I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker George Skouras

Episode 486 of I’ll Drink to That! features George Skouras of Domaine Skouras. Domaine Skouras is a winery located in the Peloponnese of Greece.

When George Skouras began his winemaking career in the 1980s, there was a total of 70 wineries in all of Greece. Today there are over one thousand. The big growth in the number of Greek wineries has, over the decades, been accompanied by wholesale changes of technique in the same period of time. Lowering grape yields. Picking earlier to preserve freshness. Putting grapes in a cold room overnight. Being very mindful about skin contact. Being observant of pressing regimes. Fermenting in stainless steel. Élevage in French oak barrique. Blending international grape varieties with local ones. To listen to George Skouras talk about the development of his winemaking protocol is to hear about a kind of winemaking that is totally different from what had existed in Greece before the War. And totally different from the Retsina-soaked stereotype of rustic Greek wine. The innovations of George and other Greek winemakers of his generation would become the dominant model for Greek winemaking all across the country. As George phrases it, the changes were like a fire, and they spread quickly. Today George is ready to put some of that change in context, to re-evaluate some of his choices, and to consider whether the present moment asks for something a bit different. It is the kind of conversation you can only have with someone who has witnessed profound changes close up as a participant for decades, and is now ready to tell you what he knows.

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Photograph courtesy of Domaine Skouras.

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine