This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Greek White over £15 went to Gaia, Wild Ferment Assyrtiko, Santorini 2013 (13%)

Tasted against:

  • Alexakis, Vidianá, Heraklion, Crete 2013
  • Biblia Chora, Ovilos, Pangeon, Macedonia 2013
  • Biblia Chora, Plagios Sideways, Pangeon, Macedonia 2012
  • Biblia Chora, Sauvignon-Assyrtiko, Pangeon, Macedonia 2013
  • Gaia, Thalassitis, Santorini 2013

Profile:

Yiannis Paraskevopoulos and Leon Karatsalos are the Athenian pair behind Gaia wines – founded in 1994 – and their Trophy- winning Assyrtiko was made in its Santorini winery. Dating from the early 1900s it is a striking piece of architecture that in its previous life was a tomato factory.

The Assyrtiko grapes are grown on poor but mineral-rich, volcanic soils largely made of pumice. The vines are ungrafted with root systems up to 400 years old. They are trained in basket shape, like a huge bird nests, which helps protect the grapes from the harsh climatic conditions.

Fermentation with wild yeasts (reflected in the wine’s name) is left to occur naturally in a mix of stainless steel, French and American oak barrels and acacia barrels.

Since the first vintage in 2008, Karatsalos and Paraskevopoulos have moved to a more natural approach in their wines. ‘We use only minimal technical interventions, concentrating our efforts in the vineyard to give the grapes a better chance to shine rather than on cellar techniques.’

Written by Decanter