* A Note From WBC14 Sponsor, Wines of Greece *
Sommelier and radio host, Levi Dalton, of I’ll Drink to That , leads the Ancient Vines…Modern Wines Wine Discovery Session on Saturday, July 12th, at the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference in Buellton, CA. A tasting of Greece’s top white and red wine varieties and discussion of this country’s dynamic wine production, both past and present, will inform, educate, and inspire bloggers. Wines to be tasted include:
Discover for yourself why Greek wines are eternally modern at the Wine Discovery Session hosted by New Wines of Greece on Saturday, July 12.
Greece, the oldest winemaking region in the world, is now one of the most dynamic due to tremendous investments in modern technology and a passionate new breed of winemakers exploring the potential of their native varieties. The Greeks created the first “culture of wine” over 4,000 years ago, integrating wine into everyday life where Dionysus, the God of wine, played a prominent role. Elaborate cups and vessels (the first “Riedels”) were created to drink this divine elixir from the Gods, and wine was consumed at intellectual symposiums held to discuss philosophical ideas of the day. From the beginning, the Greeks also understood the important influence of terroir on the characteristics of wine and shipped their wines in sealed amphorae, unique to particular regions, becoming the first to create their own Appellations of Origin (a few millenniums before the French).
The Greek vineyard combines all of the elements necessary for the production of high quality wine. Its mild Mediterranean climate includes consistent climatic conditions: lots of sunshine, mild winters, dry summers and cool evenings. The soils range from moderate to poor fertility and vary from sand and rock to clay and limestone with most everything else in between–including the volcanic soils of some islands. Beyond its renowned island beaches, Greece, the third most mountainous country in Europe, has a dramatically diverse landscape with mountain ranges that traverse the countryside from north to south. Most vineyards are found on the slopes of mountains or on remote islands with a typical vineyard size being less than (1) hectare. With Greece virtually surrounded by water, most vineyards also enjoy the positive, moderating influence of the sea.
Home to over 300 indigenous grapes, Greece is a source of high quality, limited production wines that express the nuances of its unique terroir. Moschofilero, Malagousia, Assyrtiko, Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro are some of the more predominantly produced varieties, while international grape varieties also thrive, allowing Greece to offer an excellent range of native varietal wines as well as some very interesting blends. Like Greek cuisine, which is based on fresh ingredients, simply prepared, our wines are subtle yet complex–designed to compliment rather than overpower food – and offer a great ratio of price to quality.
We look forward to seeing bloggers at the WBC14 and the Wine Discovery Session on Saturday, July 12!