Quality improvement in Greek vineyards
In this context, as Exports Manager Thomas Kunstmann of the Greek Wine Cellars D. Kourtakis reports, a small but promising elite Greek gastronomy sector seems to be developing in Germany – the basis for more sales and acclaim in the future. And according to a recent market research study, Greek gastronomy now comes in at second place after Italy in terms of popularity in Germany. It may, however, be a while, until white Assyrtiko from the volcanic island of Santorini, aromatic Moschofilero from the north of the Peloponnese, Malagousia, Agiorgitiko from Nema or the especially characterful Xinomavro from Naoussa, Amynteon, Rapsani and other parts of Macedonia are discussed on an equal footing with their counterparts from the Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Brunello or Barolo.
And yet the significant quality improvement in Greek vineyards seems set to continue. For some years, companies such as Palivos, Katogi & Strofilia, Gaia Wines, Hatzidakis, Ktima Alpha, Kir Yianni, Skouras, Biblia Chora, Pavlidis, Katsaros, Tselepos and the Claudia Papayanni domain have been winning one prize after another at the big international competitions, gaining in acclaim and writing a genuine success story. For example, Claudia Papayanni, whose mother comes from Germany, has been on the market with her wines from Arnea on Chalkidiki since 2007, and has gained a considerable amount of respect among her associates over the last five years.
Over the long term, many professionals, journalists, retailers and sommeliers see Greek wines making further progress thanks to their individual profile and unique nature. "Ambitious winegrowers are rising to the challenge of crisis," reported the "Spiegel" in June 2012 in its situation report from Greece. Maria Triatafylou from the "National Organisation for Vine and Wine" is therefore convinced that in addition to their exports to Germany, France and Canada, the producers from Hellas will "also be able to increase their exports to China and to other new markets."
When it comes to the destinations of the Tsantali wines, Germany is in first place, with Canada in second and Russia in third, followed by Belgium and Holland. Despite the economic crisis and the huge problems in Greece, this particular business maintained a stable turnover in 2012. "If we Greeks had more money, we could make the high quality of our wines known to consumers abroad much more quickly," highlights Dr. Georgios Tsantali.
It is certainly the case that those attending ProWein 2013 from 24 – 26 March will have every opportunity to discover new and exciting wines at Hellas in Hall 6.