From the mainland to the island...



…Thasos consists of metamorphic crystalline rocks such as quartzite, slate, gneiss and above all marble, which has been exploited with all moderation in the last two decades. A limited product that in a few years will only be managed internationally by negociants and this mainly by Chinese investors. So far, this development is evident in all areas of Europe, but the example of Thasos should be chosen as an example for the near future. There are also iron-manganese deposits and other non-ferrous metal zones. Currently no longer worth mining, but you never know...the benefits justify the means and thus hungry mankind is digging deeper and deeper.


Thasos is not only a geological peculiarity and should be considered in connection with the nearby Pangeion Mountains. This region, known as the North Aegean Shelf, was connected 12.000-15.000 years ago, as the sea level was currently about 100 m below the present water line (Perissoratis + Mitropoulos, 1989). However, the exploration of various metals at these latitudes will not be further explored here. Let us rather return to viticulture and why I made the decision, especially ten years ago, to consider this island as a refuge for my work with wine. Here are a few facts about the great wine history of this island. The archaeological museum in Limenas, which I can recommend to every visitor to Thasos, as well as further research to which I refer at the end of the text, serve as sources.


The Phoenicians brought the terrace culture, but Thasian viticulture and wine trade only gained importance from the 5th century onwards, but in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, alongside the already established mining industry. The cultivation and export of wine played a growing role on Thasos.

In the 5th century BC, Thasian red wine, along with that of the island of Chios, was considered to be of the best quality in the Greek world. Taxes were levied and the cultivation, sale, export and import of wine were under state supervision.

Thasian ships were forbidden to transport wine of foreign origin in the area between Athos and Cape Pacheia (today Mariza), because this was a protected trade zone.


The archaeological evidence for the Thasian wine trade is very good, based on the types of Thasian amphorae used for export. On the handles of the amphorae, there are very often stamps of the manufacturers and the localities.

On Thasos, various amphora workshops have been found in Koukos, Vamvouri Ammoudia, Keramidi and other places. To date, Thasian wine amphorae have been found all over Greece, in the former Greek colonies of the western and northern Black Sea coast, sporadically in Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Persia and Egypt.

As a result of this large area of distribution, the Thasian cultural asset wine was a sought-after commodity with high economic importance.


After the 3rd century BC, Thasian wine lost importance again; its popularity waned, probably also due to the ever-growing competition, such as Rhodes.

It was not until the Roman Empire that writers began to appreciate Thasian wine again. Above all, the export of Thasian wine amphorae is documented in the northern Black Sea region. The oldest documented wine law of antiquity is also found on the island of Thasos, which is also in the Archaeological Museum and has been translated from ancient Greek.


The parallels to modern times are striking, as the wine law is carved in stone, replaced by lines of text and redefined. The well-being of success seemed to have degenerated into the taking of advantage. A timeless tendency. For the cultural technique on the level of empathy seems to be reserved for only a few.

The Thassians were said to use impure methods of dilution and not to adhere to the former quality standards. Supply and demand changed enough to counteract the tragic development. This law created structures and a new demand for quality. It was only with the Romans that another era of the best winemaking could develop, especially in the valley of Kazaviti (casa - house, viti - wine). Even today, this valley is called the land of wine (Ampelia) by the ancient Greeks up to the height of the old lead mines above the new settlement of Prinos.



Epilog:

Nowadays you don't always get an appetite for people, because you "have" to document that you belong to a group. Modern man is pressed into materials that are not ecologically sound. He has mutated into a stuffed sausage, one might almost think; of immoderateness and therefore doomed to decline.

Contemporary elephantitis is once again becoming a downfall. Work is legitimate to get dirty and that is why I wish for an outcry for effervescence. Those who do too much to their bodies starve their souls.

For two decades now, I have been realising, along with some others, as part of the counter-movement, that I have to produce unfiltered and unsulphured wines in order to give diversity a further boost. Every technological advance makes three old knowledges about process techniques disappear, as a lecturer in economics once said in my oenology studies in 2006. The beginning has been made and the portfolio of autochthonous grape varieties has grown as well as documented through "antique viticulture". The dream dreams the dreamer and the synchronous orbit to industrial wine has long been taken by the so-called natural wine producers.


After a trip to a long-time friend and muse in Bochum, we visited the mining museum of that city together, an institution of German mining documentation. History is catching up with me again, because the archaeological publications of this institution from the 1980 expeditions to Thasos are sources of the best didactic clean work. On a guided tour through an old mining shaft, we were both made aware of the term "eternity costs". This term, as so often transfigured in recent times, has mutated into the so-called eternity tasks. It describes the same thing and language is as mobile as reeds in the wind.

Referring to viticulture according to sustainable aspects, everything is used in this context, because everything organic has a place in nature and the cultivated landscape, insofar as the animal component is not excluded.


Without going too far, the renunciation of cooperation is unnatural, because this renunciation of cooperation will be more tragic than the renunciation of blind consumption. This makes it all the more important for me to share what I have recognised and to encourage the flattening of the curve with regard to oversized wine production. Above all, I am addressing the system of addictions that has alienated us humans from each other rather than brought us together. Those who have a why to live can tolerate almost any how.



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