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Mt Athos wine at £59

by
15 November 2013

By Christopher Fielden

THE history of wine owes much to the monastic tradition, but a late entry in the field is Aghiou Pavlou, the monastery of St Paul, on Mount Athos.

Although founded in the 12th century, it was not until 2005 that it first planted vines, and it now has ten hectares of Merlot and five hectares of Sauvignon Blanc in production. One of these wines, Tria Adelfia Monoxilitis, has been released in limited quantities - no more than 300 bottles - on to the British market.

Tria Adelfia, Three Brothers, takes its name from a rock formation on the coastline of Mt Athos. The wine is special: the Merlot grapes have been harvested and then left to dry out on beds of straw. The result is a minuscule quantity of sweet wine, which is then aged for a minimum of two years in Slovenian oak barrels.

This wine is available for £59, or can be ordered in a wooden case that also includes a jar of onion relish, and one of grapes steeped in brandy, from the monastery. Orders for Christmas have to be in by 20 November to urbangrains.net, an importer of Greek gastronomic delicacies.

This company was established by two Greek sisters, Nicoleta and Alexandra Theodoru, who discovered the products of the monks of St Paul in the port of Ouranoupoli.

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