The wines of the Meliton Slopes (PDO) and Sithonia (PGI) Regions
Haladiki Greece houses the Sithonia Penninsula and Mt Meliton, where the two wine regions were designated Meliton Slopes (PDO) and Sithonia (PGI), in 1982. While driving on the west side of Sithonia, a traveler’s eyes have a chance to admire a unique landscape; it’s there that Mt. Meliton lowers its emerald slopes to mingle with the crystal waters of the Toroneos Gulf. The climate of the Sithonia peninsula is typically Mediterranean, usually temperate with a few bouts of rainfall, mild winters and cool summers with a lot of sun. The weather changes are most intense from the South to the North and the Mediterranean climate of the coastal areas provide an absence of frost or excessively high temperatures, making it a perfect grape and olive growing region.
Domaine Porto Carras (DPC) lies within an 879.76 acre natural amphitheater that happens to be the only winery spanning those regions, making it not only the preeminent wine making facility, but also one of the largest in Europe and the Balkans that uses grape varieties from the regions. That made me the lucky Wine Ambassador of these amazing regions in Greece, and this incredible destination winery. The PDO Meliton Slopes & PGI Sithonia Wines have also become a model for all other vineyards to follow in their continued implementation of modern trends toward sustainable and organic farming practices, and they are winning awards for their wines at many of the top international wine competitions. Four of the designated wines made exclusively by the winery from the area are; Chateau Porto Carras, Blanc de Blancs, Melissanthi and Magnus Baccata and all are delicious.
The Blanc de Blancs is a white wine (hence the “blanc” part), that comes from the Meliton Slopes and is a blend of Athiri, Assyrtiko, and Roditis. The grapes grow at and elevation about 656-984 feet above sea level and on the side of the mountain where the soil is made up of sandy clay and clay. The wine itself is bright with a pale yellow color, the nose is aromatic with notes of flowers and citrus fruits. The wine has are very smooth finish that lingers nicely on the palate.
The Melissanthi, you may remember from my blog post “Are you Blu in The Republique of Wine Country“, is a blend of Athiri and Assyrtiko and also comes from the Meliton Slopes but at a higher elevation of between 984 – 1312 feet. Both the Blancs de Blancs and the Melissanthi are produced by using skin contact for few hours and fermenting them in stainless steel vats at temperatures from 60° – 64° Fahrenheit. This wine shows as pale yellow in color, has delicate aromas of lemon, white flesh fruits and mint. It has a full mouth feel with a delicate acidity and rich aromatic finish.
In the blog posting Fundamentally Awesome, I talked about how the 2005 Magnus Baccata’s Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon blend has been showing beautifully this year. I really feel it’s matured and come into it’s own. This dry red blend comes from P.G.I. Sithonia, and grows in sandy clay at an altitude of 656-984 feet. Using a classic vinification process for red wines and controlled temperatures, it is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months giving it intense aromas of forest fruits, sweet spices and chocolate along with hints of delicate oak. The palate offers a rich mouth feel, balanced tannins and full aromatic aftertaste.
The Chateau is a blend of Limnio, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, it also happens to be the flagship wine of DPC. The grape varieties grow at various elevations from 820-1312 feet, once picked the wine is made using controlled temperatures and aging in French oak barrels for 24 months, then in the bottles for an additional year in the DPC cellar. Upon service you find a wine that is a rich deep purple color with complex aromas dominated by black berried fruits, and cedar. It is delicate and smoky, with a strong structure and balance. The finish is rich, long, and velvety with a big round mouth feel leaving you longing for more. The excellent quality of this wine lends itself to long aging potential.
Being the wine Ambassador for me, has been not only an honor and a privilege, but an absolute joy. I loved being able to represent the catalog that DPC offers. The variety of grapes growing in the Meliton Slopes (PDO) and Sithonia (PGI) regions have provided them with an unlimited number of opportunities to create great and lasting wines. While it has allowed me to proudly promote all the wonderful aspects of the winery, the wines and the breathtaking beauty of the regions.
Nothing more excellent nor more valuable than wine was ever granted mankind by God.
~Plato, Greek philosopher, (c. 427-347 BC))
Great upcoming events: 9/12-13/15 Avocado and Margarita Fest; 9/19-20/15 Beaverstock; 9/24-27/15 Savor the Central Coast; 10/2-4/15 BubblyFest; 10/3/15 Morro Bay Harbor Festival; 10/16-18/15 Harvest Wine Weekend; 10/17-19/15 Pismo Clam Fest; 11/6-8/15 SLOwine Harvest on the Coast