Final tour of the year has started

The final tour of 2023, back in Greece, is in full swing, marking the start of the end of this year’s wine tours! Most of us arrived in Athens on Sunday, with some enjoying an extra few days of relaxation, and we boarded the bus into Nafplio. A quick pit-stop at the famous Corinth Canal, before we arrived in the town late afternoon.

A final trip this year to Arapakos restaurant where we were not disappointed by the spread of gorgeous Greek Salad, grilled prawns and aubergine dip, followed by wonderfully seasoned calamari and a whole seabass each (head and tail included). We finished with a delicious orange cake, whilst all through the evening enjoying Moschofilero/Roditis whites, and a Nemean Agiorgitiko red. A great start to the tour, with everyone looking forward to what Greece has to offer.

After a generous lie in, Monday morning began at 9:45am, where we headed 50 minutes North into the Ancient town of Nemea, to the beautifully authentic Palivos estate. Welcomed by Mandi, who delivered insightful and well-rounded knowledge about the topography and history of the winery. Their harvest finished the same day we arrived, so all hands were on deck within the estate, ready for a busy period of wine-making, ably assisted by their gorgeous estate dogs. We were able to visit the lower elevation vineyards learn about the different types of barrels and amphora used within the cellar, and enjoy a wonderful tasting of 8 contrasting wines – the Stone Hills Chardonnay-Malagouzia blend being my favourite. ,We also tasted their amazing flagship Nohma – a blend of three grapes and two vintages and only 700 bottles made.

Our second visit was to the Semeli Estate, 20 minutes further North of Palivos. The beautiful landscape compliments the grand architecture of this modern winery, which sits 600m above sea level. Maria delivered a fascinating talk on the soil type, the wine-making process, and gave us a look into their magnificent cellar. We were then greeted by Yiannis, the head winemaker on the estate, who took us through a tasting of 6 fabulously made wines – not unexpected that the Nemea Grande Reserve 2017 being my top pick. We were also treated to the Nemea Grande Reserve 2003 at the end of the tasting, their first vintage. We followed with a delightful lunch, including Greek salad, grilled mushrooms, courgette tart and beef stew with Corinthian pasta, finished with orange cake and the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever tasted.