In olden days, Greeks used amphorae to transport everything, from olive oil and wine. These vessels were prone to leaking, and when transported on a rocking boat, the problem was compounded. An ancient solution was to use resins from pine trees to seal the jugs, sort of like covering the bottom of a wooden boat with pitch, creating an air- and water-tight seal. In the case of white wines, which are particularly prone to spoilage even in the best environments, the resin seal also imparted a unique flavor to the wine. Called retsina, this spicy, pungent flavor came to be considered an aspect of the wine, and its use was continued even when oak barrels overtook amphorae as wine vessels of choice. Now retsina is as ubiquitous and national a Greek drink as ouzo. [Read more…]
Macedonia is representative of Greece. In spite of its historic relationship with the likes of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, Macedonia has for centuries been at the center of wars and fluctuating rulers, and was just recently released from her political bonds with Yugoslavia.
Greece, practically as old as recorded history itself, is going through something of a rebirth. This is an arduous, tumultuous process as we can see from her economic turmoil, but perhaps from these ashes a new Greece will emerge — one based more on enterprise ideas, creativity and modern practices — and there’s evidence that this is already happening in her wine industry. [Read more…]
Greece has been much in the news lately, and sadly not in a good way. How does Greece’s economic upheaval affect her agriculture? Specifically, how are wines from Greece faring? The answer is mixed and requires us to look both at domestic consumption and exports. [Read more…]