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Vice President Athenee Importers

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Samos' new look

2014 marks the year where UWC Samos, Greece & Europe's oldest cooperative, undergoes a face lift on all of its dessert wines.  With the intent to modernize and increase market awareness for the famous dessert wines made from the Muscat grape, UWC Samos has transitioned to a 500ml bottle with cleaner, simpler labeling for each wine.
UWC Samos Vin Doux
The new bottle format and vintages are making their way into general distribution now as the previous vintages & bottle formats are being sold through.  In the new format, the current vintages are:
Vin Doux 2013
Grand Cru 2013
Anthemis 2008
Nectar 2010
You can find more information on the various styles of the above dessert wines on our website by clicking here.
It is also important to note that while some of the larger, negociant houses of Greece sell "Samos" wines, they are NOT the same as the wines from UWC Samos.  Those wines are non vintage and are not of the same caliber as the wines above.  They are cheaper alternatives that do not show the true potential of the Muscat grape and the wines from Samos.

Red Donkey - the newest addition from Santorini Brewing Co

Last fall we introduced Santorini Brewing Co's Crazy Donkey IPA to the United States.  This is Greece's only IPA beer and also, Santorini's only microbrewery.  This April, the first shipment of Red Donkey ale reached US shores.

Red Donkey is available in 330ml glass bottles and comes in 6-pack carriers.  Red Donkey is an ale style beer that is refreshing with hoppy notes.  Look for Red Donkey to make its appearance across the US as the year progresses. 
Please note that due to the upcoming high season on the island, exports will begin to wind down to make way for local demand.  While we have done our best to have enough stock for the summer months, there is only so much we can predict.  Quantities will remain based on demand.  Once our stock is depleted, we will resume shipments in October.

Introducing Karavitakis Winery - our newest addition from Crete

After many years of searching for a winery partner on Crete, we are happy to announce that we have begun working with Karavitakis Winery.  Located on the western side of Crete near the City of Chania, the Karavitakis Winery is family owned and operated.
Entrance to the winery

Currently we import four labels from the winery in two different lines - Little Prince & Klima. 

The Little Prince line is made from Cretan grape varieties and both red & white wines are unoaked.
Here are the labels:
Kotsifali & Mandilari
Vidiano & Vilana

 Klima, the word for "vineyard" or "vine" in Greek, represents the higher end line that also highlights Cretan grape varieties.  The labels feature ancient Cretan text, aka Linear B, which is an alphabet that has been linked to the Minoan civilization.  The text is the literal translation for "Klima".
Here are the labels:
A Kotsifali & Merlot blend

100% Vidiano
What's exciting for us is that Crete is a region where there is huge potential for it to increase in prominence.  There are many indigenous varieties that exist nowhere else in Greece (or the world for that matter).  Getting the customer to try these varieties and explore outside their comfort zone is our main challenge.  Niko Karavitakis, the owner's son, has a progressive mind and has a positive vision for the future of the winery.  One very cool project that will soon come to fruition here is keg wine.  We will soon release an estate kegged wine in the US that will be solely from Cretan grape varieties. 

Currently, distribution has started in Oregon, California, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Massachusetts with more states coming on board in the near future.

Stay tuned for updates!