Greece is considered to be the birthplace of civilization and wine is thought to have been made there for the last 4000 years. Despite this long and storied history, winemaking in Greece never flourished as it did in Italy, for example, This is partly because the country was under the control of the Ottoman Empire, which forbade drinking. As well, the resinated wine style that developed because of the pine resin that was used to seal wine amphorae was a flavour that did not travel well. Over the last 20 years or so, however, the industry has modernized, with the latest equipment and techniques. This combined with unique local grape varieties (Agiorgitiko, Xinomavro, Assyrtiko and Moschophilero) means that Greek wine is becoming more and more popular around the world, particularly among the sommelier community.
Agiorgitiko (ah-your-YEE-TEE-ko) is Greece’s most important red varietal, and at its best on the elevated hillside vineyards of Koutsi in the Appellation of Nemea (Peloponnese, Greece). Greece is often perceived as a hot nation, most capable of producing white wines on many of its idyllic islands. But in fact, much of the country is mountainous and in many parts of Greece the climate is continental, with hot summers and cold, even snowy, winters. Nemea, given its elevation, is such a place.
This unique wine is produced on the island of Santorini. The vines are planted on a 15-degree slope facing East and Southeast on transferred pumice stone soil. The wine is made from the Assyrtiko grape and is light and aromatic. Only free run must is used, which is then fermented for approximately days at 15C. The resulting wine is almost white in color, bone-dry, with strong character, eliciting considerable structure, with crisp acidity, distinctive minerality and delicate honeysuckle aromas.
The grapes for the Monograph Assyrtiko come from vineyards located in the semi-mountainous Koutsi region of Nemea. Unlike the bone-dry, volcanic soils of its native Santorini, the calcareous soils of mainland Greece impart an entirely different character to the varietal, giving it a wider range of exotic fruit flavors and aromas. This is a youthful, intensely fruity Assyrtiko, with a bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus fruit and a refreshing acidity on the palate.
Made from Agiorgitiko from the Nemea region. There are three levels of this grape in the Gaia range and this is their easy drinking / entry level version. A soft fruity wine that has lots of plum flavours with violet, and almost musky, lift to it. Nice and very easy to drink.