2018 Tsiakkas Xynisteri
Region: Limassol Region < Cyprus < Greece
Grapes: 98% Xynisteri, 2% Malaga
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming (since 1995), ungrafted vines on sandy volcanic soils; 2 days on the skins before fermentation in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfilterd with minimal So2; 11.85% ABV
Winemaker: Costas TsiakkasThis small family winery sits high up in the Troodos Mountains in the Pitsilia wine region on the Greek island of Cyprus, which is the oldest wine making country in the EU (its wine history dates back 5,500 year!) All of these things sound beautiful and remote, because they are -- Cyprus sits alone in the Mediterranean sea off of Turkey’s southern coast, closer to Syria than mainland Greece. And while Cyprus appears to be the sun-baked island of our dreams, it has seen its share of political turmoil, starting in the 70’s with Greece claiming half of the island, and Turkey the other half. There was all sorts of drama, like a Turkish invasion, a Greek coup d'état, and UN intervention -- a mini civil war ensued, people left, vineyards were abandoned. Including Costas’ grandfather’s vineyard, which he restored in 1988 after 20 years of neglect, replanting old, forgotten varieties like Yiannoudi, Promara, Vamvakada and Xynisteri and converting all farming to organic.
Cypriot wine is kind of a unicorn. so we were thrilled to find this sunny, salty, peachy bottle that is actually organic. A quintessential island wine, it bursts with bright, energetic acidity and pretty stone fruit. Crisp, dry, lean and refreshing, this one goes down like delicious water on a warm day, and won’t break the bank. Stock up.