Corfù Island’s history is closely linked to viticulture, and its wine was famous in ancient times, even if the pedoclimatic characteristics have never favoured its large-scale production. Confirming the island’s close link with wine, ancient coins made on the island were found with reproductions of subjects such as vines, wine glasses and representations of Bacchus.
The ancient Greeks did not spare themselves in praising the wine of the Faeci (navigators of Greek mythology, inhabitants of the land of Scheria – identified as the ancient inhabitants of Corcira, today’s Corfu – according to the thesis of Thucydides). In the 16th century, documents of the Serenissima Republic mentioned the wine tax of the island as the most important revenue for the administration on the island.
At the end of the 17th century the Venetians adopted a measure that carved the fate of the island’s wine production: a limit to the cultivation of vines and a compulsory replacement with olive trees. This policy led to a gradual reduction of the island’s vineyard areas of up to about 5%.
Today’s production is made by a few producers, most of them being family-run businesses. The ampelographic landscape of the island is quite varied, with some international vine varieties, but also a considerable number of native vine varieties that are very often vinified together.
During my last trip to Corfu, I had the opportunity to visit Goulis Winery, a small family-run producer.
For Goulis Winery, wine is a family tradition, being part of their history and is a passion. For years, the wine production was just for private consumption, only being appreciated by a small circle of friends and neighbours. Goulis Winery is located on the west coast of the island, about 20km from Corfu Town and 5km from Paleokastritsa, in the picturesque area of Liapades.
In 1992, the decision to evolve passion for wine into a real business, with the goal to create unique local wines started.
KAKOTRIGIS – 2019
Kakotrigis is Corfu’s most popular white wine variety and is exclusively cultivated on the island. Its name, which means, “bad harvest”, refers to the fact that the stems of the grapes are so hard to cut, which makes the harvest even more difficult.
A medium-bodied, dry wine with light straw yellow colour and green shades. On the nose, it is quite fruity with citrus and lemongrass flavours. Fermentation and maturation take place in stainless-steel tanks.
It pairs with seafood, fish and low-fat cheese.
AMOROSOS – 2018
A dry red-ruby colour and medium-bodied wine. On the nose, it has intense, roasted aromas of red fruits, liquorice and a hint of dark chocolate. On the palate, it is a really intense wine, with average tannins and is quite persistent. Fermentation and maturation take place in stainless-steel tanks.
It is food friendly, and a perfect match for the Corfiot traditional dish of “Pastitsada” and game.
PEPEROSA – 2019
Peperosa, made from the local variety Skopelitiko, produces a limited number of bottles evey year. It has a delicate light pink colour, is dry and medium-bodied, and on the nose, it has floral hints of peony and rose overall, with fruity aromas of wild strawberries. On the palate, the wine offers a fragrant pink pepper spicyness, exactly where its name came from. Fermentation and maturation take place in stainless-steel tanks.
This is one to enjoy with mediterranean seafood salad, but would also be perfect for a summer aperitivo.
Producer: Winery Goulis