Kostis Dalamaras - Domaine Dalamaras
Kostis Dalamaras is a rising star in the greek wine industry. His winery is definitely one to watch. This sixth generation winemaker has earned a spot on Wine and Spirits Top 30 under 30 talented winemakers list. His ability to bring out the finesse, freshness and natural acidity of the Xinomavro varietal is beyond words.
How did you get started in the wine business? Was there a certain moment where you knew wine was going to be a big part of your life?
It is a family tradition so I was involved as a kid by helping my grandfather. Professionally I took over the family business in 2011. I believe I was around 12 when I seriously realized wine is going to be my life.
Tell us the story of the earliest stages of creating a wine business? What were the challenges and how did you overcame them?
Taking over a wine business is not as romantic as we probably imagine. There is a lot of paperwork to deal with and believe me, unfortunately, this is the most challenging part. it needs a lot of time to overcome the big part of it but there is a lot of paperwork on a daily basis too.
What has surprised you about being a winemaker?
Growing up in family of vine-growers and winemakers since many generations ago, there were no surprises on being a winemaker, just the pleasure that my time has come!
In the world of wine, who do you most admire and why? Who influenced you?
I was influenced a lot by Cyril Fhal when I worked for him at Clos du Rouge Gorge in Roussillon and also the other young winemakers of the area. I really admired the fact that they were all hardworkers and at the same time they know how to enjoy their job and their lives as well.
Do you think that Greek wines deserve more attention globally? Why?
I believe there are some unique wines among the Greek wines and so, yes I believe they deserve more attention.
What is unique about Greek Grapes and Greek Wines?
There are many indigenous varieties with very special characteristics and great potential. Plus there is a mosaic of different terroirs. From high altitude vineyards on mountain slopes to rocky islands every wine region has its own beauty.
How do you think people perceive Greek wines around the world?
I believe that unfortunately there are still some stereotypes as for example the fact that many people think just about low quality Retsina when we talk about Greek wine. On the other hand this has changed a lot the last ten years and more wine drinkers around the world have a deeper knowledge of Greek wines than in the past.
How has wine production in Greece evolved over the last decades?
There is a big change from low quality bulk wines to high quality bottled wines.
What have been some of the major technological advancements in winemaking in Greece?
I cannot talk about something in particular. I believe Greece advances technologically step by step at the same level than any other wine-making country does.
What do you think need to happen in order for Greek wines to gain international recognition and gain the same status of Italian or France wines?
This requires a lot of time and huge efforts. Probably it is not possible to happen within one generation.We need to believe in the potential of our indigenous varieties.
What are the benefits or challenges of producing wine in 2019 in Greece?
Climate changes will be the big challenge on the years to come. We need to adapt to new facts as early budburst and short growth cycle.
Which varietals are grown at the winery?
Xinomavro, Merlot, Assyrtiko, Prekniariko
What is one of your favorite varietals to work with and why?
Xinomavro, it is the most challenging, the most special and it has great potential.
What goals in winemaking are you still working to achieve?
Perfect balance between concentration and elegance. Minimum intervention, zero additives.
What do you find to be the hardest part of harvest?
Decide the harvest day of each parcel and have a well trained team that will perfectly execute your orders.
What is one of the hardest things about winemaking year in and year out?
Dealing with the weather conditions is getting harder and harder. Hailstorms and extreme weather phenomena are most common now than in the past.