Vriniotis is a modern family winery located in Evia (Euboea), which is among the Aegean Islands in Central Greece. It was established in the village of Gialtra in 2007 by 51-year old Konstantinos (Kostas) Vriniotis , although the family’s association with Evia goes back several generations when Kostas’ ancestors planted grapevines in the area in the 1850s. Evia is the second largest Greek island in area and population after Crete.
The winery is located in the northern part of the island,
and its two vineyards totaling 100 acres are spread out at the foot of Mount Telethrio at an altitude of 150 to 400 meters. The vineyards which enjoy limestone subsoil benefit from a temperate climate for growing grapes. The winery focuses on quality rather than volume with a current total production of 100,000 bottles and the goal of expanding to 150,000 bottles in five years.
Kosta Vriniotis bottles small quantities of indigenous varieties and blends, typical of the modern winemakers in Greece today. His main focus is on the white grape Assyrtiko and on the local indigenous red grapes, Vradiano . He crafts an outstanding Assyrtiko Sur Lie fermented in stainless steel, a first-rate Vradriano-Syrah blend, (Vradiano Wild Frementation) and a Vradriano dessert wine. Vradiano, which only grows in North Evia, is a rare and ancient low-yielding indigenous black grape that the Vriniotis team labored to save from extinction.
We recently had the opportunity to taste through the portfolio of Vriniotis with importer Abelaki www.abelaki.com. and were impressed with the wines. Vriniotis wines are not widely distributed so readers interested in purchasing them should contact the importer.
Vriniotis 2020 Methea Evia ($15) 89 A blend of two indigenous white grapes, Aidani, an Aegean variety, and Monemvasia from Paros and Lakonia. The 2020 Methea is aromatic, dry and crisp with white peach, floral and mineral notes. It’s a very fresh wine with medium-plus acidity and moderate tannins. An easy drinking white wine.
Vriniotis 2020 Iama “White” Evia ($20) 90 The Iama “White” is a delicious blend of 60% Assyrtiko and 40% Malagousia fermented separately and aged with 3 months of battonage. It offers a perfumed nose with hints of apple and pear and is leasy tasting, rich and mouth filling with a hint of citrus.
Vriniotis 2019 Assyrtiko Sur Lies Evia ($39) 92 A delicious mouth-filling Assyrtiko offering aromas of stone fruit with a creamy mouth feel, good acidity and overall freshness. Sourced from 13 year-old vines from the Aetos Vineyard on Mount Telethrio at 300 meters elevation and fermented with native and commercial yeast. It is rich on the palate and has a lovely aftertaste. Perhaps the best Assyrtiko outside Santorini.
Vriniotis 2018 Iama (Red) Evia ($25) 92 A blend of 60% Vradiano and 40% Syrah. Vradiano is a local variety that almost became extinct. Fermented with native yeast in open top fermenters and blended with Syrah, it exhibits black cherry fruit aromas and flavors with earth and toast notes. It’s crisp with high acidity and firm round tannins. Aged 12 months in 225 liter French oak barrels, new and used, and bottled without filtration.
Vriniotis 2017 Vradiano Wild Fermentation Evia ($59) 91 The 100% Vradiano is medium ruby in color and fermented with native yeast in open top fermenters. Aged in barriques for 12 months, it is bottled unfiltered. It is brambly in character offering notes of fresh pomegranate and lively acidity with an elegant mouth feel. It is delicious on its own, but also benefits from blending with Syrah as in the Iama.
Vriniotis Syrah Wild Fermentation Evia ($59) 90 Opaque ruby. A very pleasant Syrah showing briary dark plum with a hint of chocolate shavings. It’s a young but lush wine with high acidity, firm round tannins, and a persistent finish.
Vriniotis Dessert Wine G Evia ($60) 91 The Dessert Wine G is 100% Vradiano in a sweet and fortified format with aromas and flavors of rose petal and lychee. Harvested at the end of September, it reveals richness with good acidity on the finish.
The IWR will be focusing on Greek wines during 2022. We are planning to prepare several of our bi-monthly reports on different regions of Greece starting with Macedonia and Thrace which will be published starting in January/February 2022. We will also regularly issue articles on Greek wine producers and their wines such as the one feature here. Others recently published include: “Wine Art Estate: Creative Winemaking in Macedonia Greece” and “The Wines of Aivales of Nemea” which can be found on www.i-winereview.com/blog