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Elloinos

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Pampas, Gauchos, Cattle and Brazilian Assyrtiko

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One sip of Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko altered James Carl’s life path. Three years ago, the acupuncturist in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande de Sul knew little about wine. A budding interest in winemaking led him to start studying catalogs and scientific articles on grape varieties. James’ interest was soon drawn to indigenous varieties from [...

Elloinos 7 days ago

First Assyrtiko to be planted in the US

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Assyrtiko vines have handled strong winds, shallow soils, hot summers and cool nights since ancient times in their homeland of Santorini. A high elevation vineyard at 3200 feet (975 meters) with severe risk of frost, in the mountains of the Tahoe National Forest in the US, will add yet unknown challenges for this variety. The […]

Elloinos 98 days ago

Vineyards of Greece

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Travel along this journey to some of Greece's finest vineyards and learn more about the local culture, history and food. I have once again chosen to publish this article via Storehouse, as the visual experience is simply so good. RSS subscribers, please make sure to click on the above title, which will lead to my […]

Elloinos 125 days ago

Faces

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When I first published this article, it was a story only half told. I have since updated the visual content with roughly 900 words. Although it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, I cannot help but feel that words were needed. Tweet

Elloinos 151 days ago

Peloponnese: Land of diversity

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The Peloponnese is one of the very first places on earth where wine was made: Viticulture has existed for at least 4000 years, perhaps even for as long as 7000 years. The area itself is one of utter and bewildering beauty, marked by a great number of mountainous zones. The climate is overall Mediterranean with […]

Elloinos 212 days ago

Current Greek wine trends in California

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Amongst my annual business travel highlights are without a doubt the recurring visits to California. One of the reasons is that I truly enjoy working the market with WineWise, who import my portfolio of Greek wine growers. Another motive is that I find it easier to detect and analyze shifts in trends for Greek wines […]

Elloinos 230 days ago

Munich welcomes fine Greek cuisine

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There are hundreds of Greek restaurants all over Germany. They typically offer rustic settings and solid – but heavily Germanized – "Greek" food at affordable prices. The standard restaurant design includes light strings, small Greek statues and flags. The menus regularly use Greek glyph typography and would not be complete without offe...

Elloinos 320 days ago

Goodbye, Greece

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"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get." … "You know, they've got these chocolate assortments, and you like some but you don't like others? And you eat all the ones you don't like as much?" (via wiktionary) I have eaten plenty of Greek chocolates over the last ten […]...

Elloinos 410 days ago

What to drink while visiting Greece

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Although Greece is a relative small country with a limited wine production, the task of choosing what wines to look out for while visiting can be a daunting prospect. Visitors might be eager to try ‘the real thing', but most won’t be too familiar with the indigenous grape varieties, appellations, and wineries. In Athens, there […]

Elloinos 426 days ago

Wine Library TV Comeback Episode 1001

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Gary Vaynerchuk is back – after a two year absence from Wine Library TV, Episode 1001 was released last week. You won’t find it at the old web site; instead Gary is embracing a new medium called Touchcast, which "looks like video, but feels like the web" and is geared towards mobile. Touchcast is currently

Elloinos 469 days ago

Naoussa Xinomavro

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While Assyrtiko from Santorini is currently the darling of the New York wine scene, Xinomavro is quietly taking over the hearts of California’s wine connoisseurs. Promotional activities for Xinomavro wines in the US are rather limited. This might be related to the fact that Greece has not one, but two appellation zones where only 100%

Elloinos 480 days ago

Wine and design

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"Design is what links creativity and innovation. It shapes ideas to become practical and attractive propositions for users or customers. Design may be described as creativity deployed to a specific end." (Sir George Cox, former chairman of the Design Council, UK) Greek products, including wine and spirits, are frequently criticized for being poorly...

Elloinos 501 days ago

Greece’s liquid sweet spot

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Given Greece’s relative small size as a country, it is no small feat that it boasts such a wide variety of wines. It is literally impossible for the connoisseur to become bored, as there are so many aromatic profiles to choose from. One of the best and perhaps also most surprising categories to experience this

Elloinos 510 days ago

Boston Marathon

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This guest article has nothing to do with wine, although in a wider sense with Greek roots. My long term readers know how passionate my wife is about running. She ran the Boston Marathon exactly one month ago. This is her recount. "In 2008 I ran my first ever marathon in Athens out of curiosity

Elloinos 523 days ago

Bosinakis Mantinia Moschofilero

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Lime and stones, crisp acidity, sharp and focused. If I would stop with the wine descriptors here, one might think of Assyrtiko. But there is more to add: Aromatic, perfumed, with layers of rose petals. Enter a unique Moschofilero from Mantinia, the cool climate PDO appellation, which is deservedly famed for this variety. The Bosinakis

Elloinos 529 days ago

Biblical wines

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Rarely has a wine book captivated me as much as the truly fascinating "Divine Vintage – following the wine trail from Genesis to the modern age". I met the authors Randall Heskett, a biblical scholar, and Joel Butler MW, last year in Greece, where they visited as part of their ongoing research. At the time,

Elloinos 545 days ago

Greek wine bargains hit Belgium

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Many shifts are taking place within the Greek wine industry. Smart online retailers like House of Wine take advantage of the shattered distribution system and experience solid growth rates. Wine bars have become very trendy, and wine lovers enjoy small plates of food with extensive selections of wines offered by the glass.  In both cases,

Elloinos 558 days ago

Koniaros

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Fact File Koniaros Area grown: Serres, Macedonia, in the far north of Greece, close to the Bulgarian border. Currently Domaine Nerantzi is the only producer of a varietal Koniaros. History: Koniaros is an ancient variety that had been left behind due to low yields. Nerantzi Mitropoulos came across vines in 1998. He had them DNA

Elloinos 564 days ago

High altitude vineyards in Greece

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Sun drenched beaches, crystalline seas, hot and dry summers. This is the Greece most people are familiar with. Ski resorts, ragged mountain ranges, alpine climate. This is Greece’s other captivating side. Greece is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe. Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that it also hosts some high

Elloinos 573 days ago

Innovation based on tradition

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Winemakers in Greece continue to push the industry forward. A new wave of pioneers successfully propels the quality of Greek wines ever higher. These pioneers share a common trait, their innovation is based on tradition. Greece has a rich winemaking history and is blessed by a treasure chest of indigenous grape varieties. Many of these

Elloinos 585 days ago

A Greek wine journey

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Quality, pricing, originality, storytelling and branding are all factors that influence wine sales.  This holds especially true when establishing new portfolios in markets abroad. The relationship with, and role of, the importer is equally important. Their organizational structure, size, goals, commitment, accessibility and human assets impact the ...

Elloinos 593 days ago

Oinos for the Americas

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This weekend I will be leaving for a three week business trip, visiting both the US West and East Coast, and for the first time, South America. I am excited that winemaker Christos Zafeirakis will be joining me for the first couple of weeks. He has prepared himself by studying English for some months now.

Elloinos 620 days ago

Tsantali Rapsani

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Tsantali belongs to the great wine dynasties of Greece. The family began making wine and distilling Ouzo and Tsipouro in 1890. Today, they produce 65 different wine labels, export 50% of the total production and turnover into 55 countries, and have an annual production output of around 12.3 million L bottled wine and 2.4 million

Elloinos 634 days ago

Greek Gewurztraminer

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Greece offers a number of intriguing indigenous grape varieties, some dating back to ancient times. The truth is however that they form only part of the modern vine growing traditions in Greece. The often overlooked international varieties sometimes manage to offer just the unexpected. One variety that few wine lovers would suspect to be grown...

Elloinos 643 days ago

Avgoustiatis

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Fact File Avgoustiatis Area grown: Western parts of Peloponnese (mainly Pyrgos) and the island of Zakynthos. Small plantings are also found on the islands of Corfu, Tinos and Samos. History: Avgoustiatis is a rare Greek variety, likely coming from the Ionian Islands. There are only a limited number of wineries who work with this variety:

Elloinos 678 days ago

Greek wine exports to Germany drop

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While exports of Greek wines have increased significantly, especially to the US, sales to the traditionally most important market, Germany, have suddenly dropped heavily. Mario Scheuermann, the well known wine journalist, critic and author, reported on Saturday that the third quarter exports of Greek wines to Germany this year have seen a decrease ...

Elloinos 686 days ago

Xinomavro takes centre stage

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Communication is one of the most important ingredients in a successful business relationship. Over time, it can lead to mutual trust and respect for each other. I am very grateful to enjoy such a relationship with WineWise, the California based importer of fine wines. Today, a container with Greek wines is scheduled to arrive in

Elloinos 692 days ago

RebelMouse Social Stream

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RebelMouse, thank you for creating real value! The above statement sums up my experience with this tool after testing it for several weeks. RebelMouse functions as a dynamic, flexible, and central hub for a user’s social media activities, aggregating content from a growing number of platforms. I very much believe in this concept, and have

Elloinos 700 days ago

Born to run

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This week’s article is written by my wife Alexandra, who is as passionate about running as I am about wine. We both share our respective enthusiasms with our children, and are very proud of their latest achievements: "This past Sunday, on November 11th, the 30th Athens Marathon event took place, hosting the Athens classic marathon

Elloinos 706 days ago

Assyrtiko Boutari Kallisti 1989

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Carefully selecting a bottle of wine for a special occasion can at times be more rewarding than actually sipping it. I spent some time yesterday in my wine cellar, picking up various bottles, contemplating if any of these wines would match my particular mood. It was my 46th birthday, and I was looking for a

Elloinos 713 days ago

Bulk wine in Greece

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The Greek Wine Federation today welcomed new regulations announced by the Greek Ministry of Health & Development regarding the offering of bulk wine to consumers in Greece. Restaurants, Tavernas etc. are now obligated to state the producer and the country of origin of the wine. This is an extremely important development. Until now, the consumer...

Elloinos 720 days ago

Assyrtiko, Limniona, Xinomavro

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I invited you to join me on a journey some months ago. I planned to select some Greek wines, purchase and cellar them; then report on their evolution over time. Please refer to the original article "Flipping through time" for more background. Today’s piece is the first instalment of a series of articles that I

Elloinos 727 days ago

Is less more?

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Most Greek wineries bottle perhaps a surprisingly large number of different wines. Even small wineries with annual productions of up to 50000 bottles commonly include 5 to 10 offerings in their portfolio. Medium sized companies frequently double this number. The really large players can label more than 60 wines. What might be some of the

Elloinos 734 days ago

Biblinos Oenos

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Fact file Biblinos Oenos, made from an unknown local grape variety Area grown:  Mount Pangeo, specifically at Biblia Chora Estate in the village of Kokkinochori, Kavala History: The winemaking traditions in the area go back to ancient times: The Phoenicians transferred the grape variety “Biblos”, from which they produced the famous wine “Biblinos O...

Elloinos 741 days ago

Classic wineries of Northern Greece

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The UK wine market has been one of the toughest for Greek wineries to gain an entry into. The dominance by the supermarkets, whose focus is often on price, leaves room only for a limited number of players who might be able to compete. Despite this, we have witnessed some interesting and promising developments over

Elloinos 747 days ago

Colorful dry Assyrtiko

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Tweet Assyrtiko from the island of Santorini does not need an introduction any longer. The wines are deservedly championed by sommeliers, wine writers and critics alike. It is no surprise that this grape variety has been transplanted all over Greece and one will be hard pressed to identify a region where it is not grown.

Elloinos 755 days ago

A fine line

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Tweet Last week I was in New York, where I presented a selection of the Greek wine portfolio that I source for Frederick Wildman and & Sons at their annual portfolio tasting. It gave me immense pleasure to showcase the Greek wines at an event that included many of the finest producers in the world.

Elloinos 762 days ago

Koulourakia and wine

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Tweet Some of my favourite snacks are Koulourakia, the traditional hand-shaped Greek butter cookies. They are typically made for Easter to be enjoyed after Holy Saturday, but thankfully they can be found in bakeries all year around. They take their name from their twisted shape; "kouloura" is Greek for coil, or round twist. Koulourakia are...

Elloinos 776 days ago

Three wishes

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Tweet Greek wine has seen an explosion of attention and awareness over the last few years. Thanks to the enormous growth of social networks, information has become easily accessible and is shared on a daily basis. This is of course all great news, at the same time there is still a lot of work left

Elloinos 783 days ago

Pain, Innovation and Change

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Tweet I receive continuous enquiries from abroad for updates in regards to the situation in the local Greek wine market. Please read this article on Wine Searcher for an overview on how things were four months ago. The diminishing demand from consumers for bottled wine keeps in tandem with the ongoing collapse of the Greek

Elloinos 790 days ago

Greek grape pronunciation

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Tweet A new generation of experts step up and show you how to properly pronounce the names of 10 Greek grape varieties in this ninety second video.  Some might think it is child’s play :) Assyrtiko Malagousia Moschofilero Robola Roditis Agiorgitiko Limniona Mavrodaphne Mavrotragano Xinomavro

Elloinos 803 days ago

Gentilini’s Mike Jones

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Tweet Gentilini is likely the best known winery from the Greek island of Cephalonia. I have long been a fan of their wines, especially the white Robola and the red, dry Mavrodaphne. The winery is run by the efficient and enthusiastic husband/wife team of Marianna and Petros. Their head winemaker is Mike Jones, a British

Elloinos 817 days ago

Welcome to a new ELLOINOS

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ELLOINOS has received a significant overhaul and I am thrilled to show you the results today. The site has a new look and feel and is more accessible and hopefully much more interesting than before. It is also optimized for mobile and ipad experience (give it a go!). The structure and categories have been cleaned

Elloinos 825 days ago

Greek BBQ wines

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The summer months are hot in Greece, over the last few days temperatures have risen to 35 to 40 ?C, or 95 to 105 ?F. This is the perfect time to invite friends over and enjoy a relaxed BBQ. What wines will stand up to both, heat and the food? Think a little bit outside

Elloinos 831 days ago

Preknadi

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Fact File Preknadi Area grown: Northern and Central Greece, notably in the region of Naoussa History: Preknadi (synonyms are Priknadi, Prekna, Prekniariko) was cultivated extensively in the vineyards of the Naoussa region five to six decades ago. The zone was invaded by phylloxera in the 1960ies and the majority of Preknadi plantings were lost. Gro...

Elloinos 839 days ago

Balkans International Wine Competition

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Immediate impact and serious future potential come to life once a great idea is born and more importantly, flawlessly executed. The Balkans International Wine Competition (BIWC) is the brainchild of Galina Niforou and Konstantinos Lazarakis, MW. This annual competition "aspires to draw the attention of the global wine community to the unique range ...

Elloinos 852 days ago

The powerful nuances of Xinomavro

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The Xinomavro wine producers from Naoussa continue their push towards promoting their unique wines – and they certainly leave a mark wherever they show up. Last week, I joined a number of winemakers/representatives for a whirlwind trip to San Francisco, CA. The president and vice president of the wine cooperative VAENI, and family members from...

Elloinos 860 days ago

Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami

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                Image by ©Sarah Roesink www.sarahroesink.com Xinomavro wines are truly unique and stand out from the crowd. But what is it that makes them so distinctive? The majority of red wines exhibit strong primary fruit elements. I suspect that cherry and strawberry are some of the most common used descriptors. In contrast, Xinomavro combines...

Elloinos 868 days ago

Building a business Part 1

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Nearly three years have passed since I published the page "Story of my life" on elloinos. The articles shared my personal journey leading up to my decision to leave the financial industry behind and make my passion my profession instead. It is a good time to take a look back: Part 1: 2009 Getting started

Elloinos 874 days ago

Trends for Greek wine: US versus Europe

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The US, Germany and the UK are amongst the five largest wine consuming countries and also top the list of the three largest wine importing countries in the world (in reverse order). Greek wine exports to the US are on the rise and the word about their quality and uniqueness seems to be increasing in

Elloinos 888 days ago
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