Category: Wine

Getting a taste of Greek wines before my upcoming trip

Share

A Taste of Greece in Toronto

Sampling Kamara Winery‘s Malagouzia 2015 at Taste of Greece, a special event held in Toronto by Wine Align and  New Wines of Greece 

 

Vintage Greece: Sunday May 15 was a bizarre day here in Toronto, bringing us weather from all four seasons in less than 24 hours — snow flurries, sleet, rain, high winds and occasional breaks of sunshine. But it was nice and toasty inside a special events hall at the Royal Ontario Museum, where hundreds of people got to enjoy a taste of Greece for a few hours and forget they were actually in chilly Toronto.

The event was Taste of Greece: Brilliant Wines, Inspiring Food, Timeless Culture, and featured hundreds of product tastings offered by nearly 50 different wineries from all over Greece.

New Wines of Greece

Some of the 500 people who packed a special events hall in Toronto to taste hundreds of wines from nearly 50 different Greek wineries (Photo from the New Wines of Greece Facebook page.)

 

Taste of Greece took place at a perfect time for me personally — just two weeks before I fly to Greece for my next holiday — and gave me some inspiration for wines to look for while we are exploring the Peloponnese.

But besides giving me and 500 other people a unique opportunity to sample dozens of Greek wines under one roof, Taste of Greece was providing support for a good cause. 

 

 

Proceeds from the event, which was hosted by WineAlign and presented by New Wines of Greece,  will assist the Friends of Boroume charity, a non-profit organization committed to reducing food waste and distributing surplus food to the needy throughout Greece.

Similar Taste of Greece events also were held in Montreal on May 11 and New York City on May 18.

For those of you Down Under, you’ll get your own chance to experience a taste of Greece when New Wines of Greece returns to Australia for the second time in June with events in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Click here to see details on the New Wines of Greece website.

 

A Taste of Greece Toronto

The Toronto wine tasting was one of 3 Taste of Greece events in North America this month —  the other two took place in Montreal and New York City. Similar events will be held in Australia in June.

Up-and-coming small wineries to watch and visit in the Cyclades

Share

Manalis Winery Sikinos

Wines produced by Manalis Winery on Sikinos (pictured below) are displayed on the winery’s open-air restaurant and events terrace, which offers spectacular views of the sea and nearby islands. Both photos are from galleries in the Manalis Winery website.

 

Manalis Winery Sikinos Greece

 

Cycladic vintners: Winery tours and tastings will be on the agenda for thousands of tourists visiting Santorini this year, no doubt because of the island’s worldwide fame for its local Assyrtiko varietal. 

As I reported in a post on January 21 2014,  Wine Enthusiast magazine cited Santorini and two other Aegean islands in its listing of the world’s top 10 wine travel destinations for 2014. Not surprisingly, winery tours have long been ranked among the leading attractions on TripAdvisor’s chart of Things to do in Santorini. In fact, as of May 17, Santo Wines was the #5-rated attraction on the island, while the Venetsanos Winery and the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum ranked in the top 20 out of almost 300 key attractions on Santorini.

But while the Santorini wineries are attracting the warmest glow of international attention for now, several small wineries on nine other Cyclades islands could be basking in the limelight soon.

Earlier this year, the excellent culture and gastronomy website Greece Is published an informative article entitled 11+1 Unknown, Small Wineries in the Cyclades. Written by Nikoleta Makryonitou, the article notes that the wineries she mentions are among the smallest in the world, so they aren’t top destinations for wine lovers just yet. “Still, there has been a rise in the production of bottled wines and a turn to quality, which are creating high expectations for the near future,” she observes.

 

 

Her article profiles the following wineries, most of which will arrange tours or visits if contacted in advance:

Moraitis Winery on Paros (the only one of the bunch that I have personally visited for wine tastings)

Moraitiko on Paros

Manalis Winery on Sikinos

♦ Korres Family Winery on Naxos

Konstantakis Cave Winery on Milos

Syros Winery on Syros

Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Vineyard on Mykonos

♦ Kipos Xydaki on Mykonos

♦ Tinian Vineyards on Tinos

♦ Fonsos Winery on Tinos

♦ Votsari Wines on Sifnos, and

♦  Chrysoloras Vineyards on Serifos

Click here to read Nikoleta’s full article, and be sure to bookmark it for reference should you happen to be island-hopping in the Cyclades this summer. The article provides contact telephone numbers for the various wineries so you can call them directly to inquire about available tours or to arrange visits.

Also take a good look around the Manalis Winery website, where you can view dozens of photos showing the breathtaking, to-die-for views from the winery’s restaurant terrace and special events veranda.  People rave about the amazing views from Santo and other wineries on Santorini, but I think the images show that the views and scenery from Manalis are equally impressive.

Manalis Winery Sikinos

The hillside terrace at Manalis Winery on Sikinos has spectacular views of the Aegean Sea and other islands (Photo from the winery website.) 

Wine Enthusiast features Greece’s Aegean Islands on list of top 10 wine travel destinations for 2014

Share

View toward Oia on Santorini

This is just part of the jaw-dropping caldera view that tourists enjoy while visiting SantoWines on Santorini. At upper right is the clifftop village of Imerovigli, while in the distance beyond the cruise ships is the scenic village of Oia. This photo appears in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s profile of the Greek Aegean Islands as one of 2014’s top wine travel destination.

 

 

All about the Assyrtiko: A leading international wine magazine has named Greece’s Aegean Islands as one of the world’s top wine travel destinations for 2014.

The listing by Wine Enthusiast Magazine cites three islands in particular as great places for oenophiles to visit this year: Santorini, Samos and Crete.

“With whitewashed villages that cling to steep hillsides, which drop precipitously toward the deep blue sea, few people think of the Aegean Islands as a wine destination. But if you look carefully, you will see that the island of Santorini is essentially one large farm, Samos has terraced vineyards on Mount Ambelos, and Crete is home to a variety of white and red grapes,” writers Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen observe.

The magazine’s profile of the Aegean Islands wine destinations includes tips on things to see and do, places to dine, where to stay, and of course where to taste the local wine.

It recommends visiting the SantoWines facility on Santorini (seen in the photo above) to taste wines while enjoying the fabulous scenery and watching one of the island’s legendary sunsets. 

“In Crete, sit back in a comfortable reclining chair, sample a variety of wines and learn about the history of Greek winemaking at Boutari’s state-of-the-art theater. On Samos, visit the Malagari Winery, part of the Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos, to sample the local sweet wines and to visit the Samos Wine Museum,” the profile adds.

You can read the full Aegean Island profile, as well as the listings for nine other top wine travel destinations, in the Top Wine Getaways feature on the Wine Enthusiast Magazine website.