Greek wines are all the rage right now. So why not Greek wine vinegar? Find out about a Greek-American company that’s creating strong buzz for Greece.
Greek wine vinegar gaining popularity
Greece is finally getting the attention it deserves for products like wine and olive oil. A natural progression for a company in either market is the production of Greek wine vinegar. Let’s meet a Greek-American company that is helping to put Greece “on the map” with high-quality, organic wine vinegars.
Greek-Americans showcase the best of Greece
Greek-Americans Giorgios Karayannis and Edward Billys share what they refer to as “a prideful appreciation for Greece and her incredible agricultural products”. This, along with their desire to promote Greece during these difficult economic times, led them to establish Kolossos in 2011.
Giorgios spoke about getting started.
“We quickly identified our direction and core ideologies with a focus on integrity, quality, and how to build a great lifestyle brand.”
Greek extra-virgin olive oils were their first product offerings.
“We cut our teeth in the food service side by knocking on the doors of restaurants in Chicago, Indiana, and Southwest Michigan.”
By February 2015, their EVOO reached the retail market. Perhaps you’ve seen Kolossos Olive Oil at your local Mariano’s, Whole Foods, Jewel, and others.
Kolossos produces 2 premium Greek extra virgin olive oils. Kolossos Mild is produced from the Manaki olive variety grown in Argolida. Giorgios said the profile is fruit-forward, and “delicately bitter and pungent.” Kolossos Robust is made from Koroneiki olives grown in Lakonia. He described it as having “herbaceous and grassy notes with medium bitterness and pungency.”
He compared premium EVOOs to wine and craft beer.
“They have beautiful flavor characteristics that pair differently with other ingredients. High-quality EVOO can be utilized in various cooking methods such a baking, deep frying, sauteéing, and finishing.”
Kolossos oils use only estate-grown olives that are hand-selected for the highest quality. The pressing process is carefully timed, to create the finest, 100% pure oil. These high standards are the secret to their success. Kolossos oils have been featured in Instyle and Martha Stewart Living magazines, among others.
They’ve won several awards for global packaging design, including The Clio awards (known as the Oscars for packaging design). These were awarded alongside brands such as Nike and Burger King. The oils are also used in many top Chicago restaurants.
Organic Greek wine vinegar
Quickly gaining traction in the marketplace, they decided it was time to expand their product line, and increase awareness for brand Kolossos. Greek wine vinegar seemed a natural choice as a companion product. In late, 2016, they launched 3 organic Greek wine vinegars.
“Our retail partners were requesting the extension into vinegars. Collectively, with their support and guidance, we discovered a vast gap in the vinegar category with little to no, Greek wine vinegars. What pairs better with olive oil?! This product also aligns itself with the health properties and benefits of consuming extra virgin olive oil, continuing our mission of promoting a lifestyle brand.”
Giorgios explained what drew them to develop this product line.
“For over 4000 years, Greece has produced delicious wine varietals that are highly-underrated. The grape varieties used in these signature wines offer delicious taste and extraordinary aromatic characteristics. These distinct flavors shine in our vinegars. The category is flooded with balsamic and seriously clouds the mind of the consumer believing that is what all vinegar should taste like. Our wine grapes are certified “Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)” products designated based on quality and flavor characteristics attributed to the regions their grown in.”
Kolossos produces 3 varieties of Greek wine vinegar: white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, and a white balsamic-style honey vinegar.
“These wonderful flavor profiles can be utilized as an ingredient for various applications such as vinaigrettes, sauces, marinades, desserts, cocktails, and finishing dishes. In addition, these wine vinegars are loaded with a natural source of antioxidants, a recognized health benefit.”
Consumers today are more and more concerned with the origin of their products. Kolossos believes in and utilizes farming and milling methods that are sustainable and environmentally conscious.
“We respect what our rich lands and climate have provided us.”
Kolossos will continue to build brand awareness. More products will come in the future.
“We are proud to be Greek and will continue to showcase the wonderful agricultural goods our homeland possess.”
Tasting notes from Greek Wine Girl Nicole Andersen
Our Greek Wine Columnist Nicole Andersen sampled Kolossos Greek wine vinegars are shared her tasting notes. Read on!
NEMEA: Organic farming vineyards in the region of Nemea, Greece. P.D.O.
Variety: 100% Agiorgitiko
Tasting notes: Aromas of black cherry and plums with hints of ruby red grapefruits cinnamon
CORINTHIA: Organic farming vineyards in the region of Patras, Greece
Tasting notes: Bright lemon and stone with hints of crisp apple and pear. Soft aroma of
ERIKA: Organic farming vineyards of Patras Greece
Tasting Notes: Honey from the slopes of Pindos, Greece gathered from the Spring Heath
flower. Beautiful Aromas of apricot, ripe pear, and lavender. Hints of orange blossom and sweet
citrus fruit on the finish.
Look for Kolossos Greek EVOO and Greek wine vinegar at your local supermarket.