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The creator of the most expensive wine in the world tackles the vines of Naxos

Featured The creator of the most expensive wine in the world tackles the vines of Naxos

Creator of the €30,000-a-bottle Liber Pater, Bordeaux winemaker Loïc Pasquet is launching a tax-free €550-a-bottle Greek wine to promote a quintessentially Dionysian terroir: Naxos.

Patron deity of the island of Naxos, Dionysus sits enthroned as depicted on the ancient tetradrachm found in Naxos, where Loïc Pasquet produces his new wine. Releasing 1,050 bottles of the 2021 vintage at a price of €550 ex VAT/bottle, the Bordeaux winemaker can already claim the title of the most expensive wine in Greece, with a challenger being the 20-year-old Vinsanto from the Argyrou estate, a sweet wine from the island of Santorini according to with Wine Searcher. "It's crazy that everyone focuses on Santorini and Assyrtiko, while Naxos is the island where Dionysus was born*. Each island of the Cyclades has its own particularity, it is no coincidence that Naxos is the island of Dionysus", declares Loïc Pasquet, who claims the reconstitution of an ancient terroir, in Naxos.

Having identified a 2020 vineyard plot of 1.5 hectares of the old white grape variety, Potamissi, Loïc Pasquet acquired it, pruned it and put the vine back into production from the 2021 vintage. Referring to centuries-old trunks, Loïc Pasquet refers in a cool climate: "the Aegean acts as a regulator, we are at an altitude of 600 meters on the northern slope. It rarely exceeds 30°C in summer and snows in winter: there are still seasons!" This vineyard is free of powdery mildew (as well as phylloxera), "the work is very comfortable: we prune in winter, we treat once in August and we harvest in October", reports Loïc Pasquet.

Local wines

The owner of the Greek vineyard joined forces with the Greek consultant Panos Zoumboulis to lead this Franco-Greek project and create a winery. Its first vintage, 2021, has just been released, with Dionysus depicted on an ancient coin on the label. In all cases, Loïc Pasquet states that he seeks to produce local wines to rediscover the flavors of the original vineyards, from pre-phylloxera Bordeaux as well as from the island of Dionysus. At these incredible prices, the wines produced are sold directly to wealthy amateurs, emphasizes Loïc Pasquet.

The legends about the double birth of Dionysus are numerous, some, originating from Naxos, refer to his exit from the thigh of Zeus on the island. A place of ancient myths, Naxos is also said to have grown up there for Zeus, then welcomed Ariadne who had been abandoned by Theseus and taken in by… Dionysus.