George Skouras is the owner and winemaker at Domaine Skouras, located in the Peloponnese of Greece.
George explains how his interest in wine first developed, and discusses his time as a student, working and living in France. He then talks about the early period of his career, making wine on the Greek island of Cephalonia. He describes a key meeting with Spyros Kosmetatos, which would lead to the founding of the Gentilini Winery on Cephalonia, and to market success for a white wine he made there. George shares some of the business philosophies that he developed at that time and which stayed with him later on.
George then discusses his return to an area near where he grew up, Nemea, to focus on the production of wines from the red Agiorgitiko and the white Moscofilero grape varieties. He talks about his first vintages of making wine at Domaine Skouras, and about the resistance he faced trying to sell Agiorgitiko wines in the international markets. This last problem was solved by the addition of some Cabernet Sauvignon into the blend of one of the Skouras wines, a wine called Megas Oenos. That blend was a market success, and led to more interest as well in the native Agiorgitiko wines from Nemea. That interest was shared by George, who spent decades examining the different areas in which Agiorgitiko was grown, and exploring the different qualities that the grape possesses. George came to several conclusions about how to grow and to handle Agiorgitiko, and he shares those thoughts in this interview. He also describes the different growing areas for the grape variety. He then touches on a key change, the recent development of virus-free clones of Agiorgitiko. Further, George gives an assessment of his own wines from Agiorgitiko, and their development over time.
George frequently discusses how both the Greek wine business and the international markets for wine have changed over time, and he gives an account of his own developments in response. He also summarizes his work with little known native grape varieties like Mavrostifo. And George speaks in some detail about Moscofilero, specifically about a darker colored variant of Moscofilero known as Mavrofilero. George talks about his early learning curve with Moscofilero winemaking, and describes the attributes of a Moscofilero wine from the Peloponnese.
Several viticulture and winemaking topics are touched on in this interview, including irrigation, yields, elevation of vineyards, destemming, press wine, cooperage, lees contact, and aging.
If you are curious about the development of Greek wine since the 1970s, this is a key perspective to take into account. George is one of a generation of Greek winemakers who have decidedly shaped the Greek wine scene of today.