“Where are the best bargains on the wine market today? Our bets are on Greece, where Santorini is putting out wine to rival white Burgundy, where Naoussa’s reds challenge Piemonte’s, where Nemea’s wines offer an alternative to our own zinfandel and countless pockets of land offer strange and intriquing varieties on the cheap. You may have discovered this about Greece already – after all, this is the seventh time Boutari has earned a place as a winery of the Year. But if you haven’t , this is the place to start.

How does a company as large as Boutari, with 36 different brands and wines from all over the country, manage to put out such fine wines? First, there’s head enologist Yiannis Voyatzis, who has been with the copmany for 27 years. There’s also Roxane Matsa, grape grower extraordinaire, who has assmbled something of a living museum of vines at her estate (owned by Boutari) in Attica. Then there are the tearms of researchers who have gone out and mapped every inch of certain vinegrowing areas, such as Santorini, where that research led to a state-of-the-art winery and some of the finest examples of Santorini wines made today. But most importantly, Boutari concetrates on the areas it knows best. Look to the places the Boutari family hs built wineries: their hometown of Naoussa, of course, but also nearby Goumenissa, the island of Santorini, and very recently Crete. The first two regions specialise in xinomavro, one of Greeece’s most complex and rewarding grapes; in Boutari’s hands, it consistently produces truffley, long-lived reds that put some Barolos to shame. Boutari’s experience in Santorini has been much shorter; it wasn’t until 1989 that the winery was built ant they began to make wines, but every year Voyatzis seems to be able to pull more flavor out or assyrtiko, an often bland and minerally grape. The reserve bottling, Kallisti, is a shocker in 2000 with its depth of fruit flavor, its minerality and structure; this is a Greek white wine that deserves to be cellared. As for Crete, Ktima Fantaxometoho, the winery in Arhanes, opened only last summer. But if experience means anything, I’m ready to put my money down.”

(Wine & Spirits Buying Guide 2003, Winter 2002, page 129)