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Greece to be featured at the Nye Beach Gallery March 16, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece Islands Aegean, Hellenic Light Americas.
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Hillside buildings at Fira, Santorini. Typical architecture on the island begins in caves and extends outward to terraces overlooking smaller islands of the volcanic crater.

Photographs of the Greek Islands and the Acropolis by Elizabeth Atly will be on exhibit at the Nye Beach Gallery and paired with a Greek wine tasting featuring Santorini wines for the gallery’s weekly wine tasting. An artist’s reception will be held at the same time, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, March 15. Nye Beach Gallery is located at 715 NW Third St. Atly’s exhibit will be on display through the month of March.

Through several vocations as a French professor, residential designer/architectural historian, and filmmaker, Atly, who recently transplanted from Portland to Newport, has avidly pursued the avocation of photography, with occasional one-artist shows and inclusion in group shows.

16-03-08_santorini.jpg  The photographs on exhibit at the Nye Beach Gallery were taken in Greece in 1996.

Santorini is the only volcanic island in the Aegean, said by locals to be the site of the sunken city of Atlantis. Prior to visiting the island, Atly considered only black and white photography, nurtured to life in the darkroom to become “art.”

On a walk through the colorful Fira neighborhood the morning after embarking from the ferry, Atly returned to her room and put away the black and white film. This show is a result of that decision.

Atly is a founding member of the For ARTSAKE Gallery, soon to be open at 258 NW Coast St. in Nye Beach. Her work and that of the nine other For ARTSAKE members will be on display at the new gallery. Watch for opening information.

The first thing you notice about Santorini is the whiteness of the buildings, all massed on the ridges of the crescent-shaped island, with green and rocky hills and fields between the villages. Just as the white shapes up close reveal a kaleidoscope mingling subtle and outrageous color, the fields reveal various phenomena. Olive trees and even prickly pear cactus grow, seemingly out of rock, and in springtime, one sees fields on rolling hills, full of what appear to be crowns of thorns. These are the starts of the grape vines from which the remarkable Santorini wines are cultivated. Training them into circular patterns on the ground protects the starts from the harsh winds that can tear through these islands.

Santorini cuisine for the traveler on a budget consists of variations of souvlaki, chicken and potatoes roasted together, Greek salads and spaghetti cooked in a thinner tomato sauce than its Italian counterpart, subtly spiced with bail. Lobster and other seafoods are plentiful, served up with orzo pasta and local seasonal vegetables; and what would a Greek meal be without olives, feta, olive oil, Greek bread, all accompanied by ouzo, or retsina, or best of all, one of the delicious Santorini wines.

For more information contact Wendy Engler at the Nye Beach Gallery at 265-3292.

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Greek wine producers toast increased business February 13, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Wine And Spirits.
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Greek wine producers toast rise in consumption and promotion > Bucking the European trend, the consumption of wine has increased in the Greek market in recent years, reaching 3.7 million hectoliters, from 3.2 million hl in 2005, a Hellastat survey suggested.

Today in Greece there are 300 varieties of grape cultivated by 150,000 farmers, with production reaching 400 wine producers, the survey adds.

In the 1990s, the number of wine producers rose significantly. Furthermore, several local companies have been applying restructuring programs in order to improve their internal operations, production costs and the quality and variety of their products.

In 2006, the volume of Greek production fell to 3.9 million hl (a 4.72 percent decline from 2005). Some 90.5 percent of production concerned table wine, which has remained virtually the same over the last few years. Despite the drop in production over the 2000-2005 period, there has been a gradual rise in reserves, reaching 282,200 tons in 2005. However in 2006 reserves declined to just 225,800 tons.

In the 2005-06 season, Greek wine exports fell to 315,000 hl, a decline of 9.5 percent from 2004-05, while imported quantities came to 265,000 hl.

The challenges for the market are multiple, say the companies participating in the survey. The sector needs more favorable regulations from the European Union, such as a ban on using sugar for enriching wine and promotion of European wine in third countries, to name just two. In addition, the sector is targeting an increase in consumption by young people, the development of organic vines and the improvement of marketing practices for the promotion of the name and the quality of Greek wine on both the local and the international markets.

Greeks opt for cheaper and red wine September 28, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Wine And Spirits.
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One of the most important problems that the Greek wine industry is facing is the absence of a register for vineyards and wine producers, the IOBE report suggests.

Wine consumers are gradually turning to lower-priced products imported from countries outside the European Union as well as to private labels, according to a study by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE). Growth in consumption is expected to continue at least up to 2009.

Bottled wine, particularly red, is the top choice of Greeks. Against this background, imports are showing an average annual increase of 7 percent, while exports are steadily decreasing.

The dynamic entrance to the global market of the so-called “new” countries such as Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand, have changed the landscape in the wine market as their production costs are less. Consequently, imports have grown from 20.99 million euros in 1999 to 31.21 million in 2006, whereas exports declined at an average rate of 1.9 percent per year and at end-2005 they totaled 59.67 million, down from 70.27 million in 1999.

The IOBE report shows that domestic demand for bottled wine grew annually at an average rate of 2.3 percent in the period 1999-2005, with turnover amounting to 156 million. In terms of volume, wine consumption is growing at a rate of 7.5 percent annually, while consumption of bulk wine shows a marginal growth of 0.4 percent per year.

Red wine has boosted its market share, from 10.5 percent in 1999 to 21.6 percent in 2005. Wines with Appellation of Origin of Superior Quality have also grown in popularity, from 6.4 percent in 1999 to 10.9 percent in 2005. In contrast, dessert wines are showing a steady annual decline of 7 to 9 percent.

The IOBE report highlights the domination of the industry by five companies with a total market share of 64.5 percent. It adds that the industry faces three main problems: the lack of a register for wine producers, the high prices of local bottled wines in restaurants, and the inadequacy of checks to curb the use in wine production of the same grapes two and even three times.

Grapes harvest in northern Greece smaller than expected September 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Wine And Spirits.
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Considerably fewer grapes were harvested this year in Northern Greece.

This was announced by the Evangelos Tsantalis SA company, the largest wine producer in Greece. The vineyards of Mount Athos were particularly hard hit, only around half the grapes could be utilised for wine production. The weather conditions in northern Greece were problematic throughout 2007.

Extremely high temperatures were accompanied by severe drought. The heat led to a significant reduction in the volume of grapes harvested, with losses of up to 50% being no exception. There was quite a lot of rain during budding and shoot development, this damaged young shoots and further reduced the yield.

The lengthy drought led to premature ripening of the vines. Overall, the vintage produced red wines with tremendously intense colours, low acidity and a high alcohol content.

Grape volumes were down overall accross northern Greece. According to experts, the volume of the grape harvest has been reduced by around 20% in Maronia, Thraki, by 30§ in Chalkidiki, by 40% in Rapsani, and even by 50% on Mount Athos.