Domaine Glinavos 2019 Zitsa, Ioannina, Greece

Domaine Glinavos 2019 Zitsa, Ioannina, Greece

Domaine Glinavos

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Domaine Glinavos 2019 Zitsa, Ioannina, Greece

Lefteris Glinavos was part of the wave of boutique vintners that were instrumental in changing the entire face of Greek wine‐making during the 1970s. At the turn of the 19th century Greek wine was dominated by large scale bulk‐wine companies who purchased fruit from local growers without much care for quality. This state of affairs held steady until the late 60’s and into the 70’s as group of young wine‐makers‐‐whose own background in wine came from simple, village level production‐‐started to travel abroad for their vinicultural education and return to Greece to begin projects that were what we understand today as “boutique wineries:” small scale operations whose whole purpose was to explore the furthest reaches of quality in their respective areas.

  • Winemaker: Thomas Glinavos
  • Farming: Organic practicing
  • Grape Variety: Debina
  • Terroir: Limestone
  • Vinification: The must (“free run”) of the selected grapes is gradually extracted and ferments at a low controlled temperature. Fermented and ages in Stainless steel.
  • Tasting Notes: The aromas are delicate, predominantly from apple, pear and hints of fresh white peach. The notes of citrus blossoms complement the excellent aromatic profile.

DECANTsf May 2021 Bottle Club Notes (Explorer Pack)

Domaine Glinavos  Zitsa ‘Protos Inos’  Ioannina, Greece  |  2019

When many of us conjure up images of Greece in our minds, we see blue seas and dramatic mediterranean cliff sides. But in fact, much of Greece looks more similar to mountainous central european landscapes, isolated and densely forested. In the village of Zitsa, located just short of the Albanian border in the province of Ioannina, the mountains are rich in limestone and the cool climate creates the perfect setting for the indigenous white grape, Debina. This light, aromatic and acid-driven grape is found almost exclusively in Zitsa, where it is thought to be indigenous. Being the only grape that can legally be bottled under the Zitsa PDO appellation, the iterations and bottlings of Debina can vary widely. But no producer is more reliable and proven than Domaine Glinavos.

Winery founder Lefteris Glinavos was among a group of boutique vintners who changed the face of the Greek wine scene in the 1970’s. After earning his oenology degree in Bordeaux, he returned to Greece with the mindset to formalize and revolutionize the ancient but underdeveloped wine industry. He helped move its focus away from bulk production to more intentional, artisanal productions. He is a legend in the Greek wine world, and his wines all certainly live up to the man behind them. Today, Lefteris’ son runs the estate with the same founding philosophy at heart--a focus on indigenous varieties that tell a story of place. These are wines with identity.

At DECANT, we’ve now tasted three vintages of this wine, and each year, the wine is delicious and soul-satisfying. The 2019 Zitsa has delicate aromas of green apple, lime zest, dried flowers and crunchy, flinty minerality. The slightly ripe tropical hints transport us to sunny mountaintops, and definitely make Simi yearn for a plate of fresh sheep’s milk cheese and warm pita bread. But in a pinch, it’s a great combination with sushi or light seafood, or even a simple, slightly spicy chicken curry!

— Simi Grewal


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