The diversity of varieties layered on top of the majestic soils and terroirs of Achaia and Ilia is enough to make your brain “hurt”. The diversity of offerings and styles means that there is at least a single grape variety grown here that will fit everyone’s taste. There are more than 30 indigenous varieties in the vineyards, some of them local only to these regions, as well as a profound number of well adapted international grapes. It’s not just that the vineyards of Achaia and Ilia host so many different indigenous grape varieties, but the untold combinations of soils, grapes and microclimate that provide endless possibilities and a vast array of wine styles, not seen in other parts of Greece. One of the most exciting recent developments is the emergence of a number of historic varieties, which individual growers in both regions continue to rediscover year after year. These grapes may need a pronunciation guide for outsiders, but offer numerous quality options to those eager to explore something different. In a time of mass production and globalization, they taste unique and have a great sense of origin. These are grapes grown exclusively in this part of the world and vinified in tiny quantities from just one or a couple of producers. They are unique as a “mermaid”. Santameriana, Agrippiotis, Tinaktorogos, Sideritis, Black of Kalavrita, Vertzami are just a few of these rare gems that add to the complexity of the global vineyard. It’s like stepping into a Jurassic world of “grape dinosaurs”. What can be more exciting or adventurous than that?
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