Which three Greek grape varieties have received the most recognition on the international export market and which region are they linked to?
Xinomavro from Naoussa Agiorgitiko from Nemea Assyrtiko from Santorini
Describe the climate in Greece
Hot mediterranean; summers can reach over 30C
Cooled by altitude and in the coastal areas, by the sea
Winds in islands southeast of the mainland can be strong enough to destroy vines, but also have a cooling effect
Drought can be an issue, even in the wetter areas, but particularly in the eastern areas of the country
Why is the eastern part of Greece particularly susceptible to drought?
It is in the rain-shadow of the Pindos Oros mountains, where there is little water available for irrigation
How many grape varieties are native to Greece?
What is special about Greece's native grape varieties?
They are well adapted to survive in the arid, hot conditions found in Greece
What is the requirement regarding grape varieties, of most Greek PDO designations?
The use of native varieties
Where in Greece is Naoussa PDO?
In northern Greece, in the region of Macedonia
Describe the vineyards of Naoussa PDO
They are at altitudes of up to 400m and are noticeably cooler than surrounding areas
What are the varietal requirements for Naoussa PDO?
Must be red wines made exclusively from Xinomavro
With which more famous wine grape is Xinomavro most commonly compared?
Describe wines made from Xinomavro
Medium colour that fades to tawny with age
They lack fresh fruit aromas even in youth
Develop complex spice and earthy aromas with age
How are new winemakers playing with the traditional format of Xinomavro?
Some are more deeply coloured and less tannic
Some are aged in new oak
Where is Nemea?
In the north of the Peloponnese, close to the narrow strip of land that joins the peninsula to the rest of mainland Greece
What are the varietal requirements for Nemea PDO?
Must be red wines made exclusively from Agiorgitiko
Describe the vineyards of Nemea
They are spread over a wide range of altitudes from 230 to 900 metres
Where in Nemea does the best fruit come from?
The vineyards in the middle of the altitude range
Describe wines made from fruit at the bottom of the slopes in Nemea
They can be overly jammy and tend to be made into fruity wines for early consumption
Describe fruit from the higher slopes of Nemea
Tends to have a higher acidity and less fine tannins
Can add freshness to a red blend
Best suited to rosé production
Describe the best wines of Nemea
Deep ruby colour
High levels of smooth tannins
Low to moderate acidity
Sweet spice and red fruit flavours
Great affinity for new oak and age well
Where/what (roughly) is Santorini?
It is a windswept volcanic island in the Aegean Sea
What is special about vines on Santorini? Why are they like this?
They are trained very low into a basket shape and the fruit grows on the inside To protect them against the strong winds on the island
What style/colour must Santorini PDO wines be made into?
They can be red or white, dry or sweet
What style in Santorini has the highest reputation?
White wines made from Assyrtiko
Describe dry white wines from Santorini
Perfumed aromas and concentrated flavours of ripe citrus and stone fruit High acidity
How are the sweet wines of Santorini PDO known?
How are the late-harvested, Vinsanto grapes of Santorini PDO made?
Describe the resulting sweet wines
Sun-dried for up to 14 days
Wines then aged in oak for minimum of two years (many producers age their wine for far longer)
Sweetness balanced by high acidity
Older wines show oxidative character of caramel and nuts
Other than PDO, how may Greek wine producers label their wines?
Appellation d'origine de qualité supérieure
What is the Greek equivalent of PDO on the domestic market?
Prostatevomeni Onomasia Proelefsis