Nemea in the Peloponnese peninsula is the largest red P.D.O. appellation of Greece, home of the Agiorgitiko grape.
Climate: Relatively cold and humid winters with low temperatures that can drop below the freezing point depending on the altitude. Summers are warm, without excessively high temperatures and with few showers during June. Typically, a long Indian summer follows summers. Warm September days with significantly colder nights and relatively dry conditions synthesize an ideal weather pattern for a good maturation. The total rain precipitations (600-700mm annually) occurs mainly (80%) between October and March.
Soil: it consists of a shallow (70-80cm) clay layer that lies upon the lime mother soil. This type of clay – called marls – unlike others can retain humidity and release it to the vines when needed, thus helping in naturally monitoring water stress.
The vineyards start at about 250m altitude and stretch up to 850m. There is a large variation of environmental conditions inside the P.D.O. area. Hillsides on calcareous soils and stony soils on foot slopes are considered the best for long-ageing wines.
Gaia Winery – Nemea
The winery was built in 1997 at the heart of a private vineyard of 7ha in the Koutsi village of the Nemea P.D.O. zone, at an altitude of 550m. Naturally, the vineyard was first chosen and then the location of the winery.
Koutsi is a semi-mountainous village surrounded by vineyards known for their chalky soils and good drainage. The cool temperatures, the ideal sun exposure and the steep inclination of the vineyards give lower yields than other parts of Nemea. Therefore, it is strongly believed that the Agiorgitiko grapes cultivated in Koutsi are considered to be of the highest quality in Nemea and are ideal for producing high-extract and oak-aged wines.
Agiorgitiko’s key points
– Grown almost exclusively in Nemea, in northeast Peloponnesus. The Nemea P.D.O. zone covers 3.000ha.
– Moderately vigorous and productive vine. It matures in mid to late September, depending on the site and the yield.
– The wines have deep red color, red-fruit aromatic descriptors (ripe strawberries, black-current) and butterscotch notes when young. Older wines from the best plots have aromas of confected or dried fruit (fig, raisins, plums). Tannins are remarkably soft and evolve in time very slowly.
– Polydynamic: this allows for a large assortment of styles from fresh and crisp roses, vibrant nouveau wines (carbonic maceration), medium-bodied and soft reds to concentrated tannic and age worthy full-bodied reds.