‘High potential’ for Greek wines in UK

The potential for Greek wines in the UK is high with original, indigenous varieties and an eclectic winemaking scene making for an intriguing mix.

Speaking to the drinks business at a recent tasting, Maria Moutsou, founder of Southern Wine Roads which imports Greek wines, spirits and oils, said she though that even if the market segment was small, Greece had a lot to offer the on- and off-trades.

“We have a long tradition and high quality, so something to work with,” she began. “The aim is to introduce styles and varieties that are unique to Greece but also new to the UK. Wines that express Greece’s different varieties and winemaking styles.”

Greece is obviously a cradle of European winemaking and certain varieties such as Assyrtiko and Xinomavro have receiving some attention in more recent years but the country has many more to offer she went on, such as Roditis, Agiorgitiko and Savatiano.

Moutsou said that the challenge now was to build interest in them but thought they had real potential in the on-trade in particular; the whites being excellent by-the-glass options and the reds ideal with food.

She also added that what made Greece doubly interesting right now was the evolving wine scene and that winemakers were experimenting greatly with new techniques and styles.

‘Orange’ and ‘natural’ wines are increasingly common, helped along by both tradition and climate, and in high evidence at the recent Southern Wine Roads tasting. Orange wines of course have something of a connection with ancient Greek winemaking and extended maceration adds an interesting angle to the fresh but occasionally more neutral white Greek varieties.

The share of the market may never be big but with well-made and interesting wines to choose from and an increasingly engaged and accepting part of the public willing to try them, Greek wines undoubtedly have a chance to shine in the UK.

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