Nemea is the one region in Greece that together with Santorini achieved branding itself successfully. It is particularly noteworthy that Nemea also managed to become a synonym to the noble grape variety grown there, Agiorgitiko, whose name is much harder to remember.
A few weeks ago I reported on the effects the ongoing financial crises in Greece is having on the local wine industry. Greek consumers are clearly spending much less money on wines, and as a direct result, a lot of stock remains unsold. AB is one of the largest supermarket chains in Greece, and they continue heavily discounted promotions. The most aggressive campaigns target top appellation regions.
This morning the latest bargain sale started, this time the Nemea region is advertised. The Cooperative of Nemea is a very important organisation in Greece. Thanks to the remarkable talent of its head winemaker, they are able to offer a good and solid portfolio of Agiorgitiko wines. Never too high in alcohol, the wines are fresh, uncomplicated and fruit driven. Given the fact that very large volumes are being produced, and that grapes from all the growers must be accepted, this is an achievement. The prices for the wines have always been extremely competitive. The “Nemea Special” wine sits right in the middle of the portfolio in terms of quality.
The “Nemea Special” is now offered at a discount of 40% and comes in at a shocking 1,99 € per bottle. As the Cooperative itself relies heavily on the Nemea image, the AB supermarket only needs to make sure that the discount and price are dominantly displayed on the advertising boards. The shoppers will likely not notice the fact that it is not a wine from a single grower. The reputation of another great Greek wine growing region is being hit. The vast majority of Nemea wines can hardly be called expensive (although some exceptions do exist), but to portray the Nemea name with prices that usually are only reserved for mass produced, low quality wines will do the region no favour. I sincerely hope that this will be a temporary initiative limited to the local market. As for the wine itself, I have certainly bought and enjoyed it before without the heavy discount.