Vidiano

 

The term “to obscure” could have been invented for Greek grape varieties like Vidiano. It is a white grape variety coming from Crete, used to produce white dry whites, sometimes aged in oak. Vidiano has been introduced to commercial production over the last decade. Producers agree on a tremendous quality potential, so essentially this is history in the making.

Vidiano originates from the prefecture of Rethymno but now new plantings spread out, not only to Crete but in other regions of mainland Greece as well. The cultivation of Vidiano vines is pretty much work in progress, with producers facing a very steep learning curve. However, it seems that it is a variety that responds badly to high yields, producing grapes that lack structure. It would be interesting to see Vidiano grown in much cooler climates and/or higher altitudes, despite the fact that it is a late ripener.

Wines from Vidiano are leaning more towards a textural style, rather than exploding aromatics. On the nose there are aromas of stone fruits, flowers and, occasionally, sweet herbs. On the palate, Vidiano has a medium to high alcohol content, a creamy, mouth coating texture, balanced by the medium to high acidity. Although Vidiano always has a broad structure and the acidity is never piercing, its wines are never flabby.

Vidiano is clearly capable of “appellation standard” quality, but, given its recent appearance, it appears only in the PDO Handakas-Candia, as a minor blending partner. Most of the varietal examples are PGI Crete.

Connoisseurs almost have to fight to get access to the minuscule amount of bottles finding their way in the marketplace, so drinking a Vidiano is a challenge by itself. It is a wine that develops its personality beautifully when paired with seafood pasta or charcoal grilled fishes. Although the true ageing ability of Vidiano is yet to be identified for certain, critics believe that these are wines to age for five years or more.

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