Situated on the eastern side of the island of Crete, this is the definition of a garagiste, boutique winery in Greece. Owner and winemaker Yannis Economou, upon his return from his wine studies in Northern Italy and cellar work in Germany, the Piedmont as well as Bordeaux, in 1994 took over the family business and immediately got noticed in the wine circles of Europe. His vineyard in the Ziros plain, is from ungrafted, at least 40 year old vines, and cultivation is totally organic. Economou produces a variable range of wines from indigenous varietals such as Thrapsathiri, Assyrtiko, Mandilaria, and his favorite Liatiko. As expected, grape yields are extremely low, yielding less than 2,000 cases per year. In the winery, there is extensive use of large oak barrels; Economou is the master of this type of aging, allowing the oak to provide complexity, but never overpower the wines. A hallmark of his winemaking style is the extensive aging and cellaring of the wines, before releasing to the marketplace; usually four years for whites and at least 10 years for reds. This practice is very rare indeed, and certainly adds to the cult status of the winery. Most of the production is sold outside of Greece, as demand is strong from the mature wine cultures of Europe, North America, and Far East. Annual Production: 16 Hectares (40 acres) 24,000 bottles.
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