We are in Greece, the oldest wine country in Europe, where the techniques of cultivation and pruning of the vine were born and spread.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Dimitris Skouras, winemaker of Skouras winery. Intrigued by the production of his Peplo, a rosé obtained from 3 varieties vinified in different ways, a pleasant chat was born with excellent insights that we wanted to share with you.
Your winery is in Nemea Region, what can you tell us about this region, under the viticulture aspects?
Nemea is a region that consist of 16 villages. It is the biggest PDO wine producing region in Greece. The main variety cultivated in Nemea is Agiorghitiko. We have found proof that grapes were cultivated here for 3000 years. Nemea is a mountainous region. Vines are planted as low as 300m but go up to 1000m or more. This means that there are many diverse micro terroirs and that is also because of the huge variety in soils. Meaning that depending on the altitude and soil composition we get different expressions of Agiorghitiko. This gives us, as winemakers, a chance to experiment and find our own personal style.
When was your winery born? Tell us something about your winery.
The winery was born in the village of Malandreni. My father George Skouras is the first generation. He started the winery back in 1986. He was the first in the family who got involved in winemaking. His first attempts were at his father’s basement, making wine with a few barrels. Today we have a lovely and modern winery that apart from making wine hosts visitors from all over the world.
Which wines do you offer? How many rosés?
We have approximately 20 different wines. A few blends some single vineyards, international and Greek varieties and a total of 2 rosés.
How was born the idea to make a particular rosé like Peplo?
The idea of PEPLO was born through our experience and our aim to make a premium rosé equivalent of our fine whites or reds. Having experimented with lots of varieties on rosé winemaking and on amphoras and acacia barrels and after 3 years of experiments, we decided which blend excited us the most. The goal is a gastronomic and delicious rosé that can age really well. Peplo is obtained from Syrah which ages in steel tanks, Agiorghitiko which ages in acacia barrique and from Mavrofilero which ages in amphorae in contact with the skins for 4 months.
© Skouras Winery
Based on your experience, is the current consumer interest in rosé just a trend? How is rosé trend in Greece?
Rosé for me is a worldwide trend. The same applies in Greece. It is a trend that we needed. It pushed us, as winemakers, to evolve the rosé category and put more effort to it. Also, being a trend it doesn’t mean it is not here to stay. This trend has created big fans of rosés and made people who were not drinking wine to try it and fall in love with it. The rosé trend in Greece is similar to the rest of the world. It started a couple of years later and it keeps growing ever since.
“Rosé for me is a worldwide trend. Being a trend it doesn’t mean it is not here to stay”
What is your most important market?
Apart from Greece our most important market is the US. It is a market we have been working with for over 30 years. We like the US very much as people there are very open to try new things or varieties they don’t know or can’t pronounce. They also seem to love Greece! I try to go to the US every year and it is always an amazing opportunity to be there.
Do you have any curiosities/fun facts you would like to share with us about your adventure in the world of wine?
Hmm, a very interesting fact that I recently learned. There is a new research that disproves that wine should be stored on it’s side. Apparently it is better to keep the wine standing to keep the cork in a better condition as long as the humidity in the environment is relatively high. There will be further research on the subject but it just might be that we have been storing wine wrongly all this years!
Thanks Dimitris for this conversation! We wish you the best and long live rosés!