Greek Wine Captivating Drinkers

Greek wine
Wines imported into Australia by Drink Greek, featured at Wine Island last year.

You’ve most likely heard of Chardonnay, Cabernet and Shiraz but have you heard of Moschofilero, Savatiano and Agiorgitiko? They’re from a long list of Greek varietals.

Greece has a vast number of indigenous grape varieties – it’s thought that there are more than 300. The first wines were made in Greece thousands of years ago; it was one of the foremost producers in the ancient world.

Greek wine was traded extensively around the Mediterranean and was held in especially high regard by the Romans. Despite that ancient legacy, it’s only in very recent times that the market for Greek wine has been reinvigorated.

Thanks to a new generation of passionate winemakers drawing on this extraordinary resource, focusing on quality and creating more modern styles, Greek wine is once again beginning to captivate wine drinkers abroad.

The wines featured here were tasted late last year at Wine Island, an event held on Queen Elizabeth II Island in Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. They were offered for tasting by Drink Greek, a distributor with a comprehensive portfolio of around 30 impressive Greek wines, along with some craft beers and artisanal spirits.

Contemporary Greek winemaking

The Drink Greek stand had something of a Greek beach club atmosphere, with its blue and white stripes, sun umbrella and bougainvillea draped over the bar. Nestled into the sand on this island in the lake on a glorious sunny day, it wasn’t quite Mykonos but it was a great way to spend a summer’s day. The wines tasted were modern and stylish and represented the breadth of contemporary Greek winemaking.

Artisanal winery, Karanika, in northern Greece, has garnered international attention for its sparkling wines which owners Laurens and Annette Hartman have been producing for about a decade.

The history of Mylonas goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, but it has had a breath of fresh air since passing into the hands of a dynamic third generation in 2000. It’s now considered to be one of the most upcoming producers in the Attica region. Working with old, non-irrigated vines, low yields and both modern and traditional techniques such as clay amphora, it is producing some lovely expressions of Savatiano.

Like Mylonas, Muses Estate is also in the hands of an enthusiastic third generation. It focuses mostly on indigenous varieties, the star being Mouchtaro, a rare red variety that is full-bodied and intense yet with silky tannins. 

Troupis, producer of the ‘Tomi’ Mantinia, is one of the newest and most exciting players in the Peloponnese. Working exclusively with Moschofilero and Agiorgitiko, this small family enterprise is constantly exploring Moschofilero’s potential through different expressions and experimental bottlings produced in very limited quantities.

Konstantinos Mitravelas is passionate about Agiorgitiko and it’s the focus of production at his Mitravelas Estate. This winery in the Peloponnese dates back to 1913, the jewel in its crown being the Old Vineyard Nemea, where old, unirrigated vines deliver super-concentrated grapes.

Karanika Brut Rosé, $49.99: Made in the traditional method from 90% Xinomavro and 10% Limniona, this elegant sparkling pink is redolent of strawberries and raspberries with background yeasty notes. Crisp and refreshing, beautiful summer drinking.

Mylonas Savatiano, $24.99: A dry, refreshing white from Attica with tingling acidity, much like a Chablis. Bursting with citrus and herbal aromas, it has flavours of lime and lemon curd with subtle yeasty notes.

Troupis ‘Tomi’: This delightful white is 100% Moschofilero from low-yielding vineyards in Mantinia, a region in the Peloponnese. Grown at an altitude of 700 metres, it is dry, aromatic and floral, almost ethereal. Flavours of peach and nectarine, and a long, mineral finish. If you appreciate Moscato d’Asti, you might like to explore this variety.

A.Muse Rosé, $29.99: Produced by Muses Estate, this is a light, easy-drinking blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Mouchtaro. The latter gives it a beautiful salmon pink colour and appealing cherry and strawberry notes.

Mitravelas Red on Black, $22.99: 100% Agiorgitiko from Nemea. Vibrant and inviting with generous fruity notes of cherry, raspberry, plum with hints of chocolate and spice. Full-bodied with smooth tannins and a rounded mouthfeel.

This story originally appeared in PS News. It is not a sponsored post. 

**Enjoy more of our wine posts and recommendations here.**

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