Interview by Sophia Ryan, Director of Product & Innovation at Archer Roose
Let's Talk Rodi Rosé!
One of the first things that struck us about Roditis was its reputation as a 'humble' variety. Thomas Anastou, the winemaker behind Rodi Rosé, repeats this in our interview: A 'humble' variety with remarkable potential; in the right hands, like 'turning an ugly duckling into a Prince.' Crafted miles from the birthplace of democracy, this wine is marked by an ethos of hard work and humility, from its connection to place, the people who made it, and its winemaking practice. We think it's really something special. With a dedication to democratizing wines, what better story to tell for our first limited release?
We hope you can crack open a can while enjoying this brief discussion. Opa!
What is special about the Roditis grape?
"The fact that Roditis is the most widely planted white variety. At the same time the basis for hundreds of "simple" and daily white wines, has led to its characterization as a "humble" variety.
In reality, however, it is neither a true white variety, nor “humble.” The color of the skin of its cracks is reddish, and under certain conditions it can offer remarkable and special wines.
The grape is often watery and flabby, but taming its unlimited productivity by selecting vineyards, careful vinification and keeping the wine for short periods on its lees – we can turn the potentially ugly duckling into a prince!
Thus, the modern, high-quality Rhodesians have pure, lemonade characteristics, mineral aromas (depending on the region) and light to medium body and refreshing acidity. The color of the skin and the rich aromatic potential hidden in Roditis are the characteristics that lead to the production of skin-contact wines from Roditis, like Archer Roose Rodi Rose."
Why is Naoussa, Greece, in particular, a special region to make Roditis?
The area of Naoussa is suitable for the cultivation of Roditis due to its altitude and climate.
It can give a balance to the ripening of the grapes and consequently to the wine produced. The ripening impacts characteristics like acidity and alcoholic strength.
The vineyards located in the area of Naoussa have an altitude of about 200 meters above sea level. It’s a temperate climate without excessive dryness or heat. The altitude and climate lead to the maintenance of good acid in the grapes during ripening.
Also, the sugar content and evolution of the aromatic compounds of the variety maintain a good taste balance in the wine.
What would you describe as your defining characteristics as a winemaker?
There are two characteristics that define me as an oenologist. Hard, relentless work and development.
Mainly work, work, work .......... and work. I believe it is the best way to evolve and improve.
What would you describe as the defining characteristics of your winemaking style? What was important to you when you made the Roditis?
The main and very important feature of winemaking was the selection of the appropriate vineyard which is the most important, the gentle management of the grapes and the emergence through the winemaking techniques of the variety and the effect on it of the local microclimate.
Could you share your perspective on the growing themes of ‘transparency’ and ‘sustainability’ in the wine industry at large?
This is part of a growing trend across the wine industry - a number of leading brands have been rushing to strengthen their environmental and climate credentials in recent years.
Obviously it is a positive thing (as long as it does not remain on the surface for a while) for the planet.
As a father of two I would like to do what I can to help improve the situation regarding climate change and pass on to the next generations something better than what I received from the previous ones.