The history of wine production in Greece dates back more than four millennia, yet for many consumers and aficionados Greek wine is still synonymous with the retsina they drank in tavernas as tourists. Here, Master of Wine Konstantinos Lazarakis argues that to dismiss Greek wine in this way today is to miss out on an array of varied and vibrant wines - even retsina, in the hands of boutique producers, has become a drink worthy of a second chance.
From the foothills of Mount Olympus to the plain of Thessaly in Central Greece and scattered across the vast number of islands, each of Greece's vineyards has its own challenges, history and varieties. Yet terroir, in Greece, goes far beyond soil-types and weather conditions - it emanates from the culture of the country and the spirit of a people whose ancestors even had a god for wine.
The wines of Greece begins with a summary of Greece's wine history, geography and grape varieties. The many responses of vine growers and winemakers to the land have created a host of different wines - sweet wines from Samos, the famed Malvasia from the Peloponnese and new, surprising wines from oenological innovators throughout the country. It is to the work of these winemakers that the bulk of the book is dedicated; Lazarakis has tirelessly explored Greece's 700 wineries and here focuses on some of the most inventive producers and interesting wines available.
Greek wine is on the brink of a new era; anybody curious to rediscover a lost gem of winemaking will have their enthusiasm charged by this lovingly written book.