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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 June 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 JUNE 2017 15 FOOD FOR THOUGHT mill, winery, and m in NW Crete in the village of Anoskeli in the foothills en taste Anoskeli’s olive oil and wine After a guided tour, guests taste the wares in the Anoskeli modern tasting-exhibition hall Anoskeli’s vineyards and old buildings across the valley in their olive oil - an impressive amount for health-conscious consumers like me. George explained that the truck full of olive leaves I saw outside the mill reflected Anoskeli’s focus on environmentally friendly, sustainable production. They recycle and reuse as much as they can. The leaves and branches become animal feed and fertiliser. Olive waste is taken to factories that extract pomace oil. The pits are returned and burnt to heat village homes in the winter. Nothing is wasted. Efi guided me through the winery, explaining the winemaking process as she pointed out the machines used in it, as well as the filters, stainless steel tanks, bottling machine, racks of bottles (which can hold 35,000 litres), and 30 French oak barrels. In the family’s vineyards in and around Anoskeli, the grape harvest occurs from the middle of August to September, while bottling is done in March. In 2009 the Anoskeli SA company began producing and selling wine made from the grapes grown on family property in the village - both Greek (Vidiano, Vilana and Assyrtiko) and French (Syrah, Grenache Rouge and Cabernet Sauvignon) varieties. They use the brand name Ano Playa (meaning Upper Mountainside) for their dry white, dry red and dry rosé wines and focus on quality more than quantity, producing just 20,000 bottles and 1 barrel of organic wine last year. The Ano Playa red wine - a blend of French grape varieties - features aromas of wood, vanilla, citrus, ripe red fruit, and smoke. Experimenting with new flavours as they explore the multiple possibilities offered by the Cretan soil in their area, Anoskeli SA recently launched a limited edition of a new semi-sweet red wine labelled ‘Anoferia’ with “amazing aromas of strawberries and cherries,” according to Efi, as well as a premium tsikoudia (raki) called ‘Ano Kato’ which means upside down - since that’s the way the shot glass is turned as Greeks drink their raki! Since 2014, Anoskeli’s spacious tasting room has been introducing visitors from around the world to traditional Cretan products. Called ‘Eirini’ (meaning Peace) after the Mamidakis siblings’ mother to honour her love and the strong values she shared with her children, the tasting room also hosts artistic and cultural events, bringing new life to this rural village. Anoskeli SA received 10,000 visitors in 2016. Guided tours of the Anoskeli facilities - and, when requested in advance, the olive groves, vineyards, and village - are available to the public year-round, followed by tastings featuring extra virgin olive oil, five different wines, and tsikoudia (raki) accompanied by Cretan snacks. Still fully engaged in this branch of their business, the family is proud that its olive oil factory and winery, its national and international sales and awards, and its tours and tasting room can honour and promote their birthplace. As their website indicates, they continue to “focus on excellent quality, traditional values, and support of the local society.” *For more Greek olive oil stories by Lisa Radinovsky, visit www.greekliquidgold. com See the Anoskeli website for details of tours and tasting sessions.
10 June 2017
24 June 2017