When a Greek engineer moved to the U.S., he realized one of the things he missed the most about his homeland was the wine. Authentic Greek wines. The Greeks are deeply rooted in their belief that a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle are the keys to happiness and longevity.
So Georgós Zanganas crafted his own plan to bring his beloved Greek wines to his new home in California. Today, he imports the highest quality grapes from Greece and makes Grecian-style wines in Sonoma County. Grapes are shipped to the U.S. by boat in bladders from Greece, a 45-day voyage from Athens to Oakland and then by truck to his winery, Deerfield Ranch Winery in Kenwood, Sonoma Valley. So why not grow Greek grapes in Sonoma from grafted cuttings? According to Zanganas, “The soil will not produce the same type grapes and wine.”
He hired award winning winemaker Robert Rex to help in his endeavor, bringing the best of Greek tradition to Sonoma winemaking. Once the grapes arrive, they are triple hand-sorted, a time-consuming and meticulous endeavor, but one that assures that only the best fruit ends up in his wine. Then Rex works his magic, using Old World grapes and new world techniques to produce Georgos Nu-Greek Wines.
When asked what makes Greek wines so unique, he says, “In Greece we have perhaps 300 indigenous wine varieties…Our grapes have a unique profile with great acidity and a great sense of place. The vineyards are dry-farmed. This affects how grapes grow and how the wine tastes; irrigation systems affect the soil structure and therefore the vines. We’ve been cultivating vines in the same places in Greece for thousands of years.”
Georgos Nu-Greek Wines wines are named the Greek islands. Current vintages and blends include:
- CORFU – 85% Sonoma Bordeaux Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec) – 15% Mykonos Agiorgitiko
- ITHAKA – 90% Sonoma CAB – 10% Mykonos Agiorgitiko
- MYKONOS – 95% Agiorgitiko – 5% Syrah
- SANTORINI – 100% Assyrtiko
- IOS – 100% Rose Agiorgitiko
According to Zanganas, “We have unique flavors. The wines are lighter, but not ‘fruit bombs.’ They pair very well with foods. They are original and don’t resemble anything else. They have Old World structure with great acidity, and minerality. They provide a strong sense of an ancient place.”
Georgos Nu-Greek Wines can be found at Whole Foods in the San Francisco area or ordered online.