Chrisa Giorgi: How I got involved with Greek Wines

What inspired you in order to make wine documentaries? Do you have any personal experience with wine making?
I am a Cretan born and raised and I say that in every chance I get! I studied Political Science and had my Masters in Political Analysis at the University of Crete. I worked as a journalist in radio stations and newspapers while I got into the world of wine through Wines & Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) reaching the Diploma level.
I live in Baltimore where I have my own movie production company “Wine Cellar Stories” and I present my movies along with wine tasting experiences for private clubs and industry customers. I decided to make a documentary about the Greek wine when I saw how little Greece is mentioned in the wine books of the wine educational organizations (Wine & Spirits Educational Trust- WSET, Court of Masters Sommeliers, Wine Educational Council, etc)
In reality I tried to create a documentary about Greek wine but when I realized the plethora of wine grapes that Greece has, then I decided to produce geographical focused documentaries so that I could introduce to the English speaking audience, what is the Greek vineyard. So the first documentary was dedicated to Crete and the next one focuses on Kefalonia.

What can we expect by watching your documentaries?
My documentary films aim to demystify Greece as a winemaking region and offer a rare insider glimpse into the indigenous grape varieties and the wines they produce. Through a colorful mosaic of stories, the viewer travels in the vineyards found in the valleys and the mountains of Greece and discovers the secrets of indigenous grape varieties, and learns the winemaking philosophy of passionate producers.

What is your target audience?
Initially I made my documentaries with wine students in mind, like me, who wanted to deepen their knowledge in winemaking regions off the beaten path. But after the international success of my documentaries I realized that my target audience is wine lovers or people who like to pair their travels, food and wine with history and culture.

Tacκling the subject of wine making in Greece is heartwarming. How do you think Greek wines will make themselves "worldwide unique", especially for people who don't know much about the quality of Greek wines?
Before making my documentaries, I wanted to test the hypothesis that the consumer is interested to learn more than the wine characteristics, the personal history of the winemaker, the so-called storytelling. So I took a job at a wine shop in the United States, so that I can have direct contact with the consumers. This experience taught me that the consumers are not only interested in the winemaker’s personal story but their wine purchasing behavior is influenced by how much of their personal history the winemakers were sharing on their webpages. This surprised me in the beginning but I now know that the consumers buy based on emotions not logic. In a competitive market such as wine, one needs more than a good wine and a nice looking label to win, to move the consumer. One needs to put a little of their personality, their personal story and a little of their soul. This is what I am trying to do through my films about Greek wine: through sharing the personal stories of the winemakers, to have the consumer be charmed and then find and buy Greek wine abroad and then visit Greece.

Which wine moment will forever be engraved in your heart? Did you learn something special while in the making?
Something that is forever engraved in my heart is the look of the people of the wine. They look at you straight in the eye with a clean and peaceful gaze, as if they have found the meaning of life. Something that moved me is when I realized that the good wine comes from a vine that has gone under some stress. When for example the vine doesn’t find water, it will grow its roots to search for water, making more concentrated grapes that will give more concentrated wines. What the vine has taught me is that: no pain, no gain!
Greek wines carry the honesty and passion of their makers and have the power to transport you to Greece from the first sip.

ΧΡΥΣΑ ΤΖΩΡΤΖΑΚΗ | CHRISA GIORGI | winecellarstories.com