Greece has an ancient wine-making tradition, and yet its wines have been slow to gain popularity outside of the Mediterranean region. Focusing mainly on indigenous varieties, the wines of Greece are often herbaceous, crisp, and lean. This week, we're excited to showcase several Greek wineries that provide a chance to explore these unique native grapes.
Buketo Wines come to us from the Pangeon region in Northern Greece. The winery operates on a co-op model and makes blends from organically grown grapes. Buketo White is a blend of Malagousia, Assyrtiko, and Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is well balanced and bright, with notes of apricot, peach, key lime, and local herbs. Buketo Red blends Agiorgitiko, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot for a complex, yet easy drinking bottle. The palate shows rich berries, basil, dark cherry, and a touch of chocolate.
Buketo White - $19.99; available at Krog; Buketo Red - $21.99; available at West End
Nemea is a protected destination of origin for the grape Agioritiko, one of Greece’s most important red varietals, and it's the reason Gai’a Wines chose this region for their red wine production. If you’d like to try a solo expression of Agioritiko, head to Krog and pick up Gai’a Monograph. This wine is fruit forward with soft tannins and notes of pomegranate, plum sauce, oregano, and black currant. Gai’a Notios blends Agiortiko with Syrah, adding a rich depth and black pepper spice to the classic palate. Find Notios at West End.
Gai'a Monograph - $18.99; available at Krog; Gai'a Notios - available at West End
If seeking something truly unique, try a wine from Makarounas Vineyards on the island of Cyprus. Located in an area with a long history of viniculture, this family-owned vineyard is the only one on Cyprus making wine solely from their own grapes. Makarounas Vineyards focuses on natural wine-making with grape varieties indigenous to Cyprus. West End currently has the Aerides Xynisteri, En Arhi Cabernet Franc, and the Spourtiko and Krog has the cab franc as well. Our favorite of the three is the Spourtiko, a dry, savory white wine with a mineral forward palate and notes of green grape skin, citrus zest, dried herbs and ocean breeze.
Aerides Xynisteri - $22.99; West End; En Arhi Cabernet Franc - $24.99; Krog & West End; Spourtiko - $24.99; West End