Greek Wine World - Nico Manessis

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Aegean Islands

Fascinating indigenous white and red grapes in all known styles. On volcanic Lemnos, from Muscat of Alexandria aromatic sweet wines. Paros, the rare smokey white Monemvasia and the tannic Mandilaria. Samos, thanks to old vine low yielding Moshato aspro. (Muscat a petit grains) fragrant dessert wines. On volcanic Santorini the oldest known un-grafted vines in the world. Pruned in ground hugging basket fashion. Bone dry and the sun-dried grapes sweet Vinsanto. Star grape the mineral charged white Assyrtiko dominating 65% of the islands, alas, shrinking 1,200 hectares. Now under modest revival a red grape charmingly named Mavrotragano(black crunchy). Rich in wine history Rhodes boasts the oldest known grape of the Aegean, the white Athiri. On pine covered terraces and stoney hillsides of Mt.Ebonas here the delicate Athiri is unrivaled.

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Greek Wine World - Nico Manessis
photo: Constantinos Pitta

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