Monemvassia is a variety of many a peculiarity, not only because it is cultivated at a place (the Cycladic island of Paros) different than the one denoted by its name, but also because it is the only Greek white grape variety which is blended with no fewer than three types of PDO wines: white, red and sweet wines (in the whites and reds of PDO Paros, where it rarifies the rustic nature of Mandilaria, and in PDO Monemvassia-Malvasia wines). What is more, its blending in the “Monemvassia-Malvasia” wine marks the revival of “Malvasias oenos”, one of the most renowned Greek wines throughout history. A wonderful expression of its terroir of origin, Monemvassia is an exciting wine.
Monemvassia originates in the Peloponnesian district of Lakonia but it is almost solely cultivated on Paros nowadays. When on the islands’ mountain slopes, the variety is traditionally planted and cultivated on stone terraces. Through wise choices, local wine growers have to deal appropriately with Monemvassia’s relatively low acidity and oxidation-prone nature both at the time of harvest and at the winery. At the latter, vintners have to opt for the appropriate vinifying practices, often applying prefermentation maceration, sheltering the variety at all vinification stages from coming into contact with oxygen. As a result of this careful handling of it, the performance of Monemvassia has skyrocketed with the variety yielding wines abounding with notes of citrus and white-fleshed fruit (often tenderly placed on a mineral “backdrop”) and possessing medium body and sufficiently refreshing acidity.
Hard-to-please wine lovers who cherish the unique terroir of the Aegean Islands but still wish to go in pursuit of what is beyond the obvious and the acclaimed will find in Monemvassia an almost pristine wine area. And once they have decided Monemvassia should grace their table, they will also discover that they have found in the variety’s wine a loyal companion to countless dishes!