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Douloufakis Dafnios Red 2012
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Douloufakis Winery is widely recognized in Greece for its excellence in traditional winemaking -- with a focus on the future.
In 1930, Dimitris Douloufakis became one of the first winemakers in Crete to produce wines professionally in his traditional, old winery. A consistent award winner, Dimitris’s grandson, Nikolas, now runs the winery carrying on his grandfather’s traditional practices, but with modern equipment in a new facility.
The privately owned vineyards are certified 100% organic and span over 70 acres reaching 1,800 feet elevation in Dafnes, a village close to Iraklio. This region has a long history in viticulture and also has been established as a Protected Designation of Origin for Liatiko wines. In addition to the natural choice of Liatiko, Nikolas grows other indigenous varieties such as Kotsifali, Vilana, Vidiano, along with other international varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay.
A picturesque Mediterranean nation with a rich wine culture dating back to ancient times, Greece has so much more to offer than just retsina. Between the mainland and the country’s many islands, a wealth of wine styles exists, made mostly from Greece’s plentiful indigenous varieties. After centuries of adversity after Ottoman rule, the modern wine industry took off in the late 20th century with an influx of newly trained winemakers and investments in winemaking technology.
The climate—generally hot Mediterranean—can vary a bit with latitude and elevation, and is mostly moderated by cool maritime breezes. Drought can be an issue during the long, dry summers, sometimes necessitating irrigation.
Over 300 indigenous grapes have been identified throughout Greece, and though not all of them are suitable for wine production, future decades will likely see a significant revival and refinement of many of these native varieties. Assyrtiko, the crisp, saline variety of the island of Santorini, is one of the most important and popular white varieties, alongside Roditis, Robola, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Muscat is also widely grown for both sweet and dry wines. Prominent red varieties include full-bodied and fruity Agiorghitiko, native to Nemea; Macedonia’s savory, tannic Xinomavro; and Mavrodaphne, used commonly to produce a Port-like fortified wine in the Peloponnese.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.