One of the most recognized Greek mythological stories is when Hercules slayed the Nemean lion. That story was based in the historical region of Nemea, the homeland of the noble red grape, Agiorgitko. Nemea is nestled in the northeast corner of Peloponnese and has an ideal ecosystem that produces well structured and robust grapes. Surrounded by a collection of mountains, hills, and valleys, Nemea is what I consider the Napa of Greece.
Agiorgitiko, which is also referred to as St. George, named after a Byzantine church in Nemea, has come a long way in the modern world of wine making. In the last thirty years or so, it was producing rather lighter style reds with resemblance to Gamay (a French variety from Beaujolais) to elegant reds with ample fruit components and great balance. Agiorgitiko is typically produced in two styles: the first, it’s fermented in stainless tanks which produces a fresh and vibrant red wine with immense aromas of fresh cut berries and the second, it’s produced according to the appellation laws of Nemea, aged in oak barrels for a year, which produces a rather firm and robust wine. Lastly Agiorgitiko is often blended with other local varieties that provide signature styles of the different winemakers of today.
Either style of Agiorgitiko you decide to drink, you will be welcomed by inviting aromas and flavors. A wine that can be enjoyed with sipping and good parea, along with a great selection at the table with a variety of dishes.
Check out our wine section on Greekazon for great Agiorgitikos, like the one below: