the land of savatiano
Attica – the south-eastern part of Central Greece (i.e. Sterea Ellada in Greek), is one of its 4 main wine regions. Bordering the Peloponnese to the west and Viotia to the north, appears somehow like a triangular peninsula embraced by the three gulfs, Corinthian on the west, Saronic on the south-west and Evoikos on the eastern part.
Attica has dry and hot climate with the exceptions of the coastal areas that benefit from sea breeze. Attica’s borders with neighboring prefectures are: Mount Gerania, in the west and Mounts Kitheronas, Pateras and Parnitha, in the north. The soil of Attica is mainly calcareous, and of low fertility because of its little organic matter and the sandy loam composition.
Within Attica’s prefecture, we find two mountains, Imitos and Pendeli. The areas around them, benefit from light breezes, lower temperatures during summer period and often snowfalls during winter period, whereas the lowlands are exposed to warm winds, reaching them from the southern part.
In Attica, there are three viticultural areas:
Mesogia is considered to be among the hottest and driest places in Greece, with fertile soils, predominately with limestone, low rainfalls throughout the year, with considerably high crop levels.
Nearshore areas, like Anavyssos, Lavrio and Sounio, are much cooler and create a more refreshing, beneficial mesoclimate
Savatiano is the main grape variety cultivated in the Mesogia, in densely planted vineyards, trained into goblets. Savatiano produces a wide range of wine styles nowadays, from dry white to traditional dessert wines, fresh and fruity as well as age worthy, low intervention to natural and even sparkling wines. Retsina was, and still remains a traditional wine made in Mesogia, from Savatiano grapes, famous for its old- fashioned, rustic character, as well as for many different expressions, in a most modern, new style retsinas, offering the utmost gastronomic pleasure, while revealing the high potential of the grape.
Retsina was traditionally made by the addition of natural pine resin - extracted from «pinus halepensis» - to the wine in the barrel, and was left in it. The addition of the resin, offers an extra sherry-style flavour to the final product, and also serves as a natural preservative from oxidation. Over the years, the amount of resin added has been decreasing and the addition has been taking place during the alcoholic fermentation.
In northern Attica, the altitude is quite higher, the climate is cooler and both days and nights are much more pleasing during summer period. The wines produced during harvest period, have often higher acidity and nice, elegant, fresh aromas, thanks to the diurnal temperature variation, showcasing the most positive effect in their quality, structure and balance.
In western Attica, the most important area is the one around Megara, where the grapes receive the cooling effect of the breeze, coming from the short plain canal in between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulf.
Apart from Savatiano, in Attica, there are also vineyards of Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Roditis, Mandilaria, and many international grape varieties, like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah etc, planted in linear vineyards.
In Attica, we find 10 PGI wine appellations - plus 9 retsina regional denominations - but no PDO wines.
PGI Sterea Ellada, PGI Attiki, PGI Anavyssos, PGI Gerania, PGI Ilion, PGI Markopoulo, PGI Pallini, PGI Slopes of Parnitha, PGI Spata, PGI Slopes of Kithaironas, PGI Slopes of Pendeliko, PGI Retsina of Attiki, PGI Retsina of Koropi (Attiki), PGI Retsina of Markopoulo (Attiki), PGI Retsina of Megara (Attiki), PGI Retsina of Mesogeia (Attiki), PGI Retsina of Paiania (Attiki), PGI Retsina of Pallini (Attiki, PGI Retsina of Pikermi (Attiki), PGI Retsina of Spata (Attiki)
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