6000 hectares of vines all laid out in neat rows with hand pickers hurriedly picking and gently packing the grapes into crates or laying them out to dry in the sun. The picking work goes from dawn to about noon. The sun becomes too hot to pick after that time and the grapes could spoil. Wine grapes are refrigerated after picking to bring the temperature down before crushing. Dionisos would be pleased!
We stopped at a small local winery where their sign caught my eye… “It is always wine O’clock”! The brilliant young woman, Athamandia [Mandy], at the front desk gave us a marvelous tour of how the wine is made, stored, and bottled and aged!
We also had a tasting session where she explained the philosophy of the winery and it’s winemakers. They are trying a few new techniques [or ancient ones brought into the 21st century] aging wine in clay amphora as was done in ancient times. The amphora are made of clay from their own vineyards so as to preserve the flavor and aromas of the specific grapes. This ensures that the wine does not pick up residue tastes from the clay that may spoil the purity of the taste and fragrance of the grape they are trying to preserve.
Oh my goodness…the wine fits my palette so well! I love the dry sweetness of it, the cool smooth flavor of all the fruits I love, the absence of acidity, the fine smooth finish! Needless to say I am a white drinker! My husband and daughter love reds! Oh for the reds! I even tasted some reds and I liked them!
Athamandia showed us the winery process exterior for pressing, the interior vats, the cellar where they controlled the temperature and stored the bottles and casks as well as the clay amphora. You could have a real wine party here!
I asked my brother and daughter if this was ‘enough’ red wine for them… both made the same comment… please specify time frame? I said ‘life’? They agreed!
It was beautiful, serene, and contemplative!
Go for the tasting, and buy a few bottles… ok buy more than a few bottles. I will work hard to have these wines imported into Canada!
Exceptional wine, exceptional people!