Corfiot wine was invariably fizzy, acidic, volatile, and made for the most part, from phylloxera infested time warped vineyards. On this Corfu Nico was born in the year Romanee Conti (the lieu dit) had its first vintage after an absence of 7 years with grafted vines.
His Irish mother came to a civil war-torn Greece, as a volunteer with Save the Children. Nico grew up on the (then) not much changed face of this Ionian island, which enthralled the teenager Gerald Durrell into what became later his well-known book My Family and Other Animals. It was not after conducting an exhaustive study of his native island’s wine that Nico became smitten.
His lifelong passion with wine began when he moved to London to study hotel management and where he first discovered fine wine. And it was on a trip to La Mora, Italy in 1976 when he bought a bottle of the career-changing Maurizio Fracassi Barolo 1967. Nico lived and worked in the wine business for many years in England, France and North America.
For the past 15 years he has specialised as a commentator on Greek wine. This chapter of his life should be named ” Making my life difficult - adventures in the Greek vineyard”. He refers that his quixotic high expectations and realities more than often disappoint him. As a true descendant of “stradioti” Marino Manessi in the service of Venice, he undertakes his wine crusade on the civilised side of ‘taking no prisoners’.
Nico gets much pleasure in reading non-wine books. Loves ethnic music and jazz, enjoys cooking and travelling.