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Samian Muscat

Samian Muscat Wine, Greece: The wine of Samos was famous since the ancient times for its sweet taste. It was frequently referred in many ancient myths and the wine of Samos was exported all around the Mediterranean Sea. History of Samian Wine After the ancient times, the first mention of Samian wine comes in the 12th century. A monk named Theodurus wrote in a poem: they drink sweet wine from Crete and from Samos. He did not mention if the wine came from Muscat vines. It is true that sweet wine can come from other vine varieties as well. The Samian Muscat originally came from Asia Minor. It was brought to Samos at the end of the 16th century. Samian Muscat became well known after phylloxera destroyed many European vineyards. With their vineyards destroyed, French and Italian winemakers had to look for alternatives in eastern Europe and one of the those alternatives turned out to be Samian Muscat wine. As everybody wanted the Samian wine, the price increased. It also enlarged the vineyards in Samos greatly. The plottage increased to 4,700 square meters of land. French enologists brought the most modern equipment to Samos in order to produce sweet wines from grapes that they bought from the winegrowers. These French enologists were the first ones to practice the method of stopping the fermentation of must by adding alcohol. The Union of Cooperatives of Samos continues to use this method even today. Samian Muscat wine became famous enough to start winning awards. It received medals from exhibitions that were held in 1862 in London and in 1867 in Paris. It wins awards even today. The phylloxera problem did affect how Samians grew their grapes. This problem was solved by Aristotle Mantafunis, a Hegemony supervisor of Agriculture and Forestry. He knew that phylloxera would eventually strike the grapes of Samos. He solved the problem by transplanting vines that came from America and France. Otherwise, Samos would have faced the same problem as the rest of Europe. The Samian Wine Cooperative The exploitation of winegrowers by merchants led to the creation of The Union of Cooperatives of Samos in 1934. This cooperative feels that it is a guardian of the famous Muscat wine tradition. Today, the cooperative is made up of 25 sub-cooperatives. 4,000 members are part of this organization. On an annual basis, the cooperative usually produces around seven million liters or 9000 tons of wine. On the island of Samos, you will find the bulk of the vineyard area in the west, north and central parts of the island. Most of the vines are planted on terraces. The water for these vines comes from springs. The gathering of Muscat grapes begins in August and continues up to October. Just before and during the harvest, the cooperative wine expert team carefully evaluates its members vineyards. The final evaluation of this team takes place at the winery in Vathi and another winery in Karlovasi. The cooperative tries to extract many varieties from its single Muscat component. This extraction results in different wines.

(From: http://www.greeka.com/eastern_aegean/samos/samos-products/samos-muscat.htm)

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