I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Greek wines, if only because there are so few books on the subject.
The book has its shortcomings, though.
The maps are too small; they are black and white diagrams; and they only show the administrative boundaries of each region.
I wouldn't necessarily expect them to show vineyard locations (although it would have been nice!), but at least they should show the geography of each region with its mountains, rivers and valleys since those greatly affect the character of wines. It looks as if the publishers were to cheap to licence some half-decent maps.
The indexing is inadequate. Wine labels are not indexed, so you cannot look up a specific wine, unless you know the producer. For example, if you remember you tasted a wine called "Amethystos" or "Magiko Vouno" you cannot look it up unless you also know who makes it. And then you still have to read through the text to find the couple of lines referring to that particular wine. It wouldn't have taken much effort to index those wines and it would have made the available information so much more useful.
Only few local grape varieties (about a dozen whites and ten or so reds) are described, although the book does mention that there are about 200-300 indigenous varieties. I don't expect a full description for each, but at least a list with their names and some very basic information with references on where to find more.
The text contains a lot of valuable information, and for that alone it is worth getting. But it doesn't get any points for writing style.
Overall, I feel that if this guide was written for one of the better known wine producing countries, it would have difficulty justifying its price against the competition.
But given the lack of similar guides for Greece, one has to commend the effort and hope that in future editions it will be improved.
Greek wine has made great strides in the last twenty years, even more so in the last decade: to some, it may well be the best-kept secret of the wine world. Young, ambitious winemakers, educated at top schools abroad have been at the forefront of the new developments. This new blood explores the infinite possibilities Greece's variety of native grapes and terroir present for making good, and often great wine.
Lazarakis' book is a useful snapshot of the state of greek wine which comes at a convenient point in the industry's development. The book is well-written, providing an overview of the grapes planted in Greece -native and foreign- the regions, and the laws. Extensive producer profiles form a further part of the book. If you, like me, have been stunned by greek wine and seek a guide through the labyrinth (pun intended) of grapes and locations, this is most certainly a good buy. The only omission is the lack of elaboration on how to pronounce the grapes.
Lazarakis is Greece's first Master of Wine, which gives him impeccable credentials to write this book.
Just don't forget to buy the wines!
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