Doric red

Doric red - natural Greek wines - Doric Wines - Giorgos Balatsouras - Delphi - Kosmas grape variety

Kosmas (or “Kosmadia” as it was traditionally known), is a rare red variety of the mountainous Phocis region in Central Greece. It was saved from extinction and was recently officially recorded by the Greek authorities, thanks to the personal efforts of organic grower Giorgos Balatsouras. A truly bucolic grape with an alpine flare and fresh fruits and perfumy herbs, purely reflecting on the place it was born in, a high-altitude fir forest.

  • Grower: Doric Wines
  • Vintage: 2018
  • Grapes: Kosmas 100%
  • Appellation: –
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Bottle: 750ml
  • Viticulture: Organic (certified)
  • Vinification: Manually harvested and hand selected, destemmed, wild fermented in open wood fermenters in ambient temperatures with no additives, with fir branches and thyme for cap management according to centuries-old traditions. A brief stay in neutral oak follows the 60-day maceration and slow fermentation. The resin secretion from the fir, supports an almost unsulfured bottling.
  • Tasting Notes: Dark ruby red color, loads of fresh forest fruit, round and soft on the palate with smooth tannins and an intense aftertaste.
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  • Organic (certified)
  • Climate: Alpine / mountainous (Heavy Winters, Mild Summers)
  • Soil: Light limestone soils with excellent drainage
  • Vine age: Planted in 2002
  • Altitude: 800m
  • Slope: 8-10%
  • Planting density: 2m / row, 1.2m / plant
  • Yield: 2.7 – 3.3kg / plant (900 – 1,250kg / ha)
  • Irrigation: None
  • Spraying: 2-3 times copper in solid form, 3-4 times natural sulfur
  • Harvesting: Manually in crates


  • Pressing: None (free run)
  • Temperature Control: None (low natural temperatures of up to 15 Celsius)
  • Maceration: Open wood tanks for 15 days
  • Yeast: Ambient (spontaneous fermentation first in wood fermenters and then in stainless steel tanks, for 30-40 days)
  • Malolactic: Naturally completed
  • Maturation: 2-7 months in stainless steel tanks and old wooden barrels
  • Clarification: None (natural thanks to the Winter’s low temperatures))
  • Filtration: None
  • Production: 2,500 lt
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Acidity: 5.30 gr/l
  • RS: 5 gr/l
  • Total sulfites: 10 mg/l
  • Certification: Organic Grapes
  • Bottle: 750ml

Giorgos Balatsouras has been farming and vinifying rare local grapes, with organic certification, since 1998. His love for his birthplace, the village of Koniakos, which is very close to the ancient site of Delphi and the lake Mornou, shows in the honesty of the wines, which are made with the same methods that his family used for generations. This gives his wines a clearly traditional character.

Giorgos started making wine to preserve those family traditions, which were starting to disappear with the demise of many remote Greek villages and their vineyards, such as Koniakos. Koniakos sits in a fir forest, at an altitude of 800 meters, and is itself an alpine and pristine environment, far away from any human intervention. It is also here, where the bucolic “Kosmas” red grape was born, which is locally also known as “Gousmadia”. Giorgos single-handedly saved the variety from extinction, by having it officially recognized by the Greek authorities, and devoting all his red wine production to the tiny vineyard that he inherited from his family.

The area around Koniakos has been inhabited since ancient times, and considered the hub of the Dorians, one of the four main ancient Greek tribes. The continental / alpine micro-climate, creates favorable conditions for slow spontaneous fermentations. Farming is almost archaic, with no irrigation anywhere close by. Vinification adheres to the traditions, which are perfectly adapted to the local resources; open wood fermenters are covered with fir branches for cap management, with river stones keeping the skins submerged in their must. The fir secretes its flavorless resin, which adds texture to the wine, but also protects it thanks to its antiseptic properties. Giorgos does not add anything to the wine and does not interfere any further, with the objective of preserving the pristine and virgin nature of the local environment, which has always been clean of human intervention and pollution.

Delphi is the famous ancient site of the homonymous oracle, the center of “Pythia”, the high priestess that gave advice and influences some of the most important decisions of the ancient world. Visitors can explore the ruins of the Apollo temple, and the oracle itself.

Not far from Delphi is the picturesque port of Galaxidi.