In central mainland Greece, around a town that serves that serves as the regional seat of its eponymous prefecture – Karditsa – Andreas Kontozisis has been crafting low-to-no-SO2 wines from organically cultivated vines since 1991. He is among the first in this area and Greece more generally to have received organic certification, with the certification process only emerging a year or two before that. This area of Greece, southern Thessaly, is semi-mountainous with the Thessalian plain extending from a tributary of the main river in Thessaly, the Pinios. It’s traditionally along the plains and at the feet of some of the mountains of the region (think of the Black Muscat cultivated by Papras Bio Winery at the base of Mount Olympus in Tyrnavos) where grapes to be fermented into wine have been grown – for Kontozisis & his partner Aphrodite Tousia, in Karditsa, they’ve long decided to forge their own path. Their “A-Grafo” range, for instance, means something like “uncharted” and refers to their excursions in the uncharted (wine-wise) environs of the Agrafa Mountain range, what provides them with a totally unique terroir split between two principal areas: Kanalia & Dafnospilia. These wines are given free-expression in the cellar where there is (remarkably) no press used; every wine is some form of free-run juice. And for the entire A-Grafo range, it is zero/zero. The wines are clean as a whistle and stable for days – a true feat for such a hands-off operation that allows their grapes endemic to the region (Limniona, Malagousia, etc.) to shine, to be conveyed as clearly as possible into your glass.
100% Roditis, macerated on the skins for one month. Fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel and aged on the lees for 8 months before bottling unfined, unfiltered with no SO2. A robust, earthy orange that brings to mind black tea, bitter orange peel, and fresh-squeezed citrus.