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Greece has many AOC regions, each with their own signature grape varietal which is cultivated and processed to an exceptionally high degree of excellence. The AOC of Mantinia on the beautiful expansive plateau of the Peloponnese has the Moschofilero varietal, a gray colored white variety which produces exceptional Blanc de Gris wines. A delicate grape, highly sensitive to adverse weather conditions, it is nonetheless prized by wine makers for its unique attributes and the quality of the wine which can be made from it. Although commonly compared to western European Muscat wines, the Moschofilero grapes produce wine which is in a league of its own – full of floral aromas containing heavy, almost soporific notes of rose petals and violets. The flavor of the wine tends to be spicy, and leans more towards earthy mineral flavors rather than fruit ones, making it perfect as an aperitif or coupled with salty olives and cheeses.
Moschofilero wines tend to be elegant and subtle, with their strength being in their crispness, and the bouquet of floral aromas rising from the glass. The finest Moschofilero wines to come out of Greece in recent decades have included the Tselopos, whose high altitude vineyards have seemingly mastered the potential and complexity of this gray grape to international acclaim.
The Peloponnese wine region of Greece is one with some serious history behind it. Mentioned by Homer in one of his epic poems, it was named Ampelonessa in Ancient Greek - literally translating to ‘land full of vines’. It has survived massive political upheaval, several devastating wars and the full force of the phylloxera epidemic, and remains one of Greece’s key wine producing regions to this day. Indeed, the twenty-first century has seen something of a renaissance for Peloponnese wines, and they’ve found themselves more in demand than they’ve ever been thanks to a renewed interest in Greek produce, and the traditional methods the vintners who work there use in their winemaking.
Peloponnese is a large wine region, and it is characterized by its range and variety. This is due to the massive differences in terroir found from one appellation to the next, and sun-baked plains, misty hillsides and breezy plateaus are all accounted for as you move from one part to another. Despite this, there is one grape varietal which sits head and shoulders among the others in this part of Greece, and that is the gorgeous Agiorghitiko grape. This vine is native to the region, and it produces the deep red, velvety and complex wines the area is famed for.