Over the weekend, I presented a number of Greek wines in Germany. The event took place at the Koenigsmuehle in Rheinhessen, home to my dear friend Dirk Wuertz, winemaker and social media revolutionary par excellence. I have held several presentations of Greek wines there in the past, but this time there was a noticeable difference:
About 50 people showed up, amongst them a renowned wine merchant, a well-known sommelier, a former wine queen (Weinkoenigin) of Germany, an American wine blogger who currently works at a German winery (great to have finally met you in real life @LindsayDuVin), and many other wine lovers. In my experience, most people still have some reservations when being introduced to Greek wines. Not this time around – the audience eagerly engaged with me from the very first moment. At no point did I feel the need to point out why Greek wines are so exciting. The participants knew that they are and wanted to get a taste of them.
None of the wines shown disappointed, to the contrary, they all lived up to or exceeded the expectations. I had included a total of 17 wines from 6 growers: Pavlidis (Drama), Thimiopoulos (Naoussa), Tetramythos (Peloponnese), Palivou (Peloponnese), Gaia (Santorini) and Manousakis (Crete), making this a solid selection from different growing areas, styles, and varietals. For me, this event marked an important watershed, as it gave a clear indication that Greek wines start to overcome some of the problems they have been facing in the past. It is still early days, but I am more than encouraged by these developments.
On Sunday I was in for a very unusual treat. Walfried Sander, neighbour and close friend of the Wuertz family, is a biodynamic farmer (farming, viniculture, cattle). In his spare time he likes to drive around in an old tank he owns (yes, those that are usually used for combat, although his is of course not armoured). I was invited to come along for a ride. For the first time in my life, I drove along vineyards in such a bizarre way. There is an advantage to this form of movement, as steep slopes were taken in a stride :) I did enjoy this adventure thoroughly. It was a clear day, and the views from the Petersberg were stunning. The Frankfurt skyline and the winegrowing region of the Rheingau were both clearly visible, although they are about 50 kilometres away.
I wish to thank everybody that made this weekend such a memorable experience!