The Assyrtiko “Clay” Orange Wine Gaia Wines was vinified in modern clay pots, the successor to the traditional amphora. The grapes were macerated on their skins with the fermenting must for seven days, producing a rich golden-orange coloured must. Maceration, fermentation, which took place spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, and ageing all took place in modern clay spheres. Following a minimal intervention philosophy, the Assyrtiko “Clay” Orange Wine Gaia Wines was vinified without additions and not under temperature controlled conditions. When fermentation was complete, it was aged for four years on its lees, without bâtonnage, in the same clay spheres in which it was fermented. The wine was bottled without fining.
The ancient vineyard is situated on the beautiful island of Santorini, where the grapes come from extremely old, ungrafted vines with roots that date back over three centuries. The self-rooted, 70 to 80-year old vines are trained in the traditional Santorini bush vine method, are very low yielding, producing concentrated juice. The soil is calcareous; a porous soil formed by volcanic activity, mainly consisting of pumice and is therefore extremely poor in nutrients. Organic matter, including Phylloxera, does not survive in the soil, hence the ancient roots of the vines date back to the Prephylloxera era. The climate is typically Aegean, with mild winters and relatively cool summers. Good rainfall in winter, typically hot days from late June to early July and night-time humidity in July and August all contribute to producing high quality fruit. The combination of low yields, with the distinctive soil and the old vine Assyrtiko variety, which naturally produces wines with high alcohol and high acidity, results in exuberant wines with a strong personality.
Gaia Wines Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos who was one of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution . Operating two different wineries they make cutting edge wines in both Nemea and Santorini.The Gaia Wines main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide.