Xinomavro, Limniona, Assyrtiko, Athri, Aidani, and Robola are the grapes you’ll find in your box this month. If you don’t know them, or even aren’t sure how to pronounce them, that’s good! We’re entering unfamiliar territory and that’s what makes the wine journey so exciting!
Greece is one of the ancient wine growing regions in the world and wine is ingrained into Greek cuisine, culture, heritage, and mythology. The God of wine, Dionysus, son of Zeus and Persephone, was famous for creating wine and spreading the art of viticulture, he is also known as Bacchus as later adopted by the Romans.
A good introduction to Greece is to understand that it is more than just a warm “Mediterranean climate” wine country. In fact, its diverse climates and topography make for very different growing conditions and subsequent wine styles. There are four major wine zones: Northern Greece, Central Greece, Southern Greece, and the Aegean Islands.
The two reds in the June box hail from Northern Greece which has has some influences from the Mediterranean but is more continental with colder winters, areas with high winds, rain, and snowfall in the mountains. Xinomavro (“k-see-no-mav-roh”) is Greece’s most important red wine- often compared to the hauntingly beautiful and structured Barolos of northern Italy. Limniona on the other hand is more like a juicy and red cherry Gamay with lighter tannins and fresh acidity.
The two whites in the box are from two islands on either side of the mainland. The Atlantis White is from the Aegean Island zone, or more specifically from Santorini, which we have already encountered last June through our Volcanic box selection. A hot, arid, island, Santorini’s white wines are brimming with a salinity and taut freshness thanks to Assyrtiko’s naturally high acids making it an exceptional seafood wine.
Finally the Robola is the most rare grape of the bunch, only found on Kefolonia and has a wonderfully pithy, bitter almond, and distinctive mineral quality reminiscent of a Soave Classico.
Yamas! I hope you enjoy the wines and are inspired to drink them alongside your favourite dishes, or even try your hand at the suggested Greek recipes!