Doug Decants: Georgas Retsina, Greece

Buy me brandy,
A snifter of wine.
Who am I kidding?
I’ll drink turpentine.

Barney Gumble, ‘A Boozehound Named Barney’, The Simpson’s (a parody of ‘Feed The Birds’ from The Sound of Music)

Resin not the need, this Savatiano is top of the terps!

Dimitris Georgas is a 4th generation vine grower and winemaker. He took over the family vineyards almost 20 years ago. Since then the vineyards have been certified organic. The 6 ha vineyards are spread throughout the region of Mesogaia (Ancient Greek name Meso =in the middle + Gaia= the land of Attica peninsula (Athens area). Mesogaia is one of the oldest wine regions of Greece, specialising in the indigenous Savatiano white vines, where PGI Attika wines are produced. The dominant features of this dry climate are the gently sloping hills, low rainfall and temperate climate (located between two seas). More locally, there are big olive trees between the vineyards, as well as fig and almond and scrub-like garrigue. Descriptions of viticulture and wines from this region date back to 300 BC.

The family vineyard is scattered over twelve small, but discrete parcels on dry clay marls soils. The oldest vines are the dry-farmed Savatiano (50 years +). Biodynamic preparations have been applied in some of the vineyards since 2000.

Retsina is the catch-all term for resinated wines. The tradition originates in the Attica wine region, where the fresh pine resin of the native old pine trees in Attica (Pinus Halapensis) was introduced into the must of the white Savatiano before fermentation. Retsina and non resinated Savatiano dry wines had a strong century long history, being the key player in the local white wines of Athens between 1850-1980.

The grapes are harvested by hand at a pitifully small yield of 4.5 hl/ha, are destemmed and undergo a five-day cold maceration on the skins in tank which imbues the juice with its deep amber colour. The must is then pressed and fermentation proceeds with native yeasts. The fresh resin, collected from local Aleppo pines in late summer, is added to the fresh must before fermentation and stays there until the first racking (2-3 months).

Premium quality Retsina carries the characteristic balsamic aroma of pine which, however, does not inhibit grape aromas. The imperceptible sense of bitterness leaves a refreshing aftertaste and makes Retsina the ideal companion of the flavourful dishes of traditional Greek cuisine.

There is no barrel ageing. Retsina is best fresh; it takes about a couple of months after bottling to begin to develop the secondary lemony aromas and also to soften the tannins. The malolactic occurs in the bottle. No sulphur is added to this wine as the inherent preservative properties of the resin serve to protect the juice.

Hazy amber hue, care of the skin contact, aromas of dried lemon, warm apricot skin, roasted spice, dry, warm, spicy sensation in the mouth, hint of balsam, dry honey and a quinine finish.

The wine goes with Greek mezze – small pieces of different foods such as deep-fried fish or meat, feta cheese and Greek salad. The complexity, the pine resin, and the good level of acidity of this wine due to its vinification with traditional wine-making techniques make it a good accompaniment to the richer dishes of Greek cuisine, as especially barbecued and roasted meats.


Interested in finding out more about Georgas Retsina? Buy online here or contact us directly…

Retail: / 01483 554750

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