I spent my 2023 summer by experiencing the beauty of Northern Greece. As I wrote in an earlier post, me, Ilias and Maria embarked on the journey of creating Oinofilia AB earlier this year. Oinofilias purpose is to bring the rich world of Greek ecological, organic and biodynamic wines to the Swedish market.
So obviously this summer was an oenophile’s dream and contained more wonderful wines than I can ever imaging. I had the pleasure of visiting three remarkable wineries (Aslanis, Florian and Tatsis). I made some new friends at the wonderful wine stores Wine House in Thessaloniki and Terroir wines in Serres. And tasted ALOT of wines including Markogianni, Tetramythos, Argyrakis, Tsikrikronis and many more. Each wine on its own, a testament to the dedication to ecological, organic, or biodynamic practices of winemaking.
I experienced a lot, learned more than I could imaging and got memories for live. And the memories are plenty but let me share two of them.
The Sorcerer of temperature
I visited Aslanis winery and meet with Mr. And Mrs. Aslanis. Their family business winery have produced wine since the 90’s. Mr. Aslanis, and as I would like to call him, a true sorcerer of temperature, practices control over every facet of his winemaking process. From the ripeness of the grapes and until the bottles reach the store shelfs (for the samples we bought, he insisted on overnight shipping to Sweden to protect the wines from the summer’s heat). His masterpiece according to myself, an orange Malagousia, is harvested at night when the temperature is lower. The grapes, arriving at the winery, are gently cooled to 0°C so they doesn’t start their fermentation. The outcome? Not more than 600-700 of bottles annually of pure happiness!
The magical wines
My second story is about Tatsis winery, also a family-owned business by two brothers Perikles and Stelios. Their wine philosophy is iconic in Greece, they were the first winery in Greece that were certified organic. One of the things that fascinated me was that they see wine as food and not as beverage, and they make wine as such. After the tour and the tasting they did a typical Tatsis move, the brought out old, opened bottles sealed with only halfway into the bottle cork. The bottles were opened over a year ago and they wanted us to test them. My first thought was that they trying to pull a joke on us, but they insisted. You think we drank vinegar, right? Well, think twice, it was wine, sure it had lost a lot of its character, but it was still wine! A mystery both to me and to the Tatsis brothers, it is magic in bottle. I guess it is just food that doesn’t go bad, like honey.
Lastly, my top wine experience came when I tasted the astonishing Tatsis Blanc de noir Xinomavro from 2011 labeled Angels heart, an exclusive gem for their winery’s fortunate visitors, cause its only available at their winery. We sell the later vintages of this wine at Oinofilia, with the name Blanc de noir – Xiropotamos.
Gia mas! to this unforgettable summer of wine, friendship, and discovery.