Red wines from Greece

The saying, Its all Greek to me, usually sums up what most people know about wines from Greece – at least until recently.

This ancient winemaking culture zoomed toward modern production when Greece joined the European Union in the 1980s. That brought funds, technology and a new generation of winemakers, many trained in Bordeaux and at UC Davis.

There now are about 600 wineries in Greece, a 15 to 20 percent increase in the last half-decade. At the same time, there has also been an increase in the number of American importers of Greek wines, many attracted by the improved quality of indigenous Greek grape varieties.

The two most important red grapes are powerful, tannic Xinomavro (meaning acid black) and chameleon-like Agiorgitiko (Saint George), which can be made in either a fresh, aromatic style or in a more ageable version.

2007 Boutari Filiria Goumenissa Dry Red Wine ($35): In the late 1980s, Boutari expanded winemaking to the community of Filiria in the Goumenissa region. An interesting nose of earth, wood smoke, dark chocolate and dry herb; its fruit shows with a bit of air; fairly ripe on the palate but firm tannins emerge. A blend of Xinomavro and Negoska. (Importer: Terlato Wines International)

2008 Harlaftis Nemea Red Wine ($13): This winery was founded in 1932 by Nikos Athanassiadi, a raisin merchant. This bottling of 100 percent Agiorgitiko (Saint George) is lighter in style and body. Juicy cherry, boysenberry aromas and flavors are straightforward; sweet plum on the finish. A balanced, affordable table wine. (Importer: Athenee Importers)

2008 Katogi-Strofilia Fresco Averoff Nemea Red ($14): Made entirely from Agiorgitiko. Nose of dusty plum, blackberry eucalyptus, spice and slight smoke; ripe and berry-like but not overly fruity. Mouth-filling suppleness; balanced with some astringency on the finish. (Importer: Wines We Are Importers * Distributors)

2007 Katogi-Strofilia Strofilia Peloponese Red ($19): In the 1960s, Katogi founder Katogi Averoff planted Greeces first Cabernet Sauvignon. Lively nose of deep, inviting spice, cedar and hint of charred wood that blends with dark fruit. Medium-bodied, it shows nice density, balance and restraint on the palate, with blackberry and pepper notes. A good food-matching blend of Agiorgitiko, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. (Importer: Wines We Are Importers * Distributors)

2007 Domaine Skouras Nemea Saint George ($14): This Agiorgitikos initially shy nose opens to fresh crushed berry with hints of spice, sandalwood and wisp of wood smoke. Ripe fruit is reined in, with a bit of grape-skin astringency on the finish. (Importer: Diamond Importers)

2006 Tsantali Rapsani Red Wine ($20): Tsantali, founded in the 1890s, first exported wine in the early 1970s and acquired the Rapsani vineyards two decades later. Ripe, bright spiced berry aromas with damp soil and hints of pencil lead. Similar flavors on the supple palate hint of mineral. Firm but well-polished. A blend of Xinomavro, Krassato and Stavroto. (Importer: Fantis Imports)

Panelists: Lynne Char Bennett, Chronicle staff writer; Nikos Maheras, owner/wine director, Mezes; Dan Marshall, owner, Du Vin Fine Wines.


Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

MOSCOW — A representative of one the the organizations sharing this year's Nobel Peace Prize said Friday that she thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin must face an international tribunal for the fighting in Ukraine.

ATHENS – The biggest worry for Greeks isn't spyware or fears Turkey will invade – it's the cost of food that soaring inflation made so expensive they've turned to cheaper brands or gone without, surveys have found.

ADELAIDE — Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne posted big hundreds in a 297-run partnership to set Australia on course for a declaration in the second cricket test Friday before Michael Neser took two wickets under lights to consolidate the home team’s dominance in the day-night match against West Indies.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.