Greek wine basics: Nemea I

The following post is the fourth in a series of Greek wine basics. It’s been transcribed from Konstantinos Lazarakis MW’s The Wines of Greece (London, Mitchell Beazley, 2005, currently out of print). While Lazarakis’ book is difficult to find these days, it remains THE number-one resource for information — technical and historical — on the wines of Greece. We highly recommend it. You’ll find an archive for our Greek Wine Basics series in the right-hand navigation of our home page.

Above: A photo of the archeological site at Nemea (via the Wiki).

The climate of Nemea is typically Peloponnesian: mild winters, summers with several days above 40°C (104°F), and long autumns. However, the harvest is one of the longest in Greece, with some parcels ripening around 20 September and others going well into mid- to late October — impressive for a mono-varietal appellation. Regarding rainfall, there is a big difference between these two months, with September having anaverage rainfall of 14.3 millimetres (0.6 inches) and October going up to 58.2 milimetres (2.3 inches). Under these circumstances, it is not just the ripeness levels of the grapes that dictate harvest time in Nemea but also the timing of the heavy autumn rains. Rain-related harvests happen about four times every decade, at least for the later-ripening sites…

Nemea, like Naoussa, is one of the appellations where special sites — crus, or sub-appellations — are fiercely debated. Most producers argue not about their existence — they are taken for granted — but how and if these names can be incorporated within the present legal framework.

More on Nemea and its crus in the next post in the series.

Explore posts in the same categories: Boutari, Nemea


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