GASTRONOMADS | Food & Wine Club

Conclusions from the Trip to “Greek” Italy

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The visit to our neighbouring country was brief yet remarkable. Starting from the south and going towards the north, the trip was quite unexpected given the fact that we did not taste the anticipated wines but wines that were somehow connected with Greece. We set off from Sicily. Rumour has it that the Greeks took the vine to Sicily but, the Italians definitely took it to a whole new level.

The light but rich Grecanico (Nordic Sea Winery – Il Nostro Bianco 2012 IGT – Grecanico) paired perfectly well with Bruschetta Aiolic summer salad that cried out “Summer is here.” The wine is made by a company of Greek interests.

We continued to Montefusco in Campania

Here we had the chance to sample the excellent Greco di Tufo (Terredora Di Paolo – Loggia Della Serra 2012 DOCG – Greco di Tufo) coupled with homemade penne with broccoli and ricotta cheese. Montefusco is a region that produced Vinus Falernum, the great wine drunk by the Roman emperors. Plenty of sunshine, hilly topography and volcanic ground are the conditions that create this wine which has made a sensation.

A bit farther south to Andria in Apulia.

Its name means ‘lack of rain’. It is a bridge of the Mediterranean between the East and the West, which has become the ‘fertile plain’ for bulk, experimental as well as cult producers. The extraordinary Nero di Troia (Rivera – Violante Castel del Monte 2008 DOC – Nero di Troia) made a perfect accompaniment to Pizza with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil.

We ended up in Belluno Veronese in the Trentino region.

It is the northernmost wine making region of Italy that speaks Italian but also a little …German. Here the surroundings are the mountains of Dolomite, little space for vineyards and some vines of a different air, such as Enantio (Roeno – Enantio Valtadige Terradeiforti 2008 DOC – Enantio) that we tasted with Ossobuco and mashed potatoes flavoured with truffle. The name of the winery, as they themselves claim, comes from the initials of the family ‘Ro’ and from the Greek word for wine ‘Eno’.

All 4 wines were terrific. But were they ‘Greek’?

This was the question this trip wanted to ‘put on the table’ and the conclusion is … probably not. The domestic wine world may like the thought that the origin of these wines is Greek – as we Greeks, in general, think that every achievement of the Western World is of Greek origin. In reality though, this is far from true.

A big thank you again to Gastronomads fellow travellers, with whom we shared this interesting trip to our neighbouring country, as well as to Gregory Michailos and Giannis Karakasis, the fantastic Wine Commanders, who showed us around ‘Greek-not-Italy’.