Name: Alex Sakkas
Currently: Wine is my way of life, my passion, my only job. I am writer, critic, lecturer, consultant, educator, wine judge.
Please, tell us about how you got into wine, the wine industry and how your career developed?
I got into wine naturally. Not only I’ve always been attracted by what was to be drunk rather than what to be eaten; there have also been my mother (born in 1915) enologist and all my family members who enjoyed wine everyday with meals. Also,at my childhood wine was everywhere: tavernas with big barrels all over Athens, wine caves where bulk wine was sold for household use and so on and so forth. I entered the wine industry at my childhood, so to speak. But seriously,the tough stuff started at the age of 27 (I am 63 now and always professionally hyper active) and I turned 100% wine professional (wine being my only source of income) at the age of 40. My carreer has always evolved towards three different directions: wine writing, sommelerie and consulting. Now,I am fully involved in social media planning for wine.
What is your philosophy to making wine and viticulture?
I am clearly in favour of as natural as possible, both in the vineyard and in the winery. I am strongly opposed to interventions like micro-oxygenation, reverse osmosis, filtering of wine and-mostly-totally against the use of chemicals in the vine. And I must admit that I dream of the day most wines would be made following the bio-dynamic holistic system. I don’t care for what the rationalists claim; what I DO know is that bio-dynamics produce fabulous wines. Last but not least, I clearly prefer wines made the European way, wines of terroir and wines that reflect the European personality and style.
Which cultivar is your favourite to work with and why?
I don’t have any particular or strong preference. However,I have always two things in mind: a.the use of as many as possible autochthonous cultivars in each wine producing country and the preference for the discovery of obscure and forgotten cultivars.
How do you see the future of wine production and what are the challenges and the opportunities?
I cannot imagine a shining or brilliant future for the wine production as a whole but fortunately I envision a further expansion towards newly developed countries that had no wine culture and habits at all before. I also pray for fine wine to stay fashionable for the tycoons created after the fall of the communist world. In my opinion,the real challenge for all of us should be our contribution to bring wine back to the every day table of as numerous people as possible. I don’t think “drink less,drink better” has had any commercial benefit for the wine industry.
Where do you see the global wine market in 2025?
In 2025 I will be 75 years old (if I stay alive) and I’m crossing my fingers to still be professionally active. I might be tempted by saying that I would not like a total change in the style of wines enhanced by the effects of global warming that will be much more pronounced at that time. I wouldn’t like,either, to be proposed wines that have lost their clear European identity.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com
Dominik Kozlik e.U.
4020 Linz, Austria