The last winery I visited in Greece was Zeginis, that is found just a little bit north of Athens International airport. It lies within the town of Marathon, close to the Mediterranean and the beautiful national park of Schynias. So this winery is more than worth it when you want to make a day trip about it. But to be honest, the wines itself are more than worth the visit!
I was greeted by Chrysanthi Zegini, who holds a masters degree in Enology from the university of Bordeaux and is able to apply this knowledge in their family owned winery.
She took me to see the vines, which were located a few km from the winery. The view was absolutely fantastic! We drove this deserted road that led us to the many acres of land the family owns, where they plant Chardonnay, Merlot, Agiorgitiko, Grenache and of course Savatiano. When I was walking among the grape vines, listening to Chrysanthi sharing her knowledge, a very peaceful feeling came over me. It was already late in the afternoon, so the heat was not that extensive.
As we walked by the Savatiano vines and we came towards the Chardonnay, the view magnified my peaceful feeling and all I wanted to do was just stay there in that very spot and drink wine. The cool thing was that an oak tree, separates the two lots of land where Savatiano and Chardonnay are grown. The same type of oak used for the aging on wood. Which, as I will explain later, reflect on the label as well. Even though I had been to vineyards in the past, it was not until now that I was able to see wine grapes, looking like actual grapes and not buds on a plant. Where the growing Savatiano grape bunch almost takes the form like Attica on the map, the Chardonnay grapes are a lot greener and smaller. This was such an amazing experience for me!
Back at the winery a tour was given around the stainless steel tanks used for fermenting and aging, the wood barrels and I got to meet the family dog, protecting the wine legacy. Outside around the wine press, there was a cat lingering around claiming the winery as her own. It is things like this that give a winery character and authenticity. I was so charmed by it, and that was before I had even tried the wines!
The wines I was able to try were Savatiano, Chardonnay and the rose made from Grenache. We started out with the Savatiano, and as I have explained in previous blogs, the possibilities of the grape are almost endless! This one was made as a dry white wine with a characteristic acidity and aroma’s of lemon peel, with some white flowers. The length of the aftertaste still amazes me. After these travels, Savatiano will be the grape that I will always remember and what I take with me from this trip.
As I have always loved Chardonnay, needless to say I was very excited to try a one that was grown here in wonderful Greece! Tropical fruits come your way even before you take note of the first aroma in the nose. Think of overripe pear, peach and if you pay attention, some green pineapple and a touch of vanilla. It does still reflect typical characteristics like creaminess in the texture and a fine acidity, but it is not as round and full bodied as for example a Californian. Funny fact is that the name of the wine is ‘Velanidia’ which means oak in Greek. And that was the oak that was found on the vineyard itself, as described above.
The wine that really stood out for me was the rose, made from Grenache. This rose expresses very much the character of the grape, such as red currant, strawberries, but also has the crispiness of pink grapefruit and blood orange. Usually I find it a bit hard to really recognize a red grape, when being used for a rose, but I just loved how this one was still able to hold on to it’s identity.
I have closed the tasting series off with a lovely blend of Agiorgitiko and Merlot, that react surprisingly well to each other. The grapes get tangled up in a whole of ripe red and dark fruits, softly roast spices and soft tannins, although they are fully present. You can enjoy this full and rich, yet pleasant red wine with a range of Mediterranean meat dishes.
Once again one blog is not enough to fully grasp the whole picture of what the Zeginis Winery stands for, so I can only encourage everyone to just go there!
You can find the winery through the address below:
62 Avenue Kato Souliou, Marathon, 19007 Greece
Tel: +30 22940 67494 / +30 22940 67495 / +30 697 3241651