Greece is distinguished by its vast array of fashionably indigenous grape varieties, Financial Times‘Jancis Robinson writes.
“When we compiled our 2012 record of all wine grapes in commercial production, we found that only Italy, France and Spain — the behemoths of world wine production — could boast more indigenous varieties than the 77 we found in both Greece and Portugal. Yet while Portugal is Europe’s fifth most important wine producer, Greece is only the 14th, which means that it has a very rich heritage of local grapes.
“You only have to look at a wine list in Greece to see what treasures (and unfamiliar names) it has to offer the curious wine drinker. Like virtually every wine-producing country, it went through a period at the end of the 20th century of believing that it had to plant the well-known international varieties — notably Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc — to prove its worth.
“But today Greek producers take enormous pride in their own grapes, with their highly distinctive characters. The island of Santorini’s majestic Assyrtiko was arguably the first Greek white wine grape to make a real impression — so much so that it was long ago transplanted to other Greek wine regions and has recently even produced wine in South Australia.”
Read FT’s the full story here.