A wine as special as our 25th anniversary release needs a name to aptly convey its beauty and vibrancy. We could think of no other name more fitting than Dithyramb, an epithet for the Greek God of wine and revelry, Dionysus. Dithyramb is also the name of the choral song that was traditionally sung in worship of the God, a kind of ecstatic revelry produced by the singers, who were described by the ancient poet Archilochos as being “wit-struck by the thunderbolt of wine.”
Dithyramb is sure to leave you “wit-struck” as well! A beautiful aged Begleri wine, it was harvested in the summer of 2002 and was pressed by foot in our traditional granite press. It also underwent an open air fermentation for 30 days with native yeasts, and is unfiltered and unfined with no added sulfites. We feel that this wine especially captures the essence of Ikaria, as Begleri is indigenous only to our island, and our homage to Dionysus is rooted in the ancient island mythology.
Rumored to have housed the God after his birth, a cave in the Drakanum region of the island undertook the name Iero, or ‘holy altar,’ in reference to the spiritual significance of the area. An active cult of Dionysus once populated our island, and there are many relics in reverence of the God that have been unearthed from ancient times. We can imagine that the summer air was once filled with songs of the dithyramb, and we feel honored to revive the practice this very summer with our newest wine release.
Each bottle has been hand painted by a local Ikarian artist depicting a different form of the God. Throughout ancient Greek literature, Dionysus is said to have appeared in many forms. In the Homeric hymn to Dionysus, the story depicts him shifting shape into a lion, but he was also known to appear as a bull and a panther. Each bottle is unique, and we feel that this particularly represents the beauty of natural wine as well. As our philosophy is one of minimal intervention, it is impossible to perfectly replicate a wine from one year to the next. Nature guides every single vintage, and we are grateful to receive the singular and sacred beauty that our beloved island provides us with every single year.
We hope that you find the Dithyramb that calls to you, and that our fermented joy leads you into a true celebration of life! Wine is the lifeforce of humankind, that which quickens our spirits and brings us ecstatically into the present moment. To feel the God within us, to revel in the jubilant spirit of Dionysus, is to allow for connection and joy to be a part of our daily lives. We raise our glasses skywards so that the Gods may bless them, and we raise our glasses to you: that you find freedom at the bottom of your glass and joy at the end of each day!
Granite stone, tropical fruits, mushroom, overripe stone fruits