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08 August 2017

Wines of Cephalonia in the Botanical Garden of Argostoli

What a nice opportunity to revisit the island of Cephalonia the invitation to participate in the annual dinner organised by Kosmetatos foundation in the island's Botanical Garden was.

Kefalonia Botanica was established in 1998 at the initiative of the Focas-Cosmetatos Foundation aiming at the preservation and display of the wild and endemic plants of the island. The site will gradually develop plant habitats such as forest and grassland. 2008 saw the creation of a man-made small lake holding 500 cu.m. of water. Today the garden covers 10.000 sq.m terrain and is one of the twelve botanical gardens in the country. You can read more about it in this link.

Art in the Botanica of Argostoli

In such an ideal location just 2 km from Argostoli the annual dinner with Wines of Cephalonia takes place featuring the main six wineries of the island, Robola Co-operative, Gentilini Cosmetatos, Foivos, Haritatos, Melissinos and Sclavos

I have written extensively about the wines of Cephalonia in Cephalonia: The alter ego of Santorini arguing that is one of the upcoming strengths of Greek together with other ''islandic forces'' as well. Old vines, limestone soils and a fantastic combination of white wines from Robola and reds from Mavrodaphne are responsible for some of the most fascinating Greek wines currently produced. There are more native varieties emerging though such as Zakynthino, Vostilidi and Tsaousi meaning that the wine enthusiast should keep an open eye for the wines of Cephalonia.

Before the delicious wine dinner a tasting took place with wines from the six producers. All in all this confirmed my view that the wines improve vintage by vintage and that more excitement will come during the following years. Now is the time to strengthen the brand Cephalonia by a team effort. 

Some of the wines I enjoyed during the tasting and dinner:

Robola Co-operative San Gerassimo 2016

The Co-operative's top Robola is sourced from high altitude vineyards expressing a harmonious array of mineral, floral and fruity scents. Fleshy and elegant it offers great value and pleasure.  

Gentilini Wild Paths Robola 2016

Single vineyard Robola from Fagias parcels showing a gorgeous stone fruit core with just detectable spicy hints of oak. Creamy and intense with remarkable freshness and long lasting finish.

Foivos Varkarola Robola 2016

Tight and sweetly scented nose followed by a fat yet fresh palate with a firm core of ripe apples and grapefruit along underlying minerality.   

Haritatos Mademoiselle Haritatou Mavrodaphne 2016

Unoaked Mavrodaphne offering the primary aromas of the variety without the toasty notes of oak maturation. Pure with intense blue-black fruit, white pepper and lavender. Delicious first effort. 

Melissinos Robola Bio 2016

Sourced from just two vineyards, one on the steep slopes of Fagias (700m) and the other lower in Lacomatia village it is handled very natural with low SO2 (60mg/lt total). Bottled unfiltered offering a deep and focused nose of nectarines along lemon blossom and citrus zest. Fresh, ripe and vibrant on the palate. 

Sclavos Vino di Sasso Robola 2016

Natural in approach Robola from Greece's most natural winemaker along Tatsis brothers offering the essence of the variety with its richness without sacrificing elegance. Layered with depth of fruit and lovely smooth and rewarding finish.

Read more about Cephalonia in Cephalonia the alter ego of Santorini

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