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As one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world, Greece has millenia of experience and expertise when it comes to viticulture, and has developed a set of flavors and characteristics which are found nowhere else on earth. The ancient Greeks revered and deified wine, and were the first true innovators in the history of wine, adding everything from seawater to honey and spices in order to find exciting new taste combinations and aromas. Today, Greek wines are just as varied, although far more refined and sophisticated than their ancient counterparts. The practice of enhancing Greek wines with aromatic substances never left the country, though, as can be seen in the popular Retsina wines, which use pine resin to provide their unique taste and aroma combinations. There is far more to Greek wine than merely Retsina, however, and the vast variety on offer is a testament to the expertise of Greek wineries making the most of the wonderful climate, terrain and grape varietals they work with.
In the mountains of Cephalonia, the mineral rich soils assist in the growing of one of the finest of Greece's white grape varietals – the Robola grape. These noble yellowish grapes are notable for the wines they produce, which generally contain summer fruits, peach and citrus aromas, coupled with flavors which extend beyond the usual range of white wines, revealing smoky and mineral notes, and a lengthy, lemony after-taste. These fine characteristics helped the regions it is grown in gain AOC status, and wine-makers in this area have many generations of practice in bringing out the elegant and subtle characteristics of this grape.
Robola, and the other wines of Cephalonia have a long and illustrious history, being mentioned even in ancient epic poems such as Homer's Iliad. However, it was the Venetians who first recognized the great potential of Robola grapes, which quickly became the focus for the areas wine-makers and tradesmen. Nowadays, Robola wines act as an excellent example of a refined Greek dry white wine, which can be either drank as a light and refreshing summer aperitif, or alongside grilled white meats, salads, or white fish. Robola wines, as a rule, do not age particularly well, and it is highly recommended that bottles are drunk young, within two years of bottling. By doing so, you can enjoy the unique characteristics of this remarkable wine, complete with the balanced combination of chalky, smoky citrus flavors and delicate peach aromas which typify the finest examples of Robola varietal wines.