#winelover Assyrtiko tasting

Virtual wine tasting of assyrtiko greek indigenous variety

A virtual wine tasting of three different assyrtikos took place on March 10th, organized by Cinque wine bar Athens for the #winelover-s community.

The tasting kits were been delivered in 8 different countries, safe and sound. The wines were from Atalanti valley , Central Greece and from the island of Santorini, birth land of assyrtiko. We had the honor to join us on zoom meeting M. Leonidas Hatzimichalis owner of Hatzimichalis winery in Atalanti valley, M. Paraskevopoulos Giannis, owner of Gaia winery in Santorini and professor of the Oenology School of West Athens University and M. Kotseridis Giorgos professor of Viticulture School of Athens University. The participants had the opportunity to discover the diversity of the terroir and taste the differences of their expression in the wines. 

After the tasting everyone had a discussion about their favorite wine and the chance to discuss about the greek terroir.

Thanks so much to my friends at Cinque Wine Bar in Athens, Greece for a virtual tasting of Assyrtiko.
I’ve long been a fan of the grape. It produces high-acid, mineral-driven whites. While the grape hails from the volcanic island of Santorini, it’s now planted throughout the country.
The tasting showed off a fresh wine from the mainland by Domaine Hatzimichalis / Κτήμα Χατζημιχάλη and two wines from Santorini. One by Gaia Wines made in stainless steel and one barrel-aged example by Avantis Santorini – Anhydrous winery.
The winner of the evening for me was the Thalassitis by Gaia with its gorgeous nose of lime, green guava, yogurt, white flower, and seawater. It is a lemony, fresh white wine with plenty of electricity. I’d love to sip on it with shellfish.
We would all love to be in Greece these days but traveling there virtually through Assyrtiko might be the next best thing (and the only option at the moment).

An Assyrtiko wine tasting organized by Cinque Wine Bar (Athens, Greece): Domaine Hatzimichalis, Gaia Winery, and Avantis Santorini Winery

I chatted with Yiannis Karakasis MW on InstagramLive during the lockdown as to the current and future states of Greek wine. When the conversation turned to Assyrtko, he stated thusly:
There are over 2000 ha of Assyrtiko vines planted nationwide, with 40 – 45% of those plantings in Santorini. If you have a scale with minerality on one side, and fruit on the other, Santorini comes down hard on the minerality side with high minerality, saltiness, and evaporating smoke. If you go to mainland Greece, the Assyrtiko is broader, with more fruit. In the islands, the Assyrtiko is balanced between fruit and acidity…….

What a lovely initiative of #cinquewine (Evangelie, Nikita and Greg) in Athens to organise this Assyrtiko wine tasting for our #winelover community. It was a pleasure to talk with Leonidas Hatzimichalis from Hatzimichalis winery from Atalanti Valley and Giannis Paraskevopoulos, co-owner of Gaia Winery in Santorini, Oenologist and Professor in the University of Œnologie in Athens and Kotseridis George, Oenologist, Professor of Œnologie in the University of Agriculture in Athens, consultant of Anhydrous Avantis Santorini winery. Not to forget great seeing and talking to all you winelovers! Thanks Evangelie Tseliou, Nikitas Prassas and Greg Prassas for organising! #Hatzimichalis #gaiasantorini #avantis

Prelude to an Assyrtiko tasting organized by Cinque Wine Bar (Athens, Greece)

Cinque Wine Bar continues to have and hold a warm and cuddly place in my heart. A Winelover group visited Athens in early 2016 to celebrate one of our acclaimed anniversaries. Brandon Tokash and I arrived in the afternoon prior to the start of the official proceedings and decided to do dinner that evening…….

Let the Assyrtiko Conversations continue

Cinque recently hosted a virtual wine tasting where our conversations focused on Assyrtiko (A seer’ tec ko) wines from Domain Hatzimichalis, Gaia Wines, and Avantis Estate. These conversations transported me immediately to Greece. Assyrtiko, a white grape indigenous to Santorini, is arguably Greece’s most iconic white wine grape variety. It is a wine with great diversity. Grown in the arid volcanic-ash-rich soil of Santorini and other Aegean islands, it is also found in other regions of Greece, planted as far north as Drama in Greek Macedonia.

The participants

Members of the #winelover community

Keith Edwards

Yvonne Zohar (WA)

Brandon Tokash

Karin Luize De Carvalho

Matthew Horkey

Sharon Parsons

Sinisa Curavic

Anne-Wies Van Oosten

Sue Tolson

Giannis Krassaki

Lidia Rizzo

Serban Sincai

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