The Wine Tasting Forum of "World Class Greek Wine" chaired by Key-Note Speaker, Wine Expert and Best-Selling Author, Mr. Nico Manessis, was an insightful yet fascinating presentation of world class Greek wines. The Tasting, part of the PATRAS 2006 Cultural Capital of Europe- MEDIA & CULTURE CONFERENCE, took place at the BYZANTINO HOTEL on Monday, 27th March 2006. It was part of a (3) day Media & Culture Conference organized by the PATRAS 2006 Cultural Capital of Europe -and coordinated by iForce Communications. Mr. Athanassios Papandropoulos, Honorary International President of the Association of European Journalists, offered the foreword for the tasting. International Journalists and European Capital Heads representing (18) European Countries plus countries Turkey, Egypt and China were in attendance. Various dignitaries including the Chinese Deputy-Minister of Press and Editor-in-Chief of "China Daily", Mr. Yinghuang Zhu and the distinguished Winemaker, Mr. Athanassios Parparoussis, to name only a few, attended the evening of wine tasting. Avid curiosity and praises for the selection of Greek wine dominated the evening's presentation.
The presentation incorporated a holistic perspective of Greece as a wine producing country inclusive of the key regions: the Peloponnese, surrounding Islands, northern Macedonia and Epirus. Topics covered were HOW TO properly taste wine, Greek wine varieties, characteristics, regions and styles. Mr. Manessis also addressed how to select, store and collect wine. Highlights included a stunning premiere public presentation of the Alpha Estate's Red 2004.
The short-listed wines included a selection of Greek vintages with World Class Awards and Distinctions:
Oenoforos' Asprolithi 2005
Creta Olympias' Xerolithia 2005
Estate Biblia Chora White 2005
Katogi-Strofilia's Traminer Averof 2005
Estate Biblia Chora Rose 2005
Domaine Mercouri 2003
Gerovassiliou's Avaton 2003
GAIA Estate 2003
Alpha Estate Red 2004
A. Parparoussis' Muscat Rio Patras 2003
Oenoforos, a winery located in the region of Eigion in the Peloponnesus and guided by the ingenuity of what some call "alchemy", Winemaker and Oenologist, Angelos Rouvalis' Asprolithi is derived from the Greek grape variety, Roditis. Creta Olympias' Xerolithia comes from the region of Peza, Crete cultivated at an altitude of 400 meters. The wine bears distinctions and a Silver Medal from, International Wine & Spirit Competition, London 2002 and Bronze Medal - Decanter World Wine Awards 2005. Domaine Biblia Chora a synergy of talent from distinguished Vintners, Vassilis Tsaktsarlis and Vangelis Gerovassiliou, and a model organic vineyard located on the slopes of Mt. Pangeon near Kavala yields a selection of (8) labels. Two wines of outstanding character and elegance, Biblia Chora White and Rose have both been awarded with distinctions: Biblia Chora White - Gold Medal, Challenge International du Vin, France 2005 and Biblia Chora Rose - Silver Medal, International Wine & Spirits Competition, London 2005. Katogi-Strofilia located in Northern Greece cultivates the 'Traminer wine' from the Traminer variety grown at their vineyards in Metsovo, Epirus. Domaine Mercouri (V.D.P. of Letrina) located on the western coast of the Peloponnesus, near Ancient Olympia, a most picturesque estate and vineyard maintains recent distinctions for their 2002 vintage at PROWEIN 2005, Germany and Bronze Medal for 2001 vintage at MONDE SELECTION 2004, Brussels. Domaine Gerovassiliou, a renown winemaker with vineyards located at Epanomi near Thessaloniki has coupled three Greek indigenous varieties of Limnio, Mavroudi and Mavrotragono to create the striking new wine, "AVATON" (meaning "unknown territory"). Select awards include: Bronze Medal - Decanter World Wine Awards 2005, Lonodn for Avaton 2003 and Silver Medal - Vinalies Internationales 2006, Paris for Avaton 2004. GAIA Estate, a dynamic synergy of talent from Leon Karatsalos and Yannis Paraskevopoulos, maintain vineyards in Nemea and Santorini. World class distinctions include, Gold Medal - Mundus Vini International 2004 for GAIA Estate Red 2001 and International Red Single Variety Trophy - Decanter World Wine Awards 2004, London for 2001 vintage. Alpha Estate publicly premiered it's Alpha Estate Red 2004 at the PATRAS 2006 wine tasting forum. It's 2003 predecessor previously awarded various Gold Medals finds it's home from a most distinguished winery with stunning wineslocated in Amyndeo and is headed by the talented Angelos Iatridis, Winemaker and Makis Mavridis, Grape Grower. Awards include: Gold Medal - Concours Montial de Bruxelles 2005 and Best Old World Red - Decanter Magazine - April 2005 by Steven Spurrier. Last but certainly not least, the distinguished French educated vintner, A. Parparoussis presented Muscat de Rio-Patras (A.O.C.). The naturally sweet wine with notes of fruits, honey, apricot and a brilliantly long finish maintains several Silver Medals from - Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2004, for vintage 1998 and Decanter World Wine Awards 2005, London, for vintage 2001.
About Nico Manessis
Wine Expert and Best Selling Author, Nico Manessis' experience includes vineyard management, wine production, marketing and fine wine advisory services which span Europe and the U.S.A. with more than (20) years experience. He is the author of the "The Illustrated Greek Wine Book" and is the contributor for Greece to Tom Stevenson's 2006 Wine Report. His forthcoming book, a 'geographical wine atlas' of Greece, will be available in 2007. He currently contributes to numerous publications such as the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times and Decanter. He is a member of the Academie Internationale du Vin and resides in Geneva, Switzerland.
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