Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 article on Santorini (see blue link below).
The 2017 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal and 97 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
One of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution Gaia Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos. Operating two different wineries they make cutting edge wines in both Nemea and Santorini. Gaia's main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide.
The vineyard is located in Santorini. The terroir is recognised worldwide for its tremendous historical roots as the vineyards in this area date back 3,000 years. The low yielding vines are self rooted and are grown in soils which are poor in organic matter. The high sand content has ensured they have never been affected by phylloxera. The soils are also volcanic: porous with a high mineral content, which imparts a mineral quality to the resulting wine. The long sunshine hours, lack of rainfall, sea mists and strong summer winds all contribute to the unique microclimate. The surrounding Aegean Sea acts as a climatic buffer which softens the climate, so the extreme conditions and vintage variations are reduced. The vines are trained on traditional basket shaped systems called kouloura.
2018 was a good vintage in Santorini. Favourable weather conditions enabled the vines to ripen steadily and resulting in healthy grapes with excellent maturity.
The handpicked grapes were destemmed, crushed and cold soaked for 12 hours with skin contact at 10°C. The free run juice was then fermented naturally, using only natural yeasts. 50% of the must was fermented in stainless steel tanks, 35% in new oak casks (18% French and 17% American oak) and 15% in acacia casks. The temperature was allowed to rise naturally without any further intervention. From here, modern technology passed the baton to traditional winemaking and the fermentation developed at its own, gradual pace, with the prevailing yeast strains determining the wine's final character. In each tank and barrel, the wine fermented differently, so at the end of the fermentation each portion was tasted and carefully selected, according to the quality. With each vintage, a new dimension of this multifaceted variety is discovered.
"Toasty, smoky and funky on the nose with mineral dusting and brooding intensity. The palate is salty dry with laser-beam precision and very funky wild ferment layering of complexity with oak wreathed into the mix with sensitivity. The finish is dry, with lasting salty and tangy flavours. Unique and outstanding wine." (The Wine Gang)
ABV = 13.5%.
The 2018 vintage was awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
Biblia Chora is the innovative creation of Vangelis Gerovassiliou and Vassilis Tsaktsarlis, two of the most talented winemakers in Greece. The winery was established in 1998 and the privately owned vineyard lies on the cool climate slopes of Mount Pangeon, at Kokkinochori near Kavala. It has been farmed organically since day one. These exceptional, cutting edge wines are some of the best white wines in Greece, which have similarities to very good white Bordeaux – not surprising as Vassilis studied with Denis Dubourdieu; the king of modern white Graves. Vintage 2017 saw a very cold start, with snow and rainfall during the spring months, which built soil water reserves. Warm weather during the summer led to optimal growing and maturation conditions. The white wines are full bodied and have rich varietal aromas with good balancing acidity.
Located in the coastal region of Pangaia, Biblia Chora’s privately owned estate vineyard is situated at 380 metres altitude and extends over 140 hectares. With the striking Paggaio Mountain as the backdrop and the sea breeze coming from the Aegean Sea in front the estate, the vines thrive in this mild, Mediterranean climate which is characterised by mild winters and cool summers. The wide diurnal temperature range encourages a long, slow maturation of the grapes, concentrating the flavours in the berries. The vineyard is cultivated according to strict ecological agricultural standards in order to respect the environment and local flora and fauna. The vines are planted at a density of 4,000 plants per hectare and all the work in the vineyard, such as leaf thinning and the harvest is carried out by hand. The soil is rocky and infertile, with limestone and clay and good levels of drainage.
The grapes were picked at optimum maturity and then carefully selected. The wine was vinified in the state-of-the-art winery, using modern techniques to ensure the aromatics and varietal flavours were retained. Each variety was vinified separately and then matured in 225-litre French oak barrels for a period of five months, with bâtonnage taking place in the barrel. This wine went through full malolactic fermentation, enhancing the creamy texture.
Assyrtiko 50%, Semillon 50%.
The distinctive and characteristic aromas of apricot and honey from the Semillon blend perfectly with the citrus and lemon notes from the Assyrtiko, with nuances of vanilla and nutty hints adding complexity. Elegant, with a creamy texture, this stylish wine is beautifully balanced by refreshing palate which leads to a long finish.
ABV = 13.5%.
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article, Beyond Assyrtiko (ie other Greek whites) (see blue link below).
The 2018 vintage was awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)
Ktima Gerovassiliou is the brainchild of Evangelos Gerovassiliou. He initiated the revival of the family vineyard by planting the nearly extinct Malagousia in 1981. This state of the art winery is now surrounded by 74 hectares of meticulously well-cared vineyards on the slopes of Epanomi. Ktima Gerovassiliou guarantees consistent, high quality wines of international acclaim every year and his Malagousia remains the benchmark to this day.
At Ktima Gerovassiliou, the single, private vineyard is cultivated with great care and enthusiasm, which leads to constant research and experimentation with Greek and international varieties. New technological advances blend well with tradition throughout the vine growing and vinification processes to produce high quality wines that carry all the distinct characteristics of the terroir of Epanomi. The climate in the region of Epanomi is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers, tempered by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the sea, which is three kilometres away, while its west side faces the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the beaches of Pieria. The vines are grown in soils which are mainly sandy with a few clayey substrates and calcareous rocks. It is rich in sea fossils, as the surrounding hilly area was formed by sea deposits.
The Malagousia (pronounced Mah-lah-gou-ZYA) grapes were macerated on the skins to extract the desired level of aromatics. Part of the must was fermented in stainless steel at controlled temperatures of between 18 to 20°C; and part was vinified in seasoned French oak. Clarification took place by gravity. The wine was then matured on the lees for a few months with regular lees stirring or bâtonnage, prior to being fined with bentonite.
Wonderfully expressive and complex aromas of white pear, mango and lemon zest combine with floral hints. Delightful and refreshing on the palate, it is rich and harmonious with a spicy, mouthwatering finish with a delicious flinty, mineral character. A perfect match for Mediterranean dishes, seafood, Thai-spiced grilled swordfish, orzo cauliflower salad or fried courgette blossoms.
This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
ABV = 13.5%.
The 2018 vintage was awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)
Ktima Gerovassiliou is the brainchild of Evangelos Gerovassiliou. He initiated the revival of the family vineyard by planting the nearly extinct Malagousia in 1981. This state of the art winery is now surrounded by 74 hectares of meticulously well cared vineyards on the slopes of Epanomi. Ktima Gerovassiliou guarantees consistent, high quality wines of international acclaim every year and his Malagousia remains the benchmark to this day.
2018 was characterised by being a premature (and overall a dry) year. A mild winter resulted in early budbreak – approximately 12 days earlier than usual. March and April were very dry, with April having unseasonably higher temperatures than usual, favouring early maturation. Temperatures cooled a little in the early summer and June saw warm, drought conditions which continued throughout the summer. The resulting fruit had enhanced primary flavours and exceptional phenolic ripeness .
At Ktima Gerovassiliou, the single, private 74-hectare vineyard is cultivated with great care and enthusiasm, which leads to constant research and experimentation with Greek and international varieties. New technological advances blend well with tradition throughout the vine growing and vinification processes to produce high quality wines that carry all the distinct characteristics of the terroir of Epanomi. The climate is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers, tempered by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the sea, which is three kilometres away, while its west side faces the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the beaches of Pieria. The vines are grown in soils which are mainly sandy with a few clayey substrates and calcareous rocks. It is rich in sea fossils, as the surrounding hilly area was formed by sea deposits.
The Assyrtiko (pronounced Ah-SEER-tee-koe) and Malagousia (Mah-lah-gou-ZYA) grapes underwent skin contact maceration to extract aromas. Fermentation followed in stainless steel at controlled temperatures of between 18-20°C; and partly in new French oak. The wine was clarified by gravity and then matured on the lees for several months with bâtonnage. Gently fined prior to bottling.
Assyrtiko 50%, Malagousia 50%.
Exotic fruit flavours combine with hints of orange, jasmine, herbs and a touch of lemon. Lively, attractive and vivacious. Expressive aromas of exotic fruits combined with hints of pepper, orange, jasmine, orange, melon and a touch of lemon. Beautifully refined on the palate which is characterised by richness, harmony and a bright lemony finish. A terrific companion for Asian cuisine, fresh shellfish, creamy-sauce based pasta dishes, appetisers and salads with Greek Feta.
This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article, Beyond Assyrtiko (ie other Greek whites) (see blue link below).
The Monemvasia Winery was founded in 1997 with a clear objective: to revive the production of Malvasia wine in its birth place. The Frankish name for Monemvasia is Malvasia, which originally lent its name to the wine. In the 12th century and for the subsequent 300 years, this wine ruled the European world. It is still produced in many countries, but until recently was not being produced in the country of its origin - Greece. The Monemvasia Winery created the first privately owned 121 hectares of vineyard, planted with local varieties. It is committed to producing quality wines which showcase the characteristics of the indigenous varieties and the terroir of the peninsula of Maleus.
Kydonitsa (pronounced Ki-do-NI-tsa) is a rare, old local variety and one of the components of the legendary wine Malvasia. The vineyard is located on the peninsula of Maleus at the foothills of the Parnonas Mountain range at an altitude of 80 metres above sea level. Surrounded by the Myrtoo Sea to the North West and by the Laconian Gulf to the South West, the vineyard is influenced by a Mediterranean climate with high sunshine hours and coastal sea breezes. The soils are clay loam and rich in minerals. All these factors contribute in creating a unique terroir and the climatic conditions present an ideal environment for healthy vines, which are cultivated with minimal intervention.
A relatively cold winter with good rainfall which helped to build soil water reserves; was followed by cool and rainy spring. The temperatures rose steadily and summer was hot, but with a notable absence of severe heatwaves, resulting in good conditions for ripening of the grapes. The beneficial cool northerly winds known locally as Meltemia enabled the grapes to retain higher acidity and overall freshness with lovely aromatic freshness. Harvested on 20th September 2018.
The grapes were carefully selected, destemmed and crushed. The free run juice was extracted by crushing, while the press wines were gently extracted at pressures of a maximum of one bar. The juice was settled at 13°C. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts, in stainless steel at 16°C lasting between 15 to 20 days. The wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation resulting in a wine with a fresh, pure style. It was matured on the lees for five months, with regular bâtonnage (lees stirring) imparting texture and complexity.
Kydonitsa is Greek for quince and this wine is true to its name showing ripe quince and elegant aromas of tropical fruits. Creamy and full flavoured on the palate with a mouthwatering freshness and a long aromatic and sweetly spiced finish. Perfect with seafood, especially fresh lobster or grilled fish.
ABV = 13.0%.