Limnio is a variety that manifests, beyond any question, the potential depth of the New Wines of Greece in today’s wine world. It is a grape first mentioned by numerous Ancient Greek writers such as Homer, Hesiod and Polydefkis, making it a unique artifact of ancient viticulture. Nevertheless, this red variety, used to make dry red wines, is still important today, even in areas where it has been cultivated since the distant past—like in the historic Maronia region.
Limnio wine is moderate in color, elegant in aromas and flavors, dominated by fresh, aromatic herbs and elegant, red berry fruits. On the palate it displays medium acidity, medium and very silky tannins, breadth, and moderately high alcohol. Surprisingly, Limnio is present but not very important on the island of Lemnos, considered its birthplace (its local name on the island is Kalambaki). Instead, the majority of its vineyards are found in northern Greece. Very good examples are being produced particularly out of Halkidiki in Macedonia (PDO Côtes de Meliton) and, as mentioned, Maronia in Thrace. Varietal Limnios are usually made in lighter styles, mostly aged in stainless steel. Nevertheless, the variety is frequently used in blends, usually oak-aged, with international red varieties to add lightness and definition.
Limnio is an excellent wine for wine drinkers who want to get away from the heaviness of international wine varieties. It is a grape that delivers interesting flavors, with a discreet tannin structure and brightness. This is a wine that can be experimented with fish usually matched with reds, although Limnio goes well with meat pasta dishes and mild yellow cheeses as well. All single Limnios and blends are ready for consumption on release, but pure Limnio can develop for four to seven years, and blends can develop for significantly longer.