The historical white grape variety of Savvatiano (Pronounced “Sava – tia – noh”) is known as widely planted variety in Greek vineyards. Whether it is by itself or part of blends, or part of many PGI wines, this variety is responsible for a considerable volume of the dry whites produced. Once oenophiles have purchased a high-quality Savvatiano, they will certainly be surprised by the wine’s singularity, as well as the fact that this varietal is ready to prove that quality does not come from just looking fancy, but by purely demonstrating its essence.

Despite its lengthy history, Savvatiano is a variety little explored mostly due to its indifferent performance just until recently, which resulted in unwarranted disappointment on the part of some consumers. Luckily, the new and more contemporary profile of its wines is able to win, even some of the most demanding wine lovers. It possesses distinct aromas of yellow fruit and freshly cut grasses, a round mouth, and a well-balanced presence. The new profile that was created, was achieved by hard-working people. Numerous Attica and Central Greece producers—regions where Savvatiano is prevalent—have toiled both in the vineyard as well as in the winery. By harvesting the grape at the right time, they ensured the right acidity; by means of pre-fermentation/maceration and low fermentation temperatures, they ensure the variety’s freshness with an increased aromatic intensity. By selecting specific clones from each terroir, they imbued the variety with complexity; and by excluding aged, goblet-pruned vines, they ensured viscosity and length.

We cannot omit the fact that Savvatiano is not only the variety responsible for a palette of new, Greek wines but also the key variety which has traditionally been used to make retsina. A negative side for this variety would be long years of its use lead to poor results in retsina, which have contributed to its lack of popularity. The good news is that these poor results are almost entirely a thing of bygone-wine-history in Greece. At this point, despite past performance, an excellent bottle of Savvatiano and a modern version of retsina are not simply exceptional tiles in the puzzle of the cross-cultural, global vineyard. Invaluable companions to various dishes, they worthily fulfil their role as genuine and successful “meal wines.”

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