In a nutshell: A rich and intense dessert wine from the Greek island of Santorini.
The lowdown: Made from mainly Assyrtiko grapes, some of which are dried in the Aegean sun after picking to really concentrate the flavours. After about 10 days the grapes have dehydrated to the right level ready for pressing. Such the the level of concentration that less than 100 litres of juice are yielded from each acre of vines. The resulting wine, which spends over 10 years in oak barrels, is amazingly rich and full of caramelized fruits and, most importantly, wonderfully sweet.
When to drink: Serve it well chilled at around 6-8°C with things like rich chocolate desserts.
One of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution Gaia Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos a PHD graduate in Enology from the university of Bordeaux. Operating two different wineries they make cutting edge wines in both Nemea on the Peloponnese peninsula and the idyllic island of Santorini in the Cyclades. These are in some of the most promising wine producing areas of Greece.
Gaia's main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide. Over the years they've grown steadily. Back in 1994 production was less than 10,000 bottles. 25 years later it's now around 350,000. At Nemea the reds made from Agiorgitiko take centre stage, while on Santorini it's the white made from Assyrtiko.