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P.D.O. Rodos (O.P.A.P.) / Ρόδος
Description to P.D.O. Rodos (O.P.A.P.) / Ρόδος
With around 1,400 km², the largest island of the Dodecanese group and fourth largest in Greece in the Aegean Sea. It is also called the "Pearl of the Mediterranean". The capital with three ports is also called Rhodes, the second most important city is Lindos. The island lies between the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa and was therefore already of great importance for trade in ancient times. The Phoenicians probably brought viticulture to the island before the Greeks. According to Homer (8th century BC), Rhodes took part in the Trojan War with nine ships. In 408 BC, the three largest cities of Rhodes allied and founded a new city on the site of today's Rhodes. Famous were the schools of philosophers, philologists and orators and the city was a centre of shipping, trade and (also wine) culture. In the 7th century BC, the island developed into a major wine exporter to the ancient world.
The unsuccessful siege of Rhodes by Demetrios in 305 to 304 BC is one of the most famous wars in ancient history. The Rhodians sold the siege machinery left behind for the huge sum of 300 talents and used it to erect the statue of the sun god Helios, one of the seven wonders of the world. The sculptor Charis from Lindos produced the bronze figure of the "Colossus of Rhodes", 31 m high, in 12 years of work around 280 BC. It is said to have stood in the entrance to the port of Mandraki; ships passed through its legs (today it is considered certain that the Colossus must have stood on the mainland). The figure was completely destroyed after only 66 years by a great earthquake in 226 BC.
Due to the mild climate (there is only spring and summer) and 300 days of sunshine a year, Rhodes is perfectly suited for viticulture or the cultivation of vines. During the winter months there is a lot of rain and the summer also offers cooling winds from the north. The vineyards cover about 1,200 hectares of vines. The phylloxera also reached the island, but the special composition of the soils prevented it from spreading. There are still numerous ungrafted and very old vines, especially on the slopes of Mount Atavyros. The picture shows a vineyard in the traditional soil rearing method, which is very similar to Kouloura on the island of Santorini.
There are three appellations classified as POP (formerly OPAP and OPE). Predominantly in the south, the red wine Rodos Red is made from the variety Amorgiano (Mandilaria) and predominantly in the north, the white wine Rodos White is also made from the variety Athiri Aspro. Both are available in dry, semi-dry and medium sweet flavours. The sweet dessert wine Muscat of Rodos is produced from the pure variety Moschato Aspro (Muscat Blanc). It is produced as vin doux naturel (fortified) and vin naturellement doux. If the grapes come from particularly old vineyards with low yields, the designation Vin Doux Grand Cru may be used on the label. A large part of the grapes are purchased and vinified by the CAÏR winegrowers' cooperative. This also produces a bottle-fermented sparkling wine from Athiri Aspro (PGE = country wine). Other major producers are Emery Wines and Tsantali.