Gaia Wines, founded in 1994 by Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos began production with 9,800 bottles of Thalassitis white wine, which quickly became established in Greece and abroad as an example of unique Santorini wines. Today, Gaia operates two wineries: one in Koutsi, Nemea, which is the heart of the company, and one in Exo Gonia, Santorini.
Gaia’s goal has been and still remains today to expand and highlight the quality characteristics of the native Greek grape varieties and to achieve their recognition in international markets. By expanding the potential of the Nemea Agiorgitiko and the Santorini Assyrtiko over the years, Gaia has created a line of wines that have earned numerous international distinctions and have won over both Greek and foreign consumers. Paraskevopoulos is arguably the country’s most visible oenologist, a respected winemaker, influential teacher and poster boy for a modern, urbane wine industry. After his university studies in Greece, he spent five years in Bordeaux, earned a Ph.D., then returned to make a name for himself as Greece’s most ubiquitous consulting oenologist. As head of Greece’s most prestigious university oenology program, much of the country’s emerging winemaking talent has felt his influence.
Agiorgitiko is a fragrant red-wine grape native to Greece’s Peloppenese peninsula. It is one to the country’s most widely planted wine grape after Xenoprava, and goes by a number of local synonyms. Agiorgitiko is the sole variety permitted in the Nemea appellation and performs admirably well in the hot Mediterranean climate there.
Agiorgitiko is a remarkably versatile grape variety, and is used to make everything from light rose wines to rich, full-bodied red wines with dark fruit flavours and plush tannins. Barrel maturation is increasingly used in Greece to assist Agioritiko’s aging process. When not produced as a varietal wine, Agiorgitiko blends favourably with Cabernet Sauvignon.
On offer this week is the 2014 Gaia Agiorgitiko. For those unfamiliar with this producer and this varietal you are in for a pleasant surprise. It is a finely crafted wine produced from perfectly ripened fruit. I enjoyed it immensely along with a roast of lamb.
The 2012 Gaia Agiorgitiko is available for immediate delivery. To order, simply e-mail. There are only 25 cases of this wine available; do not miss this opportunity to taste a fantastic Greek red wine.