Thursday March 5, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o 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)  
Industrial products offset agricultural exports’ losses
BoC disposing of 41 properties across Greece
RAE offers gift to natural gas power plants
Emergency intervention by BoG to acquire T-bills
Police, ministry dodge blame for migrants order
The Greek Police and the Interior Ministry on Wednesday both dodged the blame after new police guidelines on migration control were issued and then revoked within a few hours following a veh...
Speaker says laws may not stand
Parliament Speaker Zoe Constantopoulou suggested on Wednesday that some laws voted by less than 151 of 300 MPs when Golden Dawn MPs being held in pretrial custody were not allowed to cast ba...
Inside News
SOCCER
Super League restarts, but behind closed doors
Deputy Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis announced on Wednesday the resumption of the Super League this weekend after it was suspended last week following crowd trouble at the Athens derb...
SOCCER
Marinakis fines Olympiakos players
Olympiakos president Evangelos Marinakis on Monday fined the team 500,000 euros for disappointing performances and called on them to make a «sacrifice» to win trophies or leave. "Olympiakos ...
Inside Sports
FOCUS
Greek officials have ruffled feathers in Brussels for not having good diplomatic manners
Strapped for cash and under pressure to deliver on reforms, Greece's new radical government has ruffled feathers in Brussels by not respecting the diplomatic niceties of the negotiating tabl...
COMMENTARY
Up the creek without a paddle
One of the issues that dominated the country’s pre-election debate was whether SYRIZA, which eventually won the vote, had worked out a plan B. It was clear from the start that its much-hyped...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Industrial products offset agricultural exports’ losses
2. BoC disposing of 41 properties across Greece
3. RAE offers gift to natural gas power plants
4. Emergency intervention by BoG to acquire T-bills
5. Valavani offers debt penalty write-off
6. Police, ministry dodge blame for migrants order
more news
Today
This Week
1. Up the creek without a paddle
2. Greek officials have ruffled feathers in Brussels for not having good diplomatic manners
3. Panousis says no official decision on undocumented migrants
4. More Germans booking holidays in Greece, tourism chief says
5. For Greece, a lesson from Ireland, Kenny says
6. ECB glimpse of Cyprus debt shows limits of bank cleanup
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. A fierce battle looms
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. The Greek tax drama
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.