THESSALONIKI – The wine lists of 32 of London’s best restaurants and even more popular Manhattan restaurants include the wines of Domaine Gerovassiliou, which are produced in Epanomi, Thessaloniki.
Furthermore, Malagousia, the forgotten Greek variety that winemaker Vangelis Gerovassiliou revived in 1976-1977 in Porto Carras, Halkidiki, is gaining ground, having secured a place in the international wine pantheon, along with the well-known Assyrtiko Santorini.
Indicative of its growing popularity, Malagousia recently won 49th place among 16,000 international varieties on Wine Spectator’s list, while Wine Spirit, another American magazine, ranked it among the top 100 best wines in the world.
“For the first time, a Greek variety besides Assyrtiko has entered the international wine pantheon,” commented Gerovassiliou on the occasion of an event organized by the Association of Exporters on behalf of the company, to present the evolution of Greek exports and at a regional level, as part of a study conducted by the Institute for Export Research and Studies.
Gerovassiliou, who also pointed out that despite the popularity of the assyrtiko, malagousia is now first on the basis of quantity in exports among the Greek wines made of a single variety of grapes, he also invited the Greek winemakers to put their “best foot forward” internationally and to export domestic varieties instead of betting on foreign ones.
As he said, those Greek winemakers who tried to export wines based on foreign varieties failed because “foreign varieties are produced everywhere and cheaper [than in Greece].”
On the contrary, Greek varieties have an auspicious perspective, especially in countries like the U.S., where consumers are interested in unique wines from local varieties. Moreover, the United States, together with Canada, is also the main market for the wines of Ktima Gerovassiliou (accounting for over 30% of its sales in exports).
Investments of 7 million euros in 2017-2018 for quality
According to Gerovassiliou, wine, which has grown in Greece in recent years, is increasingly based on quality. That is why, in the period 2017-2018, about 7 million euros were invested, as he said, in the Ktima Gerovassiliou in Epanomi and the Ktima Biblia Chora in Pangeon, Kavala (in which he is a partner with 50%), in order to increase not the volume of production, but, above all, the quality.
In Epanomi, an investment of € 3 million relates to the creation of a new production line, while in the Ktima Biblia Chora € 2 million have been invested in equipment, extensions, and reinforcements.
At the same time, Ktima Biblia Chora acquired the Ktima Titus Eftichidis in Goumenissa, Kilkis, with the aim of highlighting the PDO wine of Goumenissa, the Ktima Christos Kokkalis in the Peloponnese, where the vineyards were extended from 30 to 120 acres and an area of ??20 acres to the small island of Thirasia near Santorini, in order to create a winery there, aiming at cultivating traditional varieties of the area.
At Ktima Gerovassiliou, an experimental vineyard has also been created, where dozens of varieties have been planted, which emphasize the Ktima (Estate), in order to examine which are most suitable for the climatic conditions of the area.
Ktima Gerovassiliou produces approximately 450,000 bottles of wine annually, with raw material coming exclusively from private vineyards of 720 acres in Epanomi, while its annual sales amounted to 6 million euros, compared to 8 million for the Ktima Biblia Chora.
Material from ANA-MPA was used in this report.