In Greece, although vine harvesting and wine consumption are deeply-rooted, orga nized production HADN’T REALLY STARTED until the end of the 50’s.
At the initiative of Mrs. Stavroula Kourakou-Dragona, the regional varieties that are cultivated, are recorded and Greece gradually starts appearing on the international wine map.
The initial exports serve the needs of the emigrants in Germany, the U.S.A, Canada and Australia.
Wines of a medium quality – with Retsina prevailing in the market – could hardly be referred to as “gastronomic ambassadors”.
Ever since the end of the 80’s, coordinated efforts for the exportation of good quality Greek wine began and the overall image gradually changed over the decades. Even though Greek wines may be lagging behind in the bulk of sales, the relativity between quality and price, is not to be questioned! Opinion-makers of wines discover forgotten Greek varieties and display great eagerness in publishing their articles in targeted magazines. The “humble” Savvatiano wine of Attica, and Retsina, start gaining a better image compared to what it was before.
The Assyrtiko is boosted in terms of popularity, while at the same time the price of the grape increases dramatically, constituting it as a luxury good for the Greek consumers.
Many compare the “Ksinomavro” with the Italian Barolo and Barbaresco varieties. The Greek wines eventually make it to the wine list of famous and well-awarded restaurants worldwide.
The financial crisis lead the children of families with vineyards to return to their neglected properties and initiate the business from a new standpoint, putting a new generation of wine-producers at the forefront. In a country whose economy is service-based, the primary sector has been showing signs of recovery, and that in itself is rather encouraging.
Wineries have been doubling in number!
Nowadays, the Greek wine is experiencing its own well-deserved spring. Hundreds of locally produced varieties are coming to the forefront and Greece appears to have a very promising future.
The amazing contradictions and complexities within Greek nature leave their prints on a range of Greek wines. Discover them!