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Samos Wine Culture

Samos Wine Culture

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Samos wines are so different, so sweet, delicate, with a remarkable aroma, gold-colored, known and appreciated in many wine-growing paradises in the world and in Vatican.

One of the attributes of the ever green island, mostly covered with olive trees, wines and herbs that you can smell here with varying intensity from spring to autumn. Samos Nectar was said to have been being drunk by Greek Gods and the well-known Samian native – mystic, philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, was pouring the local wine to his followers.

The captivating taste and smell of Samos wine is given by the way of cultivation and the followed processing. Grapewine is grown here in more than a third of the island which is predominantly mountainous. Exceptionally fertile subsoil with high drainage capacity, beneficial microclimate (large amount of sunshine with relatively low temperatures at an average altitude of around 800 m) contribute to the uniqueness of the aroma and character of the muscatel grapes.

Green ‘amphitheatres’ are being built around the mountain villages of Vourliotes, Manolates, Ambelos, Platanos, Leka and many others. The crafted terraced fields create the impression of works of art.

They are mainly located on the northern slopes of the two mountain ranges Ambelos and Kerketas, in order to guarantee the imperfectness of the grapes. Individual plants are carefully trimmed to low heights around one meter to produce large size grapes. Adding to these aspects a long maturation period, due diligence of local farmers and their knowledge improved over the centuries, results in an absolutely unique nutmeg compared to no other wine in the world.

The modern history of the local wine begins in the end of the 16th century when the Samos muscat became known all over the world.

Since the end of the 19th century Samos supplies with recognized wines in both western and eastern markets. Other major customers today include Germany, Netherlands and Eastern European countries. And it is important to mention the Catholic Church, which at the end of the 19th century granted to Samos the privilege of supplying wine for religious liturgies. This privilege has been preserved until these days and so the Samos wine-growing union still exports the sacramental wine certified by the Catholic Mission.

However, the work of farmers and the difficulty of growing grapes in the mountain environment has not been adequately compensated for centuries. There were only a few merchants on the island who bought the wine produced here at low prices, leaving farmers’ families in poverty. That is why farmers began to rebel in 1933 and ask the government to protect their rights. In 1934, the law on compulsory membership of all wine producers in cooperatives was published.

There were 26 of them and the so-called Union of Wine Cooperatives of Samos was established, which proved to be a necessity and the only solution to the problem of protection of Samos wine and its producers. In 1970, Samos wine was given a trade mark and decisive steps followed to promote it worldwide. Today, the Samos wine-growing union has about 4,000 members.

The wine grown on the island is mainly processed in two places – Karlovassi and Malagari (part of the capital of Samos). There are two factories owned by the Samos wine-making union, where the use of modern technology, but still taking into account local traditions, is transforming the cultivation of four thousand producers into a renowned sweet samoské nutmeg wine.

Most of them are dessert wines, ideal as a stop for an exceptional dinner. Some brands can also be served as chilled aperitifs and are best enjoyed while sitting on the beautiful summer nights by the sea, in restaurants and bars on the island.


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