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Greece 2013 - Napflion and Nea Kios

We arrived in Napflion after a drive through Argos, all the time Ted telling us about the history of the area. The town of Napflion was built by the Venetians, and later (like all of Greece) taken over by the Ottoman Empire until the Greek war of liberation in 1821.

The town is built on the Argolic Gulf in the northeast Peloponnese. Most of the old town is on a peninsula jutting into the gulf; this peninsula forms a naturally protected bay. The town was the capital of the first Hellenic Republic from 1821 to 1847, and boy howdy, it’s quite beautiful: marble streets, a grand piazza of Italian design, picturesque churches and hotels climbing up the hill towards the old fortress, which dominates the town.

We checked into our hotel, some of us opting for rest, while others explored the town below. My room was over 250 years old, and was built into the hillside like a brick line cave! Very mysterious and evocative!

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Greece 2013 – Days 8, 9 10 – Peloponnese

On our way out of town, we stopped at an organic Florina pepper factory and restaurant, run by two brothers who were as passionate about ther products as one can be.  There were peppers stuffed with crisp cabbage, smoked peppers, pickled peppers, pepper flakes, pepper powder, marinated peppers and dried peppers, peppers mixed with tomatoes, peppers mixed with eggplant, sun dried and stewed.   The quality was so wonderful that it was hard to decide what to buy.

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Greece 2013 - Day 3 – Santorini and Sigalas

If you were to Google `Santorini wine`, or `Greek White Wine` , chances are you’d come up with an article or a mention of Paris Sigalas – arguably one of the world’s great winemakers and the master of the Assyrtiko grape.

I’d met Mr. Sigalas before in San Francisco, and had a lovely evening with him and Ted Diamantis at my friend Sara Floyd’s home several years ago.    He’s an articulate and passionate ambassador for Greek culture and wine, and today we were spending the day with him in the vineyards and at his winery.

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Greece 2013 - Day 2

I woke up to a glorious day at 7 a.m.  Seemingly I had already adjusted to European time, and didn’t feel jet lagged at all- the sun was shining and it was already warm.  I looked out of my hotel window to see the Acropolis in the morning light, and folks eating breakfast in the courtyard below.

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Greece 2013

I arrived in Athens after a long and not particularly arduous flight (SFO to Paris, short layover, Paris to Athens) at around 10:30 p.m.  The airport was empty and I retrieved my luggage almost immediately, found a cab for the ride to the Electra Palace Hotel in the Plaka section of Athens. 

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One of the great perks of my job is ‘hospitality’ – being able to stay at winery guest houses. Since we live so close to wine country, this is a perk I take advantage of several times per year.

It was Mrs. Cheesemonger and my 11th wedding anniversary, and we boarded the dogs and hopped in the car for the 2 hour drive to Saracina Vineyards in Hopland.

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