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Wine & Spirits

Greek Women Winemakers: Acheon Winery Dinner at Hudson West

A balance between structure and consistency; the wines from the slopes of Aigialeia deliver aromas and fragrances that will captivate your senses. Acheon winery from the Peloponnese hosted a spectacular wine dinner on June 7 at Hudson West Kitchen, organized in the context of the promotional program of the Greek Women Winemakers.

Sosanna Katsikosta, third generation owner of Acheon Winery has kept her family business’ philosophy alive setting focus on quality. Holding love and passion as core values, the aim is to insist on local varieties as she believes it is important to promote the multiple regions of Greece which each have something unique to offer on a global scale.

Grilled jump shrimp with champagne mango salsa, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, cucumber, and lime. Photo by Stephanie Makri

Sosanna Katsikosta told TNH, “if everyone puts their heart toward what their area produces, I believe that the local community of each region in Greece and around the world will be a winner.”

Founded in 1946 in Aigio, Achaia, Sosanna and her brother Luke are the third-generation winemakers following the family tradition at the turn of the millennium in 2004.

“I personally, am an oenologist, I have studied in France, and I produce wines exclusively from Greek local varieties of Aigialeia,” she stated.

The event kickstarted with a short intro of all four wines that would be presented to the dinner’s guests and the two regions of Greece highlighted were Aigialeia and Mantineia.

The first wine tasted, Sideritis, is an extremely rare variety produced only in Achaea. About 10 years ago there were 800 acres with cultivation of Sideritis, however sadly today there are only 300 acres, showcasing a very small quantity.

Sosanna told TNH, “it is the only variety you grow near the sea that is not at an altitude that slows its ripening. The harvest takes place in mid-November, which is extremely late compared to the earlier start between July and September to mid-October in most areas of our country.”

Grilled octopus with Romesco sauce and baby arugula. Photo by Stephanie Makri

The main feature of this variety is minerality, with aromas of citrus fruits and white flowers. Fermentation and bâtonnage take place daily, with 70% of the wine kneaded in stainless steel tanks and 30% in clay amphorae. Bâtonnage is the French term for stirring settled sediments back into wine.

To complement the wine, multiple delicious starters were served to warm up the guests’ palate. Grilled octopus with Romesco sauce and baby arugula was plated, as well as tuna tartar with pomegranate, avocado, ginger, and sesame. Grilled jump shrimp followed with a champagne mango salsa, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, cucumber, and lime. To top it off, a tangy arugula salad was also part of the selection with grapefruit, crispy baguette, and shaved parmesan.

The next choice of dry white wine was Icon R, having a pale-yellow color with a delicate aroma of citrus and tropical fruit. Grown in Aigialeia as a grape of the PDO Patra zone, its crisp acidity and minerality are what define it.

Seafood spaghetti with clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, seafood tomato sauce, and Calabrian chili oil. Photo by Stephanie Makri

Sosanna Katsikosta works closely from start to end in the wine-making process.

“From the selection of the vineyard, the variety of the winemaking process, to the final product, we make sure everything is chosen with great care,” she said. The aim is to highlight the typical characteristics of each variety and the terroir of the region of Aigialeia so that the product’s identity is connected to it.

Up next was the dry red wine, Laura Nobile. A rich body with noble notes of wood, elegant tannins, and a long-lasting aftertaste that reveals the essence of Mavrodaphne, this wine reflects a bouquet of black-red fruits and spices.

“Mavrodaphne is a tremendously important variety for the whole country, and I think that besides Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro that have already become known in the market, it is up and coming in terms of dry wines,” Sosanna explained.

The two main dishes that paired with this wine were spicy seafood spaghetti with clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, seafood tomato sauce, and Calabrian chili oil, followed by Tender New York strip loin steak with garlic-herb butter, watercress, and salted French fries.

New York strip loin steak with garlic-herb butter and watercress. Photo by Stephanie Makri

To end the night sweetly, the two indigenous varieties of Achaia, Muscat (90%) and Mavrodaphne (10%) combined harmoniously to produce a semi-sweet rose wine, Fairytale. With aromas of red summer fruit and wild flowers, it has a perfect balance between freshness and sweetness.

The Head Winemaker of Acheon Winery, Sosanna Katsikosta closed off stating to TNH, “simply, the philosophy of the family is that we insist on quality and locality.”

 

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