All about Maronia, Thrace.

 A 3000 year old vineyard.

Rare are the times when a vineyard lives to tell a heritage of more than 3,000 years. Here in Maronia, every element of the natural surroundings is generously guarding that precious story telling. From the patio of the winery, the view is beautiful: the low hills embrace the vineyard on the southwest, the massive Rodopi mountain range stands dominant on the north side, giving the impression of a gigantic amphitheatre overlooking the Aegean sea.

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Ancient winepress

On that stage battles between heroes, mythical creatures and gods were splendidly performed, showcasing the inner strengths and weaknesses of the human kind through time. The moments of unprecedented peak and devastating fall. The circle of life.

The first ever appelation.

That is the case of Ismarikos wine produced in Maronia for more than 3,000 years. Archaeological findings, such as an ancient mosaic of a vine leaf and two Byzantine wine presses with a slanted base, allowing the must to flow freely, further testify to the deeply rooted winemaking culture of the area.

The town of Maronia was founded in the 7th century B.C. Maronia was, according to Homer, the first station of Odysseus in his ten-year long Odyssey. He destroyed the town because its inhabitants supplied Troy with wine and olive oil. In order to appease Odysseus, the Apollonian priest Maron (who gave his name to the town), offered him pure gold and twelve amphorae with red wine from Maronia, this “sweet, pure and divine drink, so viscous, that for it to be drunk, it had to be mixed with twenty parts water” (Odyssey, Rhapsody 1, Verse 195-200). Odysseus escaped the Cyclops Polyphemus by getting him drunk on Maronia wine.

The region was also famed for its wine in classical times. The wine god Dionysus was venerated and celebrated like no other god. The theatrical games and also the ancient theatre of Maronia (3rd c. B.C.) were devoted to Dionysus.

Later, during the Roman times and Byzantium, Maronia continued to be famous for its vineyards and wine.  Historical sources report how the Roman Emperor Traenus visited the town of Maronia and sampled the local wines Ismaros and Maronios.

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Harvesting muscat.

Climate & soil.

That is the trademark of Maronia. The natural elements contradict one another, resulting finally to a harmonious balance. The vineyard finds itself in the middle of a wind battle -similar to the ebb and tide- between the fresh yet defensive northerly wind from Mount Ismaros and the humid yet mild south wind from the Aegean sea known as “Samothrakiotis” (originating from the island of Samothrace).

The 86.5 hectares of the vineyards in Maronia are grown following the guidelines of Integrated Production Management and Precision Viticulture.

» Climate: Typical Mediterranean. Mild, rainy winter and propitious temperatures during spring, protecting the vineyards all year round from extreme temperature fluctuations. In the summer the high temperatures are balanced by the aforementioned wind battle.

» Soil: Red granuloblastic and porphyroblastic, rich in calcium and trace elements. It has excellent drainage, maintaining however the necessary moisture during summer. The sub-soil is granuloblastic and porphyroblastic on a bedrock of Chlorid, Moskovid and Monmorolonid. Summer rains are rare, but the deep roots of the plants and the appropriate viticultural techniques make irrigation unnecessary.

winery iconPlease see HERE the official Tsantali Maronia website.

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logo graperoverThe Tsantali Maronia wines tasted by GrapeRover:

2011 Tsantali Kanenas white, PGI Ismaros. 82 points.

Tsantali_400x600_KANENASwhitewhite grapeclipmuscat de alexandrie, chardonnay.

vmlRegional: Feta & Leek croquettes. World: sushi, shellfish, rich salads, fried fish, charcuterie, cream cheeses.

logo graperoverYellow gold. Good density. Playfull aroma’s of peach and green apple. Quite voluptuous flavors of melon, peach, and apple. Light/medium bodied. Round, velvety texture. Pleasant finish. Simple but appealing!

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2011 Tsantali Kanenas rose, PGI Ismaros. 83 points.

Tsantali_400x600_KANENASrosered grape clipmavroudi, syrah.

vmlRegional: Riganada. World: Garlic prawns, spicy chicken, grilled pork, rich salads, fish pastas, rich cheeses.

logo graperoverBright deep pink. Medium viscosity.  A fragrant bouquet of fresh rose petals, confectionary, strawberry and black pepper notes dominate the nose. An intensely flavoured palate with lovely richness, finishing balanced and polished. A dry styled wine which is fantastic for warm summer days.

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2009 Tsantali Kanenas red, PGI Ismaros. 82 points.

Tsantali_400x600_KANENASredred grape clipmavroudi, syrah.

wine barrel6 months French oak.

vmlRegional: Batsos saganaki. World: grilled pork, rich pastas, meat casseroles, spicy sausages, matured cheeses.

logo graperoverDeep ruby. Light viscosity. Medium tones of blueberry, blackberry, prune, some clove, and light toast. Playfull flavors like blackberry, blueberry, plum, and toast. Light/medium. Fleshy, chewy texture. Medium finish. Pleasant.

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2009 Tsantali Mavroudi Maronia, PGI Ismaros. 80 points.

Tsantali_400x600_MaroniaMavroudi1red grape clip100% mavroudi.

wine barrel8 months French oak.

vmlRegional: Keftedakia & paprika sauce. World: spicy pork, kebab, meat casseroles, lamb chops, grilled vegetables, matured hard cheeses.

logo graperoverWarm purple. Good density. Rather darkish fruit aroma’s like red currant, prune, plum. Fragrances of farmyard, mushroom and forest floor. Oakish. Honest flavors of red currant, prune. Phenolic with some clove and vanilla. Medium bodied. Fleshy, chewy texture. Correct finish. Somewhat simple and straightforward.

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2009 Tsantali Maronia syrah, PGI Ismaros. 84 points.

Tsantali_400x600_MaroniaSyrah1red grape clip100% syrah.

wine barrel9 months new French oak.

vmlRegional: Tas Kebab. World: Leg of lamb or kid, prime meat, grilled liver, kokoretsi, matured hard cheeses.

logo graperoverMedium purple. Medium+ viscosity. In the nose cherry, clove, and black fruit aromas, smoky and somewhat vegetal. On the palate cherry, tarry, slightly burned flavors; medium body; balanced with good acidity; dusty tannins; medium finish with a sweet edge.