loader from loading.io

Ep 336: Santorini, Greece and it's divine white of Assyrtiko

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 07/29/2020

Ep 391: Édouard Miailhe - Dynamic leader of the Margaux AOC & 5th Generation Owner of Château Siran show art Ep 391: Édouard Miailhe - Dynamic leader of the Margaux AOC & 5th Generation Owner of Château Siran

Wine for Normal People

Château Siran is an historic and innovative estate in the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, in the commune of Margaux. In the mid-1800s Siran was purchased by ancestor of Édouard Miailhe’s family and today he is the 6th generation to run Siran.

info_outline
Ep 390: The Grape Miniseries -- Petit Verdot show art Ep 390: The Grape Miniseries -- Petit Verdot

Wine for Normal People

Petit Verdot is often the secret weapon in a blend -- providing unique aromas and flavors plus acidity and tannin. We discuss this essential grape and the vital role it plays in wines around the world.

info_outline
Ep 389: Chateau Doyac and the Diversity of Terroir in the Haut-Medoc of Bordeaux show art Ep 389: Chateau Doyac and the Diversity of Terroir in the Haut-Medoc of Bordeaux

Wine for Normal People

In our continued exploration of the Médoc of Bordeaux, Astrid de Pourtalès of Château Doyac joins. Doyac is a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur located in the northernmost part of the Haut-Médoc appellation. This show presents a high level overview of a family-owned château in a very different part of the Médoc that isn't often discussed - one that's far north and based on limestone clay soils, something you'd see in Burgundy rather than farther south in Bordeaux.

info_outline
Ep 388: The Greats - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano show art Ep 388: The Greats - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Wine for Normal People

The Nobile Wine of Montepulciano is a wine based on a clone of Sangiovese and from a small hillside town in Tuscany called Montepulciano. It is, indeed, one of the great wines of the world.

info_outline
Ep 387: Veramonte's Sofia Araya -- Organic, terroir-driven wine in Chile show art Ep 387: Veramonte's Sofia Araya -- Organic, terroir-driven wine in Chile

Wine for Normal People

Veramonte is a medium sized winery in Chile, with an outsized impact: it's 100% organically farmed and makes up 15% of organic viticulture in Chile. Behind the four brands of Veramonte -- Veramonte, Ritual, Primus, Neyen - is Sofia Vermonte, head winemaker. In this show she talks about the transition to organic farming, the differences in the valleys of Chile and how she is making terroir-driven wines with pure fruit flavors, that showcase the Casablanca, Colchagua, and Maipo Valleys at their best.

info_outline
Ep 386: Natalie MacLean -- Author, Wine Reviewer & Podcaster show art Ep 386: Natalie MacLean -- Author, Wine Reviewer & Podcaster

Wine for Normal People

Natalie MacLean is an accredited sommelier who operates one of the largest wine sites on the web. In this fun show, we talk about Natalie's life in wine, her professional triumphs and trials that made her what she is today, and then we talk wine trends. We analyze everything from blue wine to raw wine to celebrity wine and White Claw! A very fun, yet very real conversation that covers the issues with wine (her description of what happened in 2012 is harrowing), with the best of it as well.

info_outline
Ep 385:  Anne Le Naour of Chateau Meyney - Redefining Saint-Estèphe of Bordeaux show art Ep 385: Anne Le Naour of Chateau Meyney - Redefining Saint-Estèphe of Bordeaux

Wine for Normal People

Anne Le Naour  is the technical and managing director for Château Meyney of St-Estèphe in the Médoc of Bordeaux. Since she began at Château Meyney in 2016, she has transformed it, improving viticulture, moving towards organics, and introducing better winemaking. Her deep knowledge of wine plus her unwavering dedication to quality has meant that the wines of Meyney are better than ever. She joins to discuss Meyney and the beautiful wines of St Estèphe.

info_outline
Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country show art Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country

Wine for Normal People

The Basque Country in northeastern Spain lies on the Bay of Biscay and abuts the Pyrenees Mountains, a mere 18 mi/30 km from the French border. Until about a decade ago, this area was relatively unknown as a wine region. But with the rise of Basque cuisine, an increased interest from wine buyers in native varietals, and a thirst for lighter wines, Txakolina (chock-o-LEEN-ah), a white, high acid, spritz wine started to gain ground. In this show, we discuss this historic region and its wine traditions.

info_outline
Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW show art Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW

Wine for Normal People

Roman Horvath, a Master of Wine, is the Winery Director of Domaine Wachau, a leading Austrian wine producer. The Domaine is actually a cooperative, meaning it is run by & owned by individual growers. But whereas most co-ops in Europe produce seas of mediocre wines, Domaine Wachau is known for its wines of origin & pure flavor. Roman tells us about the Domaine's range of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling that reflect terroir & show that under the right management, the co-op system can make unbelievable wines!

info_outline
Ep 382: Don Kavanagh on Wine's Next Wave and The End of the Cult of the Somm show art Ep 382: Don Kavanagh on Wine's Next Wave and The End of the Cult of the Somm

Wine for Normal People

Don Kavanagh, editor of Wine-Searcher's news division, returns to talk about wine's next wave and Wine-Searcher's article: "Farewell to the 'Cult of the Somm.'" We discuss how the wine world is shaping up in a post-pandemic world where a shift towards stay-at-home drinking and more casual dining will likely be lasting trends. We discuss how sommelier "influencer" culture is dead, and what may be next. Don is infinitely entertaining; this podcast is bound to delight (unless you're a snobby sommelier!).

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Santorini is one of Greek wine's guiding lights. The wines from this ancient volcanic island are unlike any other – exhibiting fullness, smoky minerality, and acidity that you won’t find elsewhere. The whites of Assyrtiko are among the best Greece has to offer. The fascinating history and legacy of viticulture will transport you to this lovely Mediterranean paradise. In this show, we take you on the ultimate armchair travel destination: the island of Santorini, a Greek paradise!

Here are the show notes:

  • Santorini is at 36.4 N latitude, in the Cyclades group of islands.  
  • The region has 2200-2900 acres/900-1,200 hectares of land are under vine
  • Santorini was formed by an enormous volcanic eruption around 2,600 years ago
  • Wine has been made since the ancient Greek and Roman times but a Venetian crusader took over in 1336 and made the sweet wines of the Assyrtiko grape, Vinsanto, popular around the Mediterranean

  • On the poor, volcanic soil on this hot windy island, the grapes are trained via an ancient pruning system, called “kouloura." The trunk is trained into a basket-like or wreath-like shape so the grapes hang on the of the basket, protected from wind and harsh sun
  • Some of these basket trained vines may be over 400 years old; with Assyrtiko making up 70-80% of the plantings. 

 

  • In this dry, harsh climate with less than 10 inches of rain per year, grapes struggle. They're well adapted to the heat and wind, and the diurnal temperature swing at night helps them maintain their characteristic acidity.
  • Reds: Mandilaria and Mavrotragano  represent 20% of Santorini's vineyards. 
    • Mavrotragano:used to only be for sweet wines. But it does seem to have good potential for dry wines'
    • Mandilaria (which M.C. Ice believes is picked by Baby Yoda) is grow around Greece and is tart and tannic, and often better in blends

 

  • White: Assyrtiko with Athiri and Aidani
    • Assyrtiko is a tough skinned variety. Drought, wind, and heat resistant. Regardless of heat, it maintains its acidity as it ripens. high acid grape. It makes a dry Wie with citrus, mineral, smoke, pumice, lemon rind, jasmine aromas and a saline, stony, quality when you taste it. The wines are full bodied. 
    • Athiri is sweet, fruity and aromatic with lower acidity so it's a good blending partner with Assyrtiko. Aidani is similar.

 

Types of wine

  • Santorini PDO: is 75% or more Assyrtiko, 25% Athiri and/or Aidani. 
  • Nykteri: the Greek term for 'working all night', the grapes are  harvested at night to avoid the hot temperatures. The wine is at least 75% Assyrtiko with Athiri and Aidani. It is aged in oak for a minimum of 3 months, and creates a dry, high acid wine with  mineral, citrus, and peach flavors and aromas.

  • Sweet Vinsanto: This dessert wine has great acidity to
  • offset the dried orange peel, fig, and apricot aroma always with a salty mineral note, typical of Assyrtiko (the wine must be at least 51% of this grape with Aidani and Athiri).
    • Vinsanto as a name, comes from the Venetian era of dominance - wines from the island were labeled, “Santo,” for Santorini -- “vin” or “vino”,  the Italian word for wine -- Vinsanto. The EU recognizes this as a separate, distinct, historical product only from Santorini and different from Italy's "Vin Santo"

 

Producers we mention: Hatzidakis, Estate Argyros, Gaia, J Boutari & Son, Vassaltis, Venetsanos, Domaine Sigalas, Gavalas, Santos

 

 

________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors this week:

Wine Access 

Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! 

Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range). Check out their awesome wine site with fantastic, hard to find wines -- you won't regret it! 

 

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople