During the past Christmas holidays me and my husband, Davide, spent 4 days in Greece flying from Naples to Athens. The plan at the beginning was to spend those days in the capital – for me it was the first time there and I was so very excited to explore the city and all the ancient history and monuments there.
Then we started to read the Lonely planet guide about Greece and we got excited to explore a bit more… and why not to combine it with some wine as well?
Being honest, I did not know much about Greek wines – and now I feel like I know a little more.
I first started to look around Athens and the Attica region – but after discovering that a couple of wine makers I was interested to meet had their very own lands devastated from fires last summer, we desisted.
We also started to read about Peloponneso region which is not too far from Attica and we decided to rent a car to get to explore some more of Greece. And that was a great choice!
We learnt about Nemea region and its wine paths… And we decided to stay in Nafplio, a town on the Sea in Peloponneso region, which was just a few hours drive from Athens (really beautiful town, worth to visit and stay!).
Second (and toughest) challenge was finding some interesting wine makers open during the Christmas holidays. I sent many emails and called many wine makers and I was able to arrange one appointment in those days with Semeli.
The visit to Semeli was truly amazing also thanks to Margarita, who kindly explained us everything about Semeli, its origins and also their philosophy in wine making, showing me and Davide around the beautiful wine cellar and teaching me how to pronounce agiorgitiko, a red wine greek grape variety.
The hospitality we received (thanks again to Margarita!) was incredible and I would really recommend to visit Semeli if you are around the area. Their wines are also so good, I really appreciated the autoctone greek grape varieties we tried for the first time there.
These are all the wines we tried during the wine tasting:
Another very interesting grape variety I learnt about in this visit is the Moschofilero, a pink skinned grape variety from Greece used to produce aromatic white wines. It is a wine that won many prizes from Mantinia wine region, very aromatic and fresh at the palate.
It was a shame we could not buy and ship some wine to UK but at least we could buy a few bottles at the airport to bring to our parents as a present from Greece. And we decided to buy the Mantinia, the Moschofilero, as I found it was very peculiar and I truly enjoyed it.
What am I thinking now? How is it possible that I knew so little about greek autoctone grape varieties? There is truly so much to know about wine and sometimes I feel I know so little…