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GREEK WINES MASTERCLASS by Evangelos Psofidis


MANTINIA


MANTINIA

GEOGRAPHY: Mantinia region is in the central eastern part of the Peloponnesian district of Arkadia, between the mountains of Parnon to the east and Mainalo to the west. The average altitude on the Mantinia plateau is 660 m. GRAPE VARIETY: Moschofilero [Moscho fee’ le ro] CLIMATE: One of the coolest regions in Greece, with a lot of rainfall and snow during the winter and relatively low temperatures and frequent rainstorms during the summer. SOILS: Mixture of sand and clay VITICULTURE: The old vineyards (over 40-50 years old) are densely planted and trained into goblets. However, most of the newer vineyards have linear plantings and are cordon-trained. Harvest in Mantinia comes late, in October, occasionally posing the risk of the crop going bad due to autumnal rainfall.


Tselepos “Amalia” Brut NV REGION: Peloponnese, Mantinia PRODUCER: Domaine Tselepos STYLE: Sparkling dry white wine (traditional method) VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Moschofilero ALCOHOL VOLUME: 12% Abv WHEN TO DRINK: Within 2-3 years BEST SERVED TEMPERATURE: 8 oC FOOD PAIRING: Neat as an aperitif, cheese platter, fruit platter, green salads, raw and marinated seafood GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The wine is dry with pale lemon colour, light body, refreshing acidity and aromas and flavours of roses, honey, peach, apricot as well as yeasts as a result of the second fermentation in the bottle.


SANTORINI


SANTORINI

GEOGRAPHY: Santorini whose official name is Thira, is the southernmost island of the Cycladic cluster in the southern Aegean. GRAPE VARIETY: Assyrtiko [A seer’ tee ko] CLIMATE: Mediterranean, mild winters and warm, dry summers with little rain, that falls mostly in winter. Excess heat during summer is moderated by sea breeze and strong winds also known as “Meltemia”. Strong winds help air circulation that keep away rot problems and keep vines healthy. SOILS: Volcanic, limestone. Porous soil that retain humidity from dew, rainfall and moisture from the sea. VITICULTURE: Phylloxera free region, vines are trained very close to the ground in a basket shaped bush called “Kouloura” to avoid strong winds and summer heat. Grape bunches are laid inside the basket while the leaves grow all around forming a protective canopy. Harvest in Santorini usually starts within first 10 days of August.


Santo Wines 2012 REGION: Santorini PRODUCER: Santo Wines STYLE: White dry still wine VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Assyrtiko ALCOHOL VOLUME: 13% Abv WHEN TO DRINK: Within 1-2 years BEST SERVED TEMPERATURE: 10 oC FOOD PAIRING: Neat as an aperitif, fried seafood platter, shellfish, raw and marinated seafood, grilled seafood, pasta with shellfish , green salads. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The wine is dry with bright, pale lemon colour, light body, high levels of acidity and aromas and flavours of citrus fruit like lemon and lime developing a more mineral character with time in the glass.


NAOUSSA


NAOUSSA

GEOGRAPHY: Naoussa region lies in Northern Greece in the north-western part of the district of Imathia, on the south-eastern slopes of mount Vermio and at an altitude ranging from 150-350m. GRAPE VARIETY: Xinomavro [ksee no’ mavro] CLIMATE: The climate of the region is continental and is characterized by plenty of rain and snow during winter and spring, and dry conditions in summer with long periods of high temperatures resulting in a need for controlled irrigation by the producers. SOILS: Ranges from heavy clay to light sandy clay. VITICULTURE: The vineyards are situated on the south-eastern slopes of mount Vermio, protected from the cold northern winds and benefiting from the mid-afternoon sun. Naoussa vineyards have linear canopy and are cordontrained.


Kir-Yianni “Ramnista” 2008 REGION: Naoussa PRODUCER: Kir-Yianni Estate STYLE: Red dry still wine VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Xinomavro ALCOHOL VOLUME: 13,8% Abv WHEN TO DRINK: Within 15 years BEST SERVED TEMPERATURE: 16 oC FOOD PAIRING: Red meat, game, lamb, tomato stew veal, pasta with porcini mushrooms, cheese with intense and spicy flavours and aromas, spicy sausages. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The wine is dry with medium to deep ruby colour, medium to full body, high levels of acidity, pronounced tannins and aromas and flavours of red and black fruit like strawberry, cherry and blackberry as well as sweet spices like vanilla and cinnamon deriving from the barrel aging. After 5-6 years, the wine will start to develop a more brownish colour and show more earthy character with aromas of mushrooms and truffles.


SAMOS


SAMOS

GEOGRAPHY: Samos island lies in the south-eastern part of the Aegean Sea and specifically in the most eastern part of the Ikarian Sea, to the south of Chios and to the north of the Dodecanese cluster. It is very close to the Turkish coast, from which the closest point is approximately 1 mile apart. GRAPE VARIETY: Muscat Blanc a Petits Grain CLIMATE: The climate is Mediterranean with long periods of sunshine and rather low temperatures especially in vineyards located in high altitudes. SOILS: Mostly chalk and limestone with good drainage due to the gradient of the land. VITICULTURE: The white Muscat grape grows best on the mountainous or semi-mountainous vineyards in the northern part of the island. There the vines grow in narrow terraces built of stone where often no more than one row of vines fit.


Samos “Anthemis” 2005 REGION: Samos PRODUCER: Union of Winemaking Cooperative of Samos STYLE: White fortified sweet wine VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Muscat Blanc a Petits Grain ALCOHOL VOLUME: 15% Abv WHEN TO DRINK: Within 20 years BEST SERVED TEMPERATURE: 12-14 oC FOOD PAIRING: Fruit cakes and tarts with nuts, sun-dried fruit, crème brûlée, yoghurt, ice cream, foie gras with figs and aged yellow cheese. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The wine is sweet with deep amber colour, silky and rich texture with high acidity and a sensation of warmth in the mouth due to the pronounced alcohol. The dominant aromas and flavours are those of raisins, candied citrus fruit, honey, caramel, almonds as well as those of vanilla and nutmeg deriving from the barrel aging.


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