Greek harvest looks promising

23rd September, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Greek winemakers are confident of a good vintage this year with good yields and promising quality – although the harvest is still ongoing in certain areas.

Greece harvest

The red harvest being brought into Mediterra’s winery

It was an early start to the harvest, Effie Kallinikidou, oenologist for Mediterra Winery on Crete, told the drinks business that the harvest began on 5 August – the earliest ever start for Mediterra.

However, despite the early beginning, Lazaros Alexakis, oenologist of the eponymous domaine, told db: “It was a very clean year with a cool summer.”

A harvest report from Mediterra added: “This year’s temperatures have assisted the grapes towards a smooth ripening period. Moreover due to the complete lack of grape diseases, the wines of 2013 harvest are anticipated to be great.

“The fact that the grapes have ripened without any stressful conditions has given the highest acidities obtained over the last six years while the colours of the red musts are very deep and very steady.”

Alexakis added that it was apparently a very windy summer, which saw, “winds from the south get rid of some of the flowers and so the bunches were not so packed.”

Conversely, this is not a good situation for the olives which are facing up to a poor crop.

The good news was replicated in the very north of the country in Macedonia, where Angelos Iatridis, winemaker at Alpha Estate, explained: “It was a very mild winter with not too many snows.

“So we had an earlier start to the year but then in April and May more cold temperatures delayed things a bit and then there was rain through May to early July so there were plenty of water reserves for the summer drought.

“There was a bit of stress which was good and it produced a very homogenous ripening. The first indications are that the aromatics are high.

“In the reds we have a good phenolic/acid balance so hopes are high. It’s a good size cop, a bit average for the area.”

On the other hand, it is looking much better than 2012 which was described as “disastrous” by many winemakers.

Iatridis added though, “how much better we’ll have to see.”

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