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This month, ambassador of POD Naoussa Angie Giannakodakis hosted a series of Naoussa Wine roadshow dinners to demonstrate why xinomavro is the next big thing in wine
With 27 years in the wine industry, for wine educator and consultant Jenny Polack, wine from Greece was never on her radar. In fact far from it. Past experience from working in bottle shops that stocked mavrodafni and retsina that were kept on shelves for the few local elderly Greeks who bought them, had left a bad taste in her mouth. So it was a big surprise for her when an organic retsina in France five years ago kickstarted a love affair that would see her take a whirlwind trip to Greece's wine regions.
"I tasted it and was like 'Wow! This is quite lovely'," Polack recalls.
"Greece to me is quite interesting because I think it's changing in a very dynamic way and it's exciting to watch. There is life in Greece after crap retsina afterall!"
Someone who agrees wholeheartedly is Angie Giannakodakis, sommelier and co-owner of Epocha and Elyros, the only Cretan restaurant in Australia awarded a hat in the Age Good Food Guide 2017.
Having developed a passion for Greek wine while working in Greece as a sommelier, since returning to Australia in 2003 Giannakodakis has been on a mission to get Greek wine on Australian's radar and on to the winelists of the best restaurants across the country.
So when she was asked to become the official ambassador of POD (Protected Designation of Origin) Naoussa, a wine zone in the north of Greece comprising 19 vineyards that specialise in the indigenous variety xinomavro, she jumped at the chance and has been working hard at it ever since.
Over the past week she has hosted a delegation of wine producers from Naoussa, including Yianni Stergiou from Novacert, Maria Kelesidou from Kelesidis Estate, and Stratos Katis from Vaeni Naoussa, to present five impressive food and wine events to the public and industry members.