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Details for Gerovassiliou, Estate White Malagousia/Assyrtiko


CountryGreece
Region
AppellationPGI Epanomi
Grape
Year2015
Producer
Domaine Gerovassiliou
(click to find out more)
ABV13%


Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second city, and gives its name to the region around it.  Situated in northeastern Greece, this region occupies the base of the Halkidiki peninsula - the three-fingered ‘hand’ reaching southeast into the Aegean sea.
 
Wine has been made here since at least the Byzantine era, but today it is home to just a handful of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) areas.  Most cluster close to Thessaloniki itself.  The most notable producer here is Ktima Gerovassiliou, in PGI Epanoma.
 
Across on the eastern coast, giant producer Tsantali has a winery in Agios Pavlos, specialising in whites and rosés from local varieties.
 
Although technically not part of Thessaloniki, mention must be made of the PDO Playes Melitona (“Slopes of Meliton”) situated on the middle finger of Halkidiki.  This was created in 1982 specifically to recognise the pioneering Domaine Porto Carras, and was the first in Greece to permit international varieties alongside local ones.
 


Domaine Gerovassiliou

Regarded by many as the best winemaker in Greece, Evangelos “Vangelis” Gerovassiliou was born in 1951 at Epanomi, 25km to the southwest of the city of Thessaloniki in northeast Greece.  After reading agriculture at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, he travelled to France to study wine under the famed Professor Emile Peynaud of Bordeaux University.
 
On his return home in 1976 he became oenologist at Domaine Porto Carras (“Château Carras”), then the foremost winery in Greece.  There he recognised the potential of Malagousia, one of dozens of rare varieties collected and preserved in the estate’s experimental vineyard.
 
In 1981 Vangelis began to revive his family vineyards at Epanomi, planting Malagousia and other native Greek varieties alongside French ones.  A state of the art winery was built in time for the 1986 vintage and the first Ktima Gerovassiliou wines were released three years later.  (Ktima means ‘estate’ or ‘domaine’.)  Subsequent expansion has raised the area under vine from 4.5ha to 62ha and the winery has been enlarged five times.
 
The vineyards lie on sandy, chalky soils filled with sea fossils, and benefit from the cooling effect of the Thermaic Gulf to the north and the Aegean Sea to the west and south.  They are worked and harvested entirely by hand, and cultivated according to Integrated Pest Management, a system that aims to reduce chemical use by encouraging natural predators.
 

about this wine About this wine


This is Gerovassiliou’s estate white, made from an equal-parts blend of hand-harvested Assyrtiko and Malagousia grown in the sandy, chalky soils of Epanomi, near Thessaloniki.  Both varieties underwent several hours of low-temperature skin contact before fermentation, to extract aromas.
 
The wine was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel between 18°C and 20°C.  It was then aged on its lees for several months, with regular bâttonage (lees-stirring).  Prior to bottling it was fined with bentonite, but not filtered.


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