Time seems to have flown by on our third Greek tour of the year. As always, the hospitality we receive has been amazing and everyone has been truly surprised by the quality and variety of the wines tasted.
Day four took us to another major PDO area – Mantinia. This is the home of the Moschfilero grape which many people were unfamiliar with until our Wednesday evening dinner. In Mantinia, the valley floor is at 650 metres so the grapes thrives in the cooler elevated sites and with coppery skin when fully ripe, delivers a range of white, pink, sparkling and sweet wines.
Our first visit was to wonderful Kalogris estate. We started off in their small, three hectare vineyard where Tatiana and Evangelos greeted us with great warmth and enthusiasm and a small glass of Tsipouro – the Greek spirit. We walked round the vines, tasted some almost ripe Moschofilero grapes and got an understanding of their organic and natural approach to winemaking. We then headed over to the family house to meet Tatiana’s sister Sandy and mother Cristina. Sandy took us on a quick tour of the house where we got more insight into the family history before settling down outside for the tasting.
The wines demonstrated not only the diversity of the Moschofilero but also the uniqueness of the Kalogris wines and their labels. Tatiana and Sandy were a dynamic double act with Evangelos and Cristina chipping in where appropriate. It is always sad to leave Kalogris as you become immersed in such a wonderful family. Fortunately, I come back in October!
From Kalogris it was a half hour journey to Domaine Tselepos. This estate is one of the most highly regarded in Mantinia and they have pioneered the development of indigenous Greek varieties – particularly Moschofilero. They also have estates in Nemea and Santorini.
Eleni hosted us with great aplomb at the start and set out the family history before leading us into the barrel cellar to talk about the range of vessels including a mix of amphora that they use for ageing. We took in their sparkling wine cellar – which was fascinating as they had applied for PDO recognition for sparkling wine back in 2011 and it took ten years for the EU to finally approve the application.
Back in the tasting room, the quality of the Tselepos hone through with a selection of styles including an aged 2015 Moschofilero, their Nemean Agiorgitiko and a Cabernet Sauvignon. This was all washed down with a light lunch of various pies fortunately leaving us with room for dinner.
Our final night dinner was at 360 restaurant in Nafplio which is a smart, stylish venue in the centre of town. Drinking more of the Moschofilero Blanc de Gris from Tselepos and the Palivos Agiorgitiko – we embarked on delicious salad, stuffed mushroom and grilled pork.
A fitting end to another great Greece tour.