more on Santorini.

gaia boss

Leon Karatsalos (l), Yiannis Paraskevoloulos (r).GAIA Wines was founded in 1994 by Yiannis Paraskevopoulos (Agriculturalist and PhD in Enology from the University of Bordeaux II) and Leon Karatsalos (Agriculturalist).

We own two modern wineries that are located in two of the most interesting and promising P.D.O. areas of Greece, Nemea in Peloponnese and Santorini. Gaia’s main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties in the wine enthusiasts worldwide.

Our company first emerged in the market in 1994 with the introduction of «THALASSITIS», a Santorini P.D.O. dry white wine that quickly rose to the top in the category of Greece’s finest new wines.

GAIA-winery-in-Santorini-1_0

Gaia Santorini winery.

In 1999, «THALASSITIS Oak Fermented», a Santorini wine produced in a very small quantity, and our most prestigious wine, «GAIA ESTATE vintage 1997», were born. It would be true to say GAIA ESTATE was the wine that changed the perception of the Nemea wines and brought a more sophisticated dimension to Agiorgitiko grape, that of deeply aged wines. In the same year, we also decided to produce a unique and rare vinegar from Assyrtiko grape, aged for 5 years, that had been released in 2004.

Our winery is situated on a beach, on the east side of the island, between Kamari and Monolithos settlements. This industrial stone building used to be a tomato factory, built in the beginning of the 1900s. Here, local cherry tomatoes were made into an aromatic tomato puree until the 1970s when the factory was closed along with the other thirteen tomato factories of the island…all victims of a more competitive economy.

With great joy we have renovated this rare, charming building, giving it new life as a winery. For GAIA, it has been an honour to preserve a piece of our heritage through reclamation of this architectural example of industrialization.

Today, the high-tech equipment and the cutting edge facilities of our winery guarantee contemporary winemaking and ideal conditions for high quality production. THALASSITIS, THALASSITIS OAK FERMENTED and ASSYRTIKO by GAIA – Wild Ferment are the products of this unique winery….ex-tomato factory.

At the same time, in a discrete out-of-the-way vault, we have set up a small oxidization area where we are delighted to produce our rare, sweet, aromatic Assyrtiko vinegar. Small quantities (around 1,500 litres) are bottled annually after five years of ageing in oak barrels in our special cellars.

vineyard santorini

Santorini vine.

Lately, in 2008 an unconventional wine sprang to life in our Santorini winery. «ASYRTIKO by GAIA Wild Ferment» is produced exclusively from a carefully gathered Assyrtiko, which ferments in small tanks and barrels processed by the reaction of indigenous yeast strains existing in the vineyard where the grapes were picked. Every new crop of this very special wine is characterized by the ecological structure of the yeasts that take the overpowering role.

Today, the 9,800 bottle production figure of 1994 is quite significantly surpassed by some 350,000 bottles, which we produce with the highest degree of quality in mind, in honour of those who show their trust in us.

 

 

 

 

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logo graperoverThe Gaia Santorini wines tasted by GrapeRover:

2011 Gaia Estate Thalassitis, PDO Santorini. 89 points.

Thalassitis-2011white grapeclip100% assyrtiko. (75+ yrs old, yield 25 hl/ha)

vmlRegional: Lobster kritharotto. World: sushi, crustaceans, shellfish (oysters), grilled fat fish, all roast meat + lemon sauce, cream cheeses.

logo graperoverLight straw color, not bright. Medium+ viscosity. Zippy aromas of well ripened lemon, lime and green pineapple, together with a nice waft of wet slate. Elegant flavors of summer fruit like peach, apricot and gooseberry, including a pleasant touch of saltiness. Persistent  acidity from the mid-palate to the finish where peppery/lime  flavors harmonize with a chalky texture. Needs aeration. Quite impressing. Wonder how it will develop…

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2011 Gaia Estate Thalassitis Oak fermented, PDO Santorini. 91 points.

image_608341_fullwhite grapeclip100% assyrtiko.(75+ yrs old, yield 25 hl/ha)

wine barrel5-6 months fermented and matured on new French Nevers oak (80%) and acacia (20%).

vmlRegional: Roasted red snapper. World: spicy grilled chicken, lemon lamb, charcuterie, cured pork, smokey cheeses.

logo graperoverBright pale yellow. Medium viscosity. Aromas of fruits with smoky notes and citrus hints. Creamy apple fruit. In the mouth the wine is full bodied, dry and crisp with a long finish finishing with lime notes. Perfect value for money. A white wine that has great aging potential, it will further develop towards a complex wine under careful storage. Needs aeration.

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2010 Gaia Estate Assyrtiko Wild ferment, PDO Santorini. 92 points.

Assyrtiko Wild Ferment Bottle shotwhite grapeclip100% assyrtiko. (yield 25 hl/ha.)

wine barrelDepending on fermentation development.

vmlRegional: Grilled lobster. World: spicy grilled chicken, lemon lamb, charcuterie, cured pork, smokey cheeses.

logo graperoverLight yellow-green. Medium- viscosity. Lively, expressive nose with grassy notes, citrus fruit and flinty minerality. Medium-bodied, invigorating with a nice oak/fruit/chalk combination and a high acidity. Medium long lemon/lime aftertaste. Excellent ageing potential. Needs aeration.

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2002 Gaia Estate Vinsanto, PDO Santorini. 93 points.

vinsanto gaiawhite grapeclipassyrtiko, athiri, aidani. Partly sundried.

wine barrel10 years+ on used French Nevers oak.

vmlRegional: Aspro-Mavro. World: Dark chocolate, blue vein cheeses, foie gras.

logo graperoverAmber/orange red. Dense viscosity. Intense aromas of dried fruits, raisins, honey, butter caramel and minerality. Luscious and velvety on the palate with balanced sweetness and freshness of acidity. Long aftertaste of candied orange peel. Extraordinary!