I believe should not exceed 20-30% in most of the cases.
I have also observed producers reconsidering and investing in concrete of various shapes. For example Sigalas purchased both square and egg tanks for selected vinifications; T-Oinos in Tinos Island will experiment from the 2016 vintage onwards in
concrete amphora, while Sclavos in Cephalonia selected concrete from Sonoma. The benefits? The same amount of oxygen avoiding the toasty vanillin character. The challenges? Quality wine and addressing the implication associated with new types of fermentation vessels.
While these are limited examples, they indicate that something may change in red (and white) vini cation permitting better fruit expression and allowing terroir to shine. Producers might start reconsidering the use of oak, by starting with less new oak and increasing it when there is a need (something that I personally doubt).