Greek wine among the top 100
Posted by Greeka on 20 Dec 2010
Good news for Greek wine production! A Greek wine was considered for the first time among the 100 top wines of the world, in the list of the American magazine Wine Spectator. "Assyrtiko Koutsogiannopoulos of Santorini" took the 86th rank worldwide with 91 degrees out of 100. This is the first time that a Greek wine is included in the Top 100 of this well-esteemed magazine.
"This rank is a reward for all our efforts those years", says the owner of the winery, Giorgos Koutsogiannopoulos. "If your hobby is your job, then you are always happy. This rank gave us great delight. It gets more important if you consider that we are a small winery which occupies 10 people in summer and only 7 in winter", he notes.
This winery produces about 80,000 bottles every year and 50 tones of bulk wine. Mr Koutsogiannopoulos belongs to the fourth generation of this family that manages the winery since it opened in 1870. "There is too much competition in wine industry. The good thing is that Santorini is famous abroad for the good production and that people differenciate it from productions of other parts of the country. There are even exports of Santorini wines. However, Europe is not an active market anymore. On the contrary, markets with prospect include the USA, Russia, China, Japan and Korea", he says.
In Koutsogiannopoulos winery, there is also an interesting wine museum with many objects of family heritage. This museum aims to present the story of the family and also the wine production of the island. In particular, this museum hosts the first wine press brought to Santorini by Frankish monks in 1660! The museum is constructed in cave rooms, has a labyrinth shape and an automatic electronic tour in 20 languages.
"At this moment, we store the oldest Vinsanto of the world, production of 1959. My father had saved it in a barrel and we bottled it. Vinsanto is the only wine that can be kept bottled for more than 100 years. If these 40 bottles of 375 ml are sold in auction, they can reach 8,000-9,000 euros per bottle! But I don't want to sell them, I'd rather have them in the family so that every generation opens a bottle", Mr Koutsogiannopoulos says.