Wednesday Jul 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greek wine starting to make its mark in the US

By George Georgakopoulos

More and more Greek wine is flowing in North America as local brands shed the image of cheap imports and evolve an increasingly popular range of tastes that are earning critical acclaim and distinctions at international competitions across the Atlantic.

Long gone are the days when wine from Greece meant just the resinated white retsina. Local labels have developed quality choices that appeal to connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs alike, as Greek wine capitalizes on the North American market’s swing toward more expensive vintages.

In the United States, many of the country’s top restaurants offer Greek wines, hailing mostly from the Peloponnese and Crete, with a survey in New York finding that Greek wines were available at as many as 480 restaurants and 520 wine retailers last year.

Official statistics confirm the increase in volume as well as in the value of the local wine that travels to North America. Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures for 2012 showed a 37 percent increase in the value of Greek wine sold in the US and an 11 percent increase in volume, compared to 2011. In Canada the annual increase amounted to 56 percent in value and 3 percent in volume. Data for 2013 are not yet available.

But what is the actual picture on the ground? “In our case Greek wine imports have been averaging a 15 percent growth per year for the last three years,” says Jim Tsiboukis, vice president of wine importer Esteson Corp in San Jose, California.

“It is an uphill battle to penetrate the US market, especially California that is a premier wine region producing over 30,000 labels of well-recognized wine varietals. There are over 400,000 wines domestic and imported available in the US, so any gains in market penetration of Greek wines we consider a triumph,” he told Kathimerini English Edition.

“Only a few years ago, Greek wines were viewed as substandard. Today, they are becoming the latest fashion, at least in the US. Recognition of Greek wine, as well as distilled spirits and beer makers, is in order as the struggle of Greek wine producers has brought good results in competitions,” he added.

The Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food has realized the potential for growth in Greek wine exports and has nearly doubled funding for the promotion of domestic labels in non-European Union countries: From 36.3 million euros spent in the four-year period from 2010 to 2013, it has budgeted for 72 million euros in the five years from 2014 to 2018.

Yet promoting Greek wine on the ground is far from easy: “In a typical large supermarket in the US there are over 300 Chardonnays on the shelves. Even if we were able to put one or two Greek whites next to them, they would disappear in a sea of whites... In addition, the American consumer is simply not aware of the existence of Greek wine and with names like Assyrtiko or Agiorgitiko it makes it even harder for them to ask for, or remember, them. The only hope lies in introducing the consumer through the institutional trade, such as restaurants etc. That may increase the demand in the retail sector,” said Tsiboukis.

The improving quality of domestic wine is what is helping it penetrate such tough markets, Tsiboukis concludes, attributing his company’s progress primarily to the efforts of the vintners: “We believe and have pegged the foundations for the success of our business on the ‘meraki’ [the passion] and the craftsmanship of the Greek producer.”

ekathimerini.com , Friday Jan 24, 2014 (22:27)  
IMF says Cyprus will need more spending cuts
Greek CDS are back in trading
PPI grows 1.1 percent in June, ELSTAT reports
US billionaire eyes ´significant´ portion of 1 bln euros of new shares from Bank of Cyprus
Doctors probed after pregnant woman is turned away twice in northern Greece
Three gynaecologists at Grevena and Kastoria hospitals in northern Greece are to face disciplinary and judicial action after allegedly failing to help a pregnant woman who needed medical car...
Deputy Supreme Court prosecutor resigns ´for personal reasons´
Deputy Supreme Court Prosecutor Giorgos Koliocostas resigned yesterday citing personal reasons. Koliocostas was due to reach retirement in June 2015. He had served at the Supreme Court since...
Inside News
Greek league recruits Scottish former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
SOCCER
Greek league recruits former referee Dallas
Former referee Hugh Dallas has been appointed as the head referee of the Greek Super League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Wednesday. The 56-year-old Scot ear...
Inside Sports
EDITORIAL
Populism eating up education
The fact that the issue of education is not topping the list of priorities for the current coalition government, but instead, has been left in the hands of incapable politicians is utterly i...
COMMENTARY
A valued but mistreated professional
I did not know much on a personal level about Dimitris Stefanou, Greece’s former administrative reform general secretary who died earlier this week at the age of 46. I did, however, have a s...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek league recruits Scottish former referee Dallas
2. IMF says Cyprus will need more spending cuts
3. Greek CDS are back in trading
4. PPI grows 1.1 percent in June, ELSTAT reports
5. US billionaire eyes ´significant´ portion of 1 bln euros of new shares from Bank of Cyprus
6. Doctors probed after pregnant woman is turned away twice in northern Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. Wine cup used by Pericles found in grave north of Athens
2. IMF's Lagarde not sure yet about debt relief for Greece
3. Six firms submit bids to lease Vouliagmeni beach
4. Coalition submits new proposals for Greek coastline
5. Police arrest one, seek another three over counterfeit goods
6. EU Commissioner Damanaki unlikely to return to Greek politics
Today
This Week
1. Unequal after death
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
4. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
5. Front-line threats
6. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.