In the beguiling landscape of the Hellenic Republic, an ongoing revolution is reshaping our expectations of Greek wine. Nowhere is this more evident than in the vineyards of the Peloponnese, a region that has seen more innovation and excitement than any other part of Greece in recent years.
Terroir and talent
Tselepos Wines has become a poster-child for this viticultural renaissance. Founded in 1989 by Yannis and Amalia Tselepos, the company owns three wineries in three of the country’s leading PDO appellations: Mantinia, Nemea (both in the Peloponnese), and the island of Santorini. From the outset, Yannis and Amalia wanted to focus on indigenous grape varieties, producing site-specific wines from mineral-rich soils that were once farmed by the ancient Greeks. By harnessing a judicious mix of human talent – Yannis studied oenology in Burgundy – and exceptional terroir, Tselepos transports you to the cradle of modern wine culture as we know it.
Today, Yannis works alongside his second-generation siblings, Aris Tselepos and Andriani Tselepou. Both have spent time abroad – Aris Tselepos is an alumnus of the University of California, Davis and a stalwart of Napa Valley, while Andriani graduated from LSE London with a degree in marketing. That’s a dangerous amount of raw talent, and they put it to good use making superlative wines, not least at the flagship cellar in Mantinia.
Tselepos Wines’ first and eponymous winery, Ktima Tselepos is situated at the southeastern end of the Mantinian plateau. Rising to 700 metres above sea level, the Mantinia plateau is the home of the Moschofilero vine, responsible for the Peloponnese’s finest dry white, a delicious concoction of tropical fruit and spice. Every year, a certain percentage of the crop is matured in wood to enhance the wine’s structure, texture, and complexity. It remains one of Greece’s most loved wines.
Yet Tselepos produces an eclectic palate of styles at the estate, including Moschofilero dry whites and traditional-method sparkling. Indeed, Tselepos was one of the first Greek producers to embrace sparkling wine, fashioning aromatic and elegant styles based on indigenous varieties and all named after Amalia Tselepos. The elegant Amalia Brut and complex Amalia Vintage are produced from the Moschofilero grape, whilst the characterful lees-aged Amalia Rosé from Agiorgitiko.
Like so many ambitious Greek producers, the Tselepos family also grows a range of international varieties, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. The local soils are a mixture of red clay, limestone and schist, and Mantinia’s cooler continental climate is highly conducive to quality winegrowing, as berries are harvested with plenty of ripe acidity to balance out the rich fruit.
Flip the coin to Nemea, however, and you’re in a whole other world. Bought in 2003, Tselepos’ second winery, Ktima Driopi is situated near the archaeological wonder that is Mycenae. The appellation is renowned for its luscious reds made exclusively from Agiorgitiko grapes. They are planted in such varied terrains as Koutsi (350m elevation) and Asprokampos (900-1000m elevation), and used to make the flagship reds but also sparkling and rosé styles.
Nemea enjoys mild winters and relatively temperate summers due to the influence of the sea. Vines grown on the red clays of the valley floor are best suited to red wine production, revealing potent and dramatic aromas (plum, mocha, and garrigue) that make Tselepos’ expressions of Agiorgitiko – Driopi Classic and Ktima Driopi Reserve – a delectable partner to winter cuisine.
Meanwhile, at Tselepos’ newest winery, Canava Chrissou-Tselepos, the bold flavours of Assyrtiko – among Europe’s most compelling – take centre stage. In 2014, Tselepos entered into a…
Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/tselepos-leading-greeces-wine-renaissance-519839/