Last year during my vacation in Greece, I was fortunate enough to be given tours of three different wineries…a small one, a medium-sized operation and a large, internationally established brand.
Today, I’m going to showcase the small operation, Pavlou Estate. The Pavlou Estate Winery is located in the Greek province of Macedonia, northwest of Thessaloniki. It’s located just outside of my mother’s hometown of Agios Panteleimon.
The Macedonian region of northern Greece has been producing wines for over 4000 years and it comes as no surprise that trace amounts ofÂ wines have been found in drinking vessels found in recent archaelogical digs in the area.
Alexander the Great was born in Pella (approx. 70km from the winery) and it is said the Amynteon-Agios Panteleimon area was a favourite wine stop for the ancient Macedonian Kings.
A wine tour of the Pavlou Estate was set up by my cousin and as my mom’s from Agios Panteleimon…securing a wine tour was a cinch. You see, when you’re family’s from a small town, the lines between family & friends are blurred…it’s all the same.
A quick explanation of who my mom was secured the tour. Here in Cananda, Alex Pulcini (Vice President) laid the ground work for my tour by offeing info on the operation, the wines it produced, and offering a sample of the product.
In Greece, I was greeted by the other partner running the Pavlou Estate, Mr. Vassilios Kagas. Vassilis’ hospitality was par-none, I felt like I was being entertained by an uncle I hadn’t seen in years. Again, being from the same town in Greece blurs the line between family and friends.
The Pavlou winery is a small, family-operated winery that prides itself on producing five very distinct wines. From the start to finish, the process is organic, using age-old wine making tecnhiques and blending it with new world technology.
Greece is home to many indigenous grape varietals and this has been the main selling point to the recent interest and surge in demand for Greek wines. In the Amyteon region, the native grape varietal is the Xynomavro grape. It’s been growing in this region for thousands of years and it’s name literally translates to “acid black”.
The grapes are small and grown in tight clusters. It’s often compared to a Pinot Noir in both texture and flavour. With the skilled hands of a seasoned winemaker, the Xinomavro grape is used to make all five offerings of wine from Pavlou.
From the big tannic reds to aromatic, fruity roses to even producing sparkling wines and what visually looks like a white!
If you’re looking for a wine to celebrate or to kick off a backyard BBQ, why not try the rose or pop open the sparkling wine?
The Kappa P11 (Blanc de Noirs) is a fruity wine witgood acidity, perfect for seafood.
The P62 blends Syrah and Xinomavro, a popular wine from the Pavlou stable, it paired very well with my Greek Thanksgiving turkey.
The King of the Pavlou wines has to be the Klima 100% – Xinomavro. This is the deep, red wine, full of body, great for grilled meats, spicy dishes with some heat or aromatics. I often notice undertones of black cherry, chocolate and some earthy flavours.
Here in Ontario, Pavlou wines can be acquired through private order and in the US, my good friend Konstantinos Drougos can accomodate your Pavlou wine needs.
Later this year (in the Spring), Pavlou Estates will launch the release of their rose in the LCBO stores here in Ontario. I will be assisting in the launch and I’ll share more details with you as they become available. Here in Canada, George Pavlou, the President of Pavlou Estates has become a good friend of mine and it’s always a bonus when your friends own a winery!
The days of cheap, Greek table wine are long gone. The next time you’re out buying some wine, ask the store clerk to show you their Greek selections. Ask for a recommendation. Ask about what part of Greece the wine came from. Ask about what grape varietal was used.
Greek food and wines are at the forefront of the food scene. As you all know from following my blog, the Greeks have been enjoying healthy and delicious foods from time eternal.
Is it too hard to fathom that the Gods washed down their delicious Greek foods with meticulously made fin Greek wine?
Suggested food & wine pairings:
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