The concept of 50 Great Greek Wines (50 GGW) slowly matured in my mind and was the expected evolution of my engagement with Greek wine. Getting to know Greek producers, talking to them and tasting their wines led me to share their concerns. I wondered about what needed to be done to make Greek wine more recognizable internationally and help it avoid the generic category of ‘The Others’.
This was the main reason I started karakasis.mw to strengthen the voice of Greek producers internationally. My articles are inspired by the authentic stories of people who want to stand out with their wines. I felt I brought treasures to the surface that needed to be noticed by the world. My joy increased with every discovery, every recent attempt by an ‘unknown’ producer who laid his soul in the vineyard and cellar.
What the 50 GGW is not
50 GGW is the evolution of this idea and is not a competition of the kind we are familiar with. So it is easier for me to start describing what it isn’t.
It’s not another wine competition where everyone receives a prize that is of little value in most cases. But, unfortunately, this is an ordinary happening and not only in the world of wine. Everyone gets a prize, but in the end, very few are happy.
It was of utmost importance to us to not repeat this modus operandi but to actively contribute to the Greatness (grandeur) of Greek wine – now we all know that Greek wines are great. To achieve this, we pursued a specific philosophy: nominating 50 Great Greek Wines with the greatest possible reliability and creating a platform of extroversion and promoting these wines.
The 50 GGW vision
Therefore, the 50 Great Greek Wines is an idea that wants to give new impetus to the extroversion of Greek wine, highlighting something concrete, the 50 Great Greek Wines. It is essentially a pedestal on which only 50 winners stand at each edition that showcases the grandeur of Greek wine. There could be more, but for the time being, the golden 50 suffice. I do not rule out that this could change, and I honestly hope that we will be talking about the 100 Great Greek Wines in a few years.
The tasting part focuses on awarding few winners so that the prizes matter. What would be the significance of the whole idea if every, or almost every, wine were actually awarded? The small number of award-winning wines adds value to the winners and the entire concept.
The exciting thing is that although there are 50 winners, there are no losers as wines that do not enter the list are not announced. This way, producers can only gain by their participation. If they enter the 50 GGW, they can join a major league; nothing is lost if they are not included. Contrarily, even, in this case, they are given valuable feedback from the judges, which is at their disposal.
The 50 GGW central ideas
The central idea is simple to verbalize but challenging to implement. But, we like to grapple with complex projects, which is why we became involved in it.
We believe that all wines should have an equal starting point and must only be evaluated by reputable judges with an unimpeachable evaluation process and leaves absolutely no room for questioning. We also believe that the true essence of 50 GGW starts on the day after the announcement of the 50 GGW with the actions of 50 GGW | More, and we consider that 50 GGW’s reciprocity is exactly what distinguishes it from other competitions.
For example, in the 2020 edition, we implemented the following:
• We issued a Digital Book with the award-winning wines available for everyone at greatgreekwines.com/book-2020/
• We held events in Spain (physical presence), France (physical presence), England (physical presence), Poland (on-line), Greece (on-line), and Cyprus (on-line).
• We collaborated with retailers and wine shops and cooperated with restaurants both within Greece and overseas, the lists of which boast the wines of 50 GGW.
• All of the above were rewarded with references in the international and domestic press and a three-page featured article about 50 GGW from 2Board, the official airport magazine.
To conclude, 50GGW reflects our concern and passion for the future of Greek wine. If we manage to call attention to Greek wine through 50 GGW, all will benefit; that is our reasoning, that is what we see for the future.
Yiannis Karakasis MW