I know Mr Haridimos Hatzidakis from ever since he started his winery back in 1996-97.

We have good contacts and every now and then I pay him a visit to see what’s new.

Last week I went there with a good friend of mine to show him the hatzidakis winery.

It is maybe the smallest winery there is but …produces amazing wines, what can I say Haridimos has a gift in wine making.

A was surprised to find out that he had some new labels in the cellar I never had seen before.

I didn’t wait long and just took a few cases with me to try…Yes a few cases like 15 of them.

The first one was ” Santorini Hatzidakis Mylos 2008″ the second one was “Hatzidakis Santorini Cuvee 15 2009” and the third one was “Hatzidakis Santorini special Cuvee No 17”.

Just to set things strait…these wines are not available in the Greek market…They all go out to France!Yes to France.

So after i got my cases delivered I started with the Santorini Mylos 2008.

Santorini Mylos 2008, if I would blind taste it I would say that this wine was a 2004-2005 vintage…It had a deep yellow color and amazing strong aromas.The taste was strong (15% vol) but not in a bad way…It was pleasant to me as I like the full body wines from the Assyrtiko grape….I am going to keep a case for the next years to see how it will evolve.

My rating ….93 points!Good jod Haridimos.

The next one I tried was the Special cuvee No 17.

This wine has  a light yellow color and a medium body and aftertaste.The strenght of the Assyrtiko can not be hidden it was a 13.5%vol common for Santorini.But it is not 100% Assytiko it also has some Athiri and Aidani in it so that is what makes it much lighter than the Mylos I tasted the other day.It would pair perfectly with any fish or just by its self on a Caldera balcony watching the sunset 🙂

My rating 89points.

The last one Cuvee 15 was something between the Mylos and the No17…You see Hatzidakis makes wines just for everyone…Again pleasant 100% Assyrtiko and all the labels in French…

Medium dark yellow color a lot of minerals and medium acidity.Good to age for the next 7 years.

My rating 90points.

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What do you think about the financial crisis in the catering sector and what needs to be done? GWP

Magda Karipidis

“Because of the given economic situation of our country, all professionals in the fields of entertainment, seeing their shares shrink. The area of focus is clearly the industry, while providing a conducive and culture. We all have experienced wonderful moments and we exchanged views on a table along with a wine. The truth is that most such activity when it takes place in a restaurant is very costly to the largest portion of the public.
This does not seem to reduce the need for Generation of these conditions as more and more often we hear of friends to gather in homes. This seems to be confirmed by good neighborhood liquor stores that keep their clients and in many instances there is an increase in sales.
From this financial crisis to survive catering and services must adapt before it is too late and create a new wave of better consumers to be a mass in the future.”

Magda Karipidi

University of Athens sector of Oenology.Also involved in the family winery Karipidis Estate.


I had the chance to taste the Domaine Sigalas Santorini Barrel yesterday night.

The Sigalas Barrel is a wine made out of 100% Assyrtiko ,the local grape of Santorini, it was just like I expect it to be ,fruity ,dry with notes citrus and tropical fruits, the French Oak gives the wine a pleasant smoothness.

The wine can age and get much better forDomaine Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2009 at least 4-5 years…That is a unique element for the proper made Asyrtikos of Santorini.The volcanic soil and microclimate of this unique island just gives as diamonds in taste for many many years now.

I had the wine with some grilled fish and it combined perfectly.


I just saw the Decanter world wine awards.Greece has a lot of nominations this year.

I am really happy to see wines like the Estate Argyros Assyrtiko 2009 ,Ovilos white 2009 ,Gerovassiliou malagouzia 2009 and others have been nominated with Gold medals.

Decanter is a very good source to sort out the best wines by country.

It is also important for the Greek wine market to get this kind of attention from such competitions, it really helps to promote the wines in markets we can not reach.

This year I also see small producers from Greece getting nominated.Wines like the Oniron Thavmata 2009 from the Aristotelis Liappis winery ,Tetramythos Agiorgitiko and the Thymiopoulos Ghi ke Ouranos  2007 from Naoussa getting Bronze awards…

About the Regional Trophies, there were just three given.Two of them to the Estate Argyros winery in Santorini for the Argyros Estate 2009 & the Estate Argyros Vinsanto 1989.The third one was given to Domaine Gerovassiliou for the wine Evangelo 2006 from Epanomi ,Macedonia.

You can see all the results of the 2010 Decanter awards here:

http://www.decanter.com/worldwineawards/2010/results.php


Interview of the general director of the Boutari winery in Santorini Economical crisis in Greece, How does this affect the wine sales?

It is sure that the economical crisis has affected the sales of wine. The boutari winery in Santorini used more than 1.100 tons of grapes in the decade of 1988 – 1998.The last ten years the winery is only using about 350 – 400 tons of grapes to produce around 250.000 bottles.That is a great degrease. Of course that has not only to do with the latest term of the economical crisis in Greece. When sales drop there are several factors that affect this kind of results. For example , 50% of the produced wines are exported to Europe and the United States.The crisis for the Greek wines was here even before the one we hear and see today. One major disadvantage for the Greek wines , that needs to be sold in the foreign markets is the price. The cost to produce a bottle of wine in Greece is much higher than in other countries. That makes our wines not price competitive against wines from Chile ,Spain ,Argentine and others. For example Germany was one of biggest Greek wine importers in Europe. Lots of Greeks had Greek restaurants there and of course were selling Greek wines. The crisis though did affect them first and then us. If the restaurants does not sell wine we don’t either.

What do you think must be done to overcome this crisis.And what do you see for the future?

We have to drop the costs of the wine production. New technologies have to be used for that. A good wine needs good grapes, yes that is true. We do have the good grapes and do produce good wines , but we need to compete with the term “value for money” to see more sales in the future .To achieve that , the vines need to give us more grapes with less cost, producing great wines. Technology today gives us many solutions to get there and we have to invest in that to get there. Santorini has a tradition in winemaking for thousands of years now.If you take a look you will still see the old traditional ways of growing the vines and not enough new technologies used in the wineries. My opinion is that the Santorini vineyards have to be reset and start over again from the very beginning.We have to use the today’s knowledge to achieve the results we need to be able to compete in exports.It is not enough to produce a good wine.We have to produce great wines with competitive prices. The general idea to overcome the crisis must start from within.I mean that the whole culture has to change to be able to survive. The education has get much better for our children to compete in the future with all the others. We must learn to have meritocracy and values and that starts from our very home.

What has changed in the Boutari winery the last years?

For five years now we use a new sorting method to pick the good grapes from the not so good ones.We now chill the grapes before vinification, that are just a few things that changed in these years. The sorting method costs the winery about the 20% of the grapes that come in.That is one thing , on the other hand we get much better wines.This 20% did affect the whole production all these years.Now we know that where wrong before… Chilling the grapes after sorting in big containers gives us much more aromatic and intense wines.That is also a new method we use now to get even better wine results. It is as I mentioned before… Technology helps a good wine to be a great one.

What is your opinion about the Santorini vines?

If you take a look on the Santorini vinefields you will see the traditional way of growing the vines.They take the vine stock and make it a round basket.The grape grows in it. That is a very old way of growing grapes.Yes it does look nice and it is a piece of the Santorini tradition, but we have to carry on.There has been evolution in the grape growing industry. The tradition says that Santorinias used and use this method to protect the grapes from the vast winds that blow in Santorini.I am not so sure that is so effective or rather so important. To harvest the vines here in Santorini we need lots and lots of manpower.That is a huge cost to the grower and wine producer.No mechanical means can be used at all.An other factor is that by growing the grapes in the traditional basket method the grape does not get the Sun it would if it was planted in the more modern way not to mention the drop of cost if we could use mechanical means to harvest and maintain the vinefields. An other matter that bothers me, is that Santorini is a very important wine production area of Greece and there is no actual terroir.Tourism has driven Santorini to be overbuilt with hotels ,apartments and houses all around the island. My opinion is that there should be a legislation about that. Where can you built hotels and houses and where should the vines be.I do not think that both should be in the same place for many reasons.

What is your opinion about the wine critics in Greece?

Of course we do have respected wine writers and journalists that know their job but they are not the majority and that is sad.

Would you be affected as a consumer by a Greek wine critic?

It would definitely affect me as a consumer but it would not be the major factor for me to tell if a wine is a good one or not before I have tried it myself. I will trust my individual taste and after that decide if the critic was good or not.

What do you think about the points given by several international wine professionals?

The point system used by Robert Parker , Wine Spectator , Wine & Spirits magazine and others are helping individuals to sort the best wines in the range of price they are looking for and in many cases the production area.The wine market is huge and these professionals are doing a good job.I also use their opinion when it comes to choose a foreign wine myself, and lets not forget it helps in making sales.

Could you tell us a few words about the Mavrotragano grape.

Boutari was the first one to discover the value of the grape Mavrotragano in 1995.Back then Haridimos Hatzidakis was working here as an oenologist.We found out that the wine produced had great potential.At the time Boutari could not invest in the production of a new red wine as the portfolio of the Boutari Group had already many good red wines with a result of the Mavrotragano to stay in an experimental use only.


Greek wine portal (GWP) created a page on the official website (www.greekwine.biz) about all the major wineries in Greece.We were trying to find a website that includes all those wineries with no luck …So here it is .

http://greekwine.biz/Greek-wineries-directory.html


A Greek White to Banish Old Preconceptions Christoforos Pavlidis Drama Thema White 2008

By:James Molesworth Posted: May 5, 2010

Greek wines have an uphill battle to climb here. The country had a history of oxidized and resinous whites, along with pruny, dull reds. The local grape varieties aren’t exactly well-known outside of their home country, and Greek wineries don’t help themselves much with labeling that often combines Greek and English. But ultimately, quality is in the bottle, and if the wines can be as good as the Christoforos Pavlidis Drama Thema White 2008—for only $19—it won’t take long for savvy consumers to catch on. Christoforos Pavlidis is a young winery, founded in 1998, and this white is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for three months on its lees (the sediment remaining after fermentation) for added texture. The Drama Thema blends the indigenous Assyrtiko grape with 60 percent Sauvignon Blanc—and the tired, resinous style of old Greek whites is nowhere in sight. The 2008 wine is bright and tangy, with racy citrus peel, tarragon and chive flavors backed by a mouthwatering finish. it cut like a knife through some lightly breaded chicken cutlets that had a dusting of piri-piri on them (a small, hot pepper used frequently in Portuguese and African cuisine). A delicious 89 points, non-blind, and a hopeful sign for Greek wine.