Learning about Greek wines can take one back through about six thousand years of both history and mythology. This was evident to us when we attended a wine tasting this week at Republikque LA in West Los Angeles.
There are seven wine producing regions in Greece that stretch from Macedonia to the Aegean and Ionian Islands.
The region of Naoussa in western Macedonia demonstrates this long association with both wine and history.
Greek mythology tells us that Semele, mother of Dionysus, god of vine and wine was born there. History tells us that it was here that Aristotle taught Alexander the Great as a youth.
This region also produces one of Greece's best red wines, Xinomavro. Greek vintners have continued to make wines from native varietals, some dating back to ancient times.
The result is that tasting these wines proves to be a learning experience and a most pleasant one.
All the white and red wines we tasted that day were made from native grapes. And the wines often proved superior in quality and showed variety when grown in the different regions.
Some of the varietals are distinct to just one of the seven regions, like Xinomavro from western Macedonia.
We had the opportunity to speak with some of the Greek winemakers at this event and sample a good many of the wines.
We also enjoyed the Greek snacks served by the Republikque staff.