Agiorgitiko is one of the two emblematic red grape varieties of Greece and the Peloponnese’s most important one. It is also one of the four Greek grape varieties whose wines are the most important presence for Greece in international wine markets. Travelling with Agiorgitiko is a mythical wine journey. It begins from Hercules and his Labors as it is said that even he drank Agiorgitiko wine. It reaches today and determines tomorrow, with many great surprises to come.
Agiorgitiko is multi-dimensional as it produces rosé wines, red tank wines (fresh), short or long aging red wines, some aged in barrels, semi-sweet and sweet wines.
The wine-producing zone of Nemea, in Corinth is Agiorgitiko’s kingdom, which is, however, also planted elsewhere in the Peloponnese, in Greece and… the world. Nemea, with the PDO Nemea wine, is the largest designation of origin zone of red wine in Greece (Corinth Wine Roads)
Because Agiorgitiko captivates the senses. It is no wonder many consider it the sangiovese of Greece, because of its freshness and aromas which are evident both in the nose and mouth and its velvet tannins.
Agiorgitiko is appropriate for a large range of wine-lovers and not only, since the wines produced from it are consumed easily but can also have prestige and seriousness.
The fresh tank wines from Agiorgitiko are relatively dark red and have an intense aroma of red fruits. Its mouth has medium acidity and its tannins are soft. Those aged in barrels are usually more dark-colored and more complex in terms of aromas, with a quite complex nose. Its rich taste is accompanied by relatively soft tannins, usually of very good quality, while its aging capacity varies from some years to more than ten.
Because of their varietal profile, wines made of Agiorgitiko can stand in many occasions which are accompanied by wine, thus making beautiful social moments and contacts of intimacy perfect. In everyday meals, even in fast food restaurants, the fresh red tank Agiorgitikos but also the rosé ones are ideal while they are also good for picnics. Red wines aged in barrels are good for any type of meal, from simple to formal and the sweet wines from Agiorgitiko are drunk at the end or on their own, instead of a liqueur.
The variety of foods that accompany Agiorgitiko wines is huge. The fresh, red, tank wines and rosé ones are ideal with salads, different appetizers, which have meat or poultry and cooked vegetables as their main ingredients. Aged red wines are ideal to complement to meat, white and mainly red, even venison.
It was around the middle of the 19th century when the German Gustav Clauss vinified the first Mavrodaphne just outside Patras. Nobody knows if he believed that someday its wines would become some of the most emblematic of Greece and the most well-known dessert wines (port type) with a potential of excellent quality. He definitely however did not imagine the potential of this red varietal also for dry wines, making Mavrodaphne one of the most promising cases of Greece for red winemaking.
Mavrodaphne is a red grape variety with a great history in the production of sweet wines and a huge future in red dry wines production.
The Peloponnese and especially its northwestern part has the largest percentage of vineyards with Mavrodaphne (Achaia Wine Roads
). Mavrodaphne is a main varietal of the wine that bears the same name PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras.
For those who love port type wines, so PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras as well but also those who today want to meet a Greek variety which is being explored and one which will star tomorrow in the production of dry red wines of high standards.
Because the sweet red wines PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras are the most well-known wines and with potential to be one of the best of this type in Greece (which is famous for its sweet wines). Compared to other port type wines, they usually have a tragically better value for money. Moreover, because red dry wines from Mavrodaphne, although few for the time being, show the potential of the varietal for this type of wine as well.
Dark red, almost black, sweet red wines from Mavrodaphne have concentrated aromas of currants, black berries and prunes. They have a mouth high in alcohol (warm wines) and probably of average acidity. What a sweet sensation of alcohol and of course the sugars which counterbalanced by the many tannins Mavrodaphne has. The varietal’s dry red wines have the same profile, without of course the sweet element, somewhat similar to the Italian Amarone.
Sweet wine PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras matches many moments and occasions. E.g. as a liqueur, as a dessert wine after a meal, in a cocktail, cooking or patisserie purposes etc.
PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras wines match perfectly with chocolate desserts, desserts with nuts such as walnut and some filling, intense or aged cheeses (depending on Mavrodaphne’s style). They can, however, be drunk on their own and with a good cigar.
Avgoustiatis is one of the many rare “precious” indigenous Greek grape varieties which have survived and are now cultivated in quite a large area. So a trip to the Peloponnese could be worth just for meeting such varieties and their wine producers who take care of them and use them.
The red variety Avgoustiatis produces impressive, good quality wines (mainly red and rarely rosé).
Avgoustiatis is cultivated in a small area mainly in the Peloponnese and especially in its western part near wonderful beaches and, of course, ancient Olympia (Ilia Wine roads)
Experienced wine lovers, who are seeking a different wine, will spend many moments of wine exploration and enjoyment with Avgoustiatis. This wine is easy to drink so it will not be difficult for the rest to enjoy it either.
Because a wine made of Avgoustiatis pleasantly shakes the mind, taking it away from the usual wine world, which is, according to many, quite homogenous by now and sometimes dull.
Avgoustiatis wines have a dark red color, deep and vibrant and their aromas are quite intense. They remind one of ripe red fruits, various Mediterranean herbs and leather. The majority of these wines mature in a barrel and obtain a round medium full body, probably elegant tannins, at the same time keeping a moderate to high alcohol content.
The quite soft and easy to drink Avgoustiatis accompanies daily meals, but is also excellent in formal meals and special occasions which call for something different, far from the usual and predictable.
The somewhat rustic character of Avgoustiatis surely matches rustic tastes although fanatic wine producers vinify it in a more elegant way. Therefore it matches with dishes of vegetables and meat while it can also accompany meat roast and semi-soft cheeses.
Vertzami is come across in Western Greece (rarely also in Western Peloponnese – Achaia Wine Roads). It is a rare red variety anyway, greatly unexplored, which has produced impressive as far as aromas, taste and especially color is concerned, results, which are ideal for maturation, maybe even for long aging in a bottle.
A red grape variety, randomly planted in the Peloponnese, Voidomatis is characterized by its high color dynamics.
One of the most rare and undiscovered Greek varieties, Volitsa is come across sporadically only in the Peloponnese and mainly in mountainous vineyards. There is red and white Volitsa.
It must not be confused with the variety Thrapsathiri. Thrapsa is a very rare red variety which is planted in very few places of the Peloponnese.
The color dynamics of the red variety Kolliniatiko is rich, but the variety is not actually used. It is come across in central Peloponnese (Arcadia Wine roads) and its name probably originates from the village of Kollines of the same area.
Little is known about the variety Kalavrytino black, except for its origin, which of course refers to the historic and beautiful Kalavryta of Achaia. Although randomly planted only in the Peloponnese and unused for many years, today it is among the very promising red grape varieties of Greece (Achaia Wine roads).
Black Corinth is no other but the famous current (which is usually dried). It is one of the very important Greek agricultural products, with a history that begins in antiquity and one of the best Greek edible souvenirs which, because of its sugars, does not need a fridge to be transferred. The small amount of Black Corinth currant that is not closed in… bags, after it sun-dries for a few days most times, usually goes to the famous sweet Greek wine PDO Mavrodaphne of Patras (Achaia Wine roads – Corinthia Wine roads).
Petrokoritho is red and when it is rarely vinified it produces very exuberant wines.