Ktima Pavlidis Thema White 2016
While winemaking in Drama dates back to antiquity, the region did not emerge onto the modern winemaking scene until the 1980s. Ktima Pavlidis was created in 1998 with 160 acres of estate vineyards planted with a mix of international and indigenous Greek varietals. The Ktima Pavlidis winery and vineyards are located in the region of Drama in Eastern Macedonia. This region is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and by the Aegean Sea to the south. This unique topography provides the estate vineyards with a special microclimate, with cool winds during the night that prolong the ripening period and give the grapes the opportunity to ripen slowly and evenly. All wines are made exclusively with estate-grown fruit, in order to control the quality of production. Each of the estate vineyards has an on-site weather station which allows the viticultural team to closely monitor conditions during the growing season, ensuring that grapes are harvested during optimal ripeness. The grapes are hand-harvested at night and refrigerated during transportation in order to take advantage of the cooler temperature and preserve the varietals’ aromatics and natural acidity. At the estate’s modern winemaking facility, the team uses a gentle approach, utilizing light crushing, temperature-controlled maceration and gravity-flow transfers in order the faithfully preserve the characteristics of the grapes without over extraction or harsh tannins. The resulting wines from Ktima Pavlidis are high-quality, terroir-driven wines with enjoyable aromatic and flavor profiles, with a distinct and recognizable personality.
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.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.