Many of the Greek producers we work with are on a retrospective quest to bring Greek tradition back into the cellar but Andreas Kontozisis is the other thing. The dude is wicked serious and supremely focused on what comes next. Working with some Assyrtiko vines they planted illegally, some regional varieties and like a 150 small backyard plots in the foothills of the famously unconquerable A-Grafo mountain range, Kontozisis works with his partner Aphrodite Tousia to churn out some utterly slick wines. They do the prettified everyday thing in their ‘Sun’ wines and the thought provoking, zero sulfite, skin fermented magic thing with the ‘A-Grafo’ wines. We love it all and we’re curious to see where further experiments lead.
All Malagousia, the regional white variety that tends towards a greenish, plump character. 22 hour cold temp soaking before free run is transferred to steel for spontaneous fermentation. Aging in steel for 6 months.
Free run Limniona fermented spontaneously in steel after 36 hours cold temp soaking with the skins. Aging in steel for 6 months.
Flirty Limniona and more structured Xinomavro. Presoak with the skins at a low temp for two days then pretty straightforward native ferment in steel. Aged in a mix of barrels for 9 months then racked to steel for another year and a half. Real solid mediterranean red.
The ‘A-Grafo’ wines, named in honor of the region’s unbroken resistance to the Ottoman Empire, are the jewel of the Kontozisis line. Thoughtful beauties made from vines farmed for more concentration and a longer growing cycle, these wines are pure free run juice bottled without added sulfite, finning or filtration.
Limniona hasn’t quite had its moment yet but folks in the know are starting to get real excited about this variety for its Barbera-like ability to maintain freshness and acidity despite the intense climate of Greece. 30% whole clusters, fermented and aged in steel without temperature control.
Perhaps the most ‘on brand’ of the A-Grafo wines for the charming fact that when the vines were planted 20 years back, it was illegal to plant ‘new grape varieties.’ For reasons passing understanding Moscato was considered acceptable and so that’s what they said they had. Mostly free run with 30% whole clusters up in the mix so there’s some stem and skin contact here but it’s more of an enriched white than an ‘orange wine.’