Among the dozens of international wine competitions held annually around the world, there is one that stands out, because it concerns exclusively sweet wines, which Greece has a long tradition of.
Thus, in the assessment of sweet wines of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles competition, organized at the end of September in Marsala, Sicily, Greece had the 5th best performance among the 20 participating countries with a total of 525 wines.
Among them, great and well-known labels from beacon regions in the production of sweet wines, such as Port, Jerez, Sauternes, Madeira, Marsala, Tokaji, and Rivesaltes and all kinds of winemaking, from pressing grapes to strengthening and using fruit affected by noble rot.
Greece participated in the competition with 32 wine samples, 15 of which won a silver, gold, or large gold medal. Only Italy, Portugal, France, and Spain won more medals than Greece, while 9 countries including Germany and Hungary (both superpowers in sweet wines), did not win any medals. This specific competition is considered particularly strict: of the 525 wines that participated, only 174 were awarded, i.e. 33%, of which only 10 wines (2%) received the highest distinction of the “Great Gold” medal, among them a Greek one, the iconic Vinsanto 2002 Late Release from the Argyrou Estate in Santorini.
In addition to the Vinsanto of Santorini, many Greek Muscats from Samos, Lemnos, and Kefalonia, wines from Liatiko of Crete, from Monemvasia, and from northern Greece were distinguished in the competition. As the organizers of the competition state in their announcement, “the Greek islands, Tuscany, Loire, and Moravia are establishing themselves as regions for the production of high-quality sweet wines, alongside the leading forces of Porto, Madeira, Charente, and Andalusia”.
Also, it is noteworthy that of the 174 awarded wines, 100 are aged for more than 7 years, which is also confirmed in the Greek entries, such as the cases of the 2010 Lemnos Cooperative Dry Wine (gold), Monemvasia Malvasia 2010 and 2012 of Tsimpidis Winery (gold), Liatikos 2013 of Idaia Winery (gold), Vinsanto 2003, 2004 and 2008 of Venetsanos, Karamolegkos and Santo Wines, respectively (1 silver and 2 gold) and Nektar 2015 from Samos (silver).