The list of minor refinements made gets longer each year. The production can be expanded but we have to see what people think of the finished product. Early versions which were shown to friends including winemakers, members of the trade and other guinea pigs were wines with names such as “SWT1. Component 2 70%, Comp 3 30%”. I explained that SWT stood for Sweet Wine Trial, they told me to work on the marketing.
I have an arrangement with Vakakis Wines, a super new outfit run by Nick Vakakis, who will produce and bottle the wines and now have our first bottling. This is the 2018 vintage and the eagle-eyed will notice that it is a “Wine of Greece”, not a “Samos”. I should explain that this was done for practical, not ideological reasons. The wine I have named “Kybernetes”.
The back label reads as follows:-
Kybernetes means ‘helmsman’ in Ancient Greek and here refers to Ankaios, helmsman of the Argo, the ship Jason used in the quest for the Golden Fleece. The Fleece is sometimes taken to be a symbol for the Pelasgian wisdom and it was this, rather than mere gold, that the heroes were seeking. In the myth, Jason brings back Medea with her terrible knowledge of magic. But Colchis, modern Georgia, had another secret to pass on; wine. After returning from Colchis, Ankaios, king of the island of Samos, planted a vineyard making him the first named man to plant vines in Europe.
Kybernetes is made from White Muscat old vines grown on terraces high above the Aegean sea. The grapes were hand harvested at 14.5˚ baumé then dried in the sun for aweek. This traditional process, Liastos, concentrates sugars and charges grapes with anti-oxidant properties. After a rigorous selection, the grapes were pressed in a basket press. The must, now 21.5˚, was run to small newish oak. It fermented naturally and stayed on the protection of its lees for a year. No sulphur or additives were used.
Kybernetes also means a guide or a navigator and I too have searched the world for wisdom in wine. I came to this island on my travels. Then, (following ancient traditions), nature, friends and I created this sweet wine, which is fresh, aromatic and full of life. I hope you will love it!
Produced & bottled for Timothy Clarke Oinos by Vakakis Winery. Samos. Vin Naturellement Doux. Product of Greece. 500ml. 13.5%
My thanks to the Christou family, to Nikos Vakakis and Maria at Southern Wine Roads.