Jancis Robinson writes:
"Largely unobserved by the rest of the world, Greece has been modernising her wine industry rapidly. This is particularly thrilling in view of the fact that the Greek wine industry is so ancient and seems determined to avoid the Chardonnay-and-Cabernet-only trap in its modern incarnation. It is quite possible that some of the vine varieties grown today are the same as those experienced by participants in classical symposia (much more hedonistic gatherings than their modern namesakes) and Dionysian revels. (One common and widely spread vine at least owes its name to its Greek origins: Malvasia is a corruption of the name of the Greek port of Monemvasia, through which many ancient sweet Malvasias passed in the Middle Ages.)
Many Greek varieties are extinct or nearly so but the aromatic white Malagousia has been rescued, as has Lagorthi, and Crete’s Vilana. Santorini's Assyrtiko, Roditis and Savatiano are widely planted varieties for white wines and Agiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne, Xynomavro and, to a lesser extent, Limnio are some of the better-known dark-skinned grapes.
Modern Greek wine is very much more than retsina, the aggressively pine resin-flavoured, full-bodied white of blessed taverna memory. North-facing slopes are increasingly valued for their moderating effect on the high summer temperatures in Greece, just as, for the same reason, high-altitude vineyard sites are being replanted. Wineries such as Tsantalis’ new extension at Aghios Pavlos, Kourtakis at Ritsona and Boutari’s outpost on Santorini are some of the world’s most modern and best equipped. Greece now has small, well-funded, quality-at-all-costs winemaking establishments such as Gentilini on the almost Adriatic island of Cephalonia, Ktima Mercouri near Olympia, Ktima Hatzimichalis near Parnassus, and Strofilia not far from Athens (with a useful, eponymous high-quality wine bar in the city itself). Other, more recently founded high achievers include Alpha Estate, Biblia Chora, Gerovassiliou, Kir-Yianni and the Lazaridis.
Some favourite producers: Alpha Estate, Antonopoulos, Biblia Chora, Georgakopoulas, Gerovassiliou, Hatzidakis, Gaia, Hatzimichalis, Kir-Yianni, Mercouri, Papagiannakou, Papaioannou, Sigalas, Wine Art."
With permission from Jancis Robinson.
Delectable Greek food is justifiably famous throughout the world, and it is all based on home cooking. Depending on available fresh produce, you will be served home cooked favourites like imam baildi (aubergine and tomato), soutzoukakia (meatballs in ouzo tomato sauce), loulouthia (stuffed zucchini flowers), gemista (rice stuffed tomatoes and peppers), fasolatha (white bean soup), Greek leg of lamb, sardines on the grill and kolokuthipita (zucchini pie).
Lesbos cuisine is famous across Greece, not least because of its proximity to Asia Minor. This rich history serves up some of Greece's most exotic dishes. We will cook them, eat them and pair them with wines from this island and all of Greece.
Four Greek food and wine pairing dinners presented by The Talking Table and a Greek sommelier and wine expert. Some at our home and some in the best restaurants of the island.
The Talking Table is a place on the beautiful port village of Molyvos on the Greek island of Lesbos where people learn, eat and talk together. Hosted by two ex-corporate South Africans, guests participating in various workshops are welcomed with warmth and generosity and given a safe environment for their creativity to flourish. Hearty long-table meals of mostly Greek food are served, while good conversation is always on the menu. A number of workshops are held in South Africa during the autumn.
The fee of €1 100 includes transfers to and from the ports*, five long-table meals, wines, and sommeliers' fees. Accommodation and travel are excluded.
Sign up (click the blue button at the top) and we will email you details of payment plus options for accommodation. There is a list of beautiful venues to suit every budget.
50% deposit secures your place.
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* An hour and a quarter's drive each way. Only applicable on the arrival and departure days. If you stay longer there are taxis available.