Feature Story

30 Under 30: Kostis Dalamara | Winemaker, Greece

The daughter of a château owner. A sommelier. A golfer. The son of a photographer…There’s a lot of young talent in the wine business, coming from different directions. These 30 are rising to the top.

We canvassed our colleagues in the world of wine to find the most creative and accomplished young talent in wine today. All of them are 30 years old or younger; some of them make wine, while others sell it. All of them are names to know: This is the next generation in wine.


“Dalamara: Great guy, with a global view of things yet very traditional in his winemaking style,” wrote Konstantinos Lazarakis, Greece’s only MW, when I asked him who he considered the country’s most promising young talent.

Kostis Dalamara looks part elated and part pained when he hears this. “A lot of people say my wines are traditional,” he says, “but I’m not looking for the tomato, olive and dry tannins that are “traditional” in Naoussa; those are often winemaking issues. I want to promote the fineness of xinomavro, to keep its freshness and natural acidity.” In fact, this philosophy is largely in keeping with his father’s—whose wine has long been light on wood, big on earth and fine in structure. What’s different is his attitude: “If there’s one thing I learned in my studies,” he says—enology school in Beaune and gigs in Gevrey-Chambertin, Alsace, Roussillon and Catalonia, Spain—“it’s that if we want to do something, we need to cooperate with everyone.” To this end, he’s banded together with three of his young colleagues for Xinomavro Nights, evenings of Naoussa wines poured nonstop by their makers and served with snacks for ten euros. The four also regularly share bottles, report on experiments (such as Dalamara’s take on orange wine, now aging in his cellar) and work on issues such as how to make biodynamic preparations feasible for small wineries like their own, short on funds and manpower.

“If we are four,” Dalamara says, “then we can do four times as many experiments.” Naoussa, prepare for a sea change.


This feature appears in the print edition of the Fall 2011.
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