Although state-of-the-art irrigation systems in modern Greek vineyards have managed to quench the age-old thirst of some sun-drenched vines, they have not quenched the thirst of the top Greek viticulturists for the best possible grape. The idea that the vine itself is the primary factor for excellence in wine is nowadays stronger than ever and is translated into state-of-the-art vineyards.
Viticulturists and agriculturalists have turned to new cultivation methods, focusing on the special characteristics and the demands of each micro-environment, transforming the vineyards of the past into state-of-the-art vineyards. Examples are many: The first underground irrigation system for a vineyard in Europe, whereby watering is based on strict scientific data, was installed in Greece, while the way the soil is worked and enriched has been radically revised. Changes, however, are not restricted below ground and the “leaf wall” of vines is another chapter that has opened in the Greek vineyard. In this country where the sunshine is in plenty for most of the year, the height, shape and ratio of leaves to fruit can transform the leaves into a valuable friend of the vine and the sun into a comparative advantage of the Greek soil.
With the most modern analysis units offering their services to many estates and on-site meteorological stations supplying valuable data and forecasts on a continuous basis, the particular character and attributes of the Greek grape are now fully evident.
The next big step in the state-of-the-art vineyards is the study and planting of the most suitable clones of each variety, an effort that has already started. This should not only improve the quality of Greek wines but also highlight the great attributes of Greek vineyards!