Ready to take your palate around the world, try new things and learn about unique destinations? The Buyers+Cellars Destination Discoveries newsletter will keep you up to date on our amazing wines being featured in the LCBO Destination Collection.
LCBO's Destination Collection
The Destination Collection is a program run through the LCBO that allows customers to experience rare wines from around the world – often from lesser-known regions and made with unique grape varieties. This enhanced selection can be purchased online or from country-focused boutiques within existing LCBO stores. The Greek boutique store, for example, is conveniently located in the East End of Toronto, in Greektown (bet you coulda guessed that one). To check out all the destinations and find a specialty boutique store, click the link below…
Destination Discoveries - Greece
Greek wines have a long and storied history, dating to antiquity when Greece was the epicentre of the wine world. Under the Ottoman rule, wine production and consumption was greatly reduced, and even forbidden. Thus, the industry languished for centuries until the early part of the 1900s. Quality waned until a new wave of quality-focused winemakers emerged in the 1970s, and Greek wines gradually regained their status amongst the world’s finest.
Today’s Greek wine industry is primarily led by young, energetic and progressive winemakers. 80% of the wineries are less than 20 years old. When this bourgeoning energy is combined with old vines, over 200 indigenous grapes and centuries-old winemaking traditions, you have the ingredients for exceptional, unique wines that showcase Greece’s singular terroir.
For those looking to seek out new grapes, Greek wines offer up a myriad of interesting and delicious options. Grapes like Assyrtiko, Agiorgitiko, Xinomavro and Moschofilero are becoming increasingly popular and present in the market. When deciding on a Greek grape and to focus on, we focused exclusively on Moschofilero from the Mantinia region. We love the grape’s exotic, distinctive profile and its food-friendly nature. It typically makes dry, tangy white wine with notes of peach, fresh cut flowers, candied citrus and a subtle nutty character. The best add tension and complexity with zippy acids and salty minerality. It’s actually a grey-skinned grape, which allows winemakers to make pale, pretty rosé in addition to traditional white wine.
It grows best in the Peloponnese’s elevated, mountainous Mantinia region. This historic plateau is where the largest and most famous battle between Athens and Sparta was fought during the Peloponnesian War in 472 A.D. Surrounded by the stunning peaks of Mainalo, Artesimo and Parnon Mountains, the foothills and plateau are planted with a variety of grape varieties, most notably Moschofilero. Having been cultivated continuously for over 3000 years, Mantinia is one of the coolest and highest elevation wine regions in Greece. And it’s where we found a tiny, focused winery making some of the best Moschofilero in the world.
Located in the village of Neochori, in the heart of the larger Mantinia wine region, Moropoulos is a very small, family-owned and operated winery. Their family has a long tradition of vine growing in the region, producing high quality fruit for the last several decades. More recently, the family’s siblings decided to establish their own winery and make only two wines, both from Moschofilero. Their 12 hectares of vines are farmed organically, planted on well-drained rocky clay and loamy soils. Despite its relatively southern latitude, the property is located a 700 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest vineyard sites in Greece. This keeps the vineyards cool at night resulting in freshness and structure in the wines. The old vines are double spur trained to help get the most out of the afternoon sun and ensure full ripening.
We are extremely proud to present Moropoulos’ 2021 Moschofilero Rosé, available now throughout the LCBO’s Destination Collection channel. The wine is available for purchase by the bottle at the Greek Boutique LCBO store located at 200 Danforth Avenue (at Broadview) in Toronto.
Pale pink-/salmon-coloured, more Provence than Tavel in style. Bouquet of Bing cherries, raspberry and watermelon with plenty of flowery intrigue. On the palate, this zippy rosé has tart raspberry, rhubarb and pink grapefruit flavours, with a touch of stony minerality. It is a drier-styled pink sipper. Hand-harvested grapes are selected for their darkest pigment. The grapes receive a long soak and maceration on the skins to pick up colour and flavour. The wine is racked off the skins gently, and then fermented at temperature control in stainless steel to preserve primary fruit.
A great aperitif wine, this will also work alongside grilled calamari, spicy Asian dishes, cheese and charcuterie. Of course, it will also pair well on its own in the backyard, by the pool or on a dock this summer.
You’ll hear from us soon for our next Destination Discovery adventure, and until then, happy sipping!