From Corinth canal in the north to Monemvasia, Methoni and Koroni castles in the South and from Epidaurus in the east all the way to Olympia in the west, Peloponnese offer all one can ask for. A deep dive in history at one of its few World Heritage sites, a beautiful coastline, a variety of landscapes, including high mountains, plateaus, rivers, valleys and caves and a lovely climate with the ever-shining sun, sea breezes and serene temperatures. The most important wine region here is Nemea, which represents the largest PDO appellation in the country. Its flagship red grape Agiorgitiko is not only the most well-known but also the most cultivated red variety nationwide. The larger Corinthia region, Achaia and Laconia produce also notable wine examples. The historic red variety Mavrodaphne dominates across the north and west of the peninsula and the white varieties Roditis, Moschofilero, Muscat Blanc and Kidonitsa, cultivated throughout, add versatility and character in the wine production of this blessed land.
Peloponnese Wines by Style
Peloponnese Wines by Producer
YThe Katsikostas family wine history began in 1946 when grandfather Luke Katsikostas started producing wine from the indigenous varieties found in Aigialeia, Achaia region of the Peloponnese. The wines, produced with the scarce means of the time, were vinified and stored in wooden barrels in the underground cellars of the family’s wine shop in the port of Aigio.
Third generation Katsikostas siblings, Sosanna and Luke, launched the new winery in 2004 after the completion of Sosanna’s studies in Oenology at the University of Bordeaux, Toulouse and Reims in France. Their goal is to create high-quality wines from the indigenous varieties in their region. The new winery has state of the art equipment to produce fine handcrafted wines that express the unique characteristics of Aigialeia terroir and its grape varieties, including the rare Sideritis variety.
Since establishing his winery in 1997 and with his very first cuvees, Christos Aivalis has reinvented the style of Nemea. A civil servant by daily occupation and profound wine lover has managed to transfuse this dedication to his son, Sotiris, now a most capable winemaker himself, who assists him in the winery. He has acquired old vineyard plots in the most admirable parts of the zone. The plants there are autochthonous and grow naturally without irrigation or fertilizers. Some of them are as old as 120 years and a good number is reaching the age of 70years. The majority of them lie at an altitude of 600m and over rock and fossilized soil. He produces all his Agiorgitiko labels with single-vineyard identification, to be able to express the different terroirs’ characteristics. He vinifies with natural yeasts and bottles all his red wines unfined and unfiltered.
Michael Athanasiou runs his certified organic family winery and makes wines from grapes grown in the family’s estate around Ancient Nemea. He works exclusively with the indigenous grape varieties of the region and has been experimenting on the production of completely natural wine by Agiorgitiko in the last 9 years. 2016 Fysis is his first natural wine release and the first Agiorgitiko wine hitting the market containing 0% sulphites.
Young winemaker Christos Barafakas with a degree in Agriculture returned to his family’s 14-hectare large vineyard in Nemea and established his winery in 2002. He has been one of the few new producers, who expressed the Agiorgitiko variety in fresh styles, without the use of ageing wooden barrels. His vineyard plots have a varying altitude between 280 and 600m above sea level, with plants ranging in age between 5 to 45 years and overall low yields, 6-9 t/ha. Although generally straightforward and practical in his approach, he has created some unique wines, such as “Thousand Years”, a blend of Agiorgitiko and Cabernet Sauvignon, suitable for ageing in the cellar and the boutique Phylacto, sun-dried Assyrtiko in very limited quantities, a “mini-Vinsanto” (with a twist, as aged in acacia barrels) to be found outside Santorini.
Palivou WinerySince 1995, when the old traditional treading tank was replaced by a contemporary winery, following the demands of modern times, Palivou Estate entered into a new dynamic phase of life and development. Palivou Estate owns one of the largest vineyards in the PDO zone of Nemea with more than 30 hectares, planted mostly with Agiorgitiko, but also with Rodites, Malagousia, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The vineyards spread over different regions of Ancient Nemea, the most advantageous of which is located at 420 meters above sea level and are cultivated organically. The plane north winds, especially during the hot summer months, contribute to better health and slow ripening of the grapes. Various soil types and the particular microclimate of each location contribute to the variety and complexity of the wines produced by the Estate.
The winery’s founder, Aristidis Papargyriou, planted his first vineyards in 1978, with the aim to produce wines of high quality and distinctive character. He chose matched varieties with high potential for the region, such as Assyrtiko, Sauvignon Blanc, the local Muscat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Agiorgitiko and Mavrodaphne. In the early ‘90s, the first Papargyriou wines were released. Yannis, his son, with studies in Agriculture and winemaking at the famous Wine Institute of Geisenheim in Germany, has been continuing his work since then and expanded the family’s vineyard, originally to be found near the village of Lalioti, Corinthia, 120km to the west of Athens, to a new vineyard site at Sofiana, Corinthia, at 800-900m altitude. This splendid new vineyard of 16 hectares is giving grapes of superior quality and has raised the production to around 50000 bottles yearly.
The organic family winery is located at the foot of Mount Skolis, Santamerianiko Mountain, which dominates over the Castle ruins of Sant’ Or, built by the Franco-Flemish in 1273. In the historic Village of Santameri in Achaia, at 30Km from Patras and an altitude of 600m, the family vineyards cover an area of 4 hectares and grow the indigenous Peloponnesian varieties, Roditis, Agiorgitiko, Mavrodaphne and the unique local white aromatic variety Santameriana, that was revived, thanks to the efforts of the winery. Cultivation follows the biodynamic principles since 2015 and the wines are produced with minimal intervention and very low sulfite addition at bottling in the modern winery. The total output of the winery is 80000 bottles.
Domaine Skouras was established in 1986 by George Skouras, a local who studied Agriculture & Oenology in Dijon, Burgundy in the early 1980’s. Initially the small wine-making facility was in Pyrgela, a small village in the outskirts of Argos, before it moved to the village of Gimno and further on to Malandreni, within the Nemea Appellation, in 2004. The winery works on the local grapes Agiorgitiko and Moschofilero, as well as a number of international grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Viognier and is linked with the emblematic wine, Megas Oenos, which has been the first pioneering blend of Agiorgitiko and Cabernet Sauvignon released in the Greek market back in 1986.
Established in 1999, Tetramythos winery has been the product of collaboration between the viticulturist brothers Aristides and Stathis Spanos and the oenologist Panagiotis Papagiannopoulos. Following the first wine releases in that year, new vineyards were planted in the following years and a modern winery was completed in 2004. The vineyards are situated on the slopes of the Mountains of Aigialeia, at an altitude of 450-1050m and cultivated organically. They benefit from a mountainous microclimate, limestone soil and exposure to the Gulf of Corinth breeze.
Established by one of the oldest families of winemakers in Nemea, Zacharias Vineyards rely on tradition as well as scientific expertise and innovation to produce respectable wines that have earned multiple distinctions along the way. The company’s winery, one of the largest and most historic in the area, is built two kilometres out of Nemea and lies at the heart of the Nemean vineyard, exactly opposite to the hill where the Acropolis of Ancient Phlious once loomed. Ancient Greeks called the area Phliasian field or Phliasian land. Here, from the same soil, the renowned Phliasian wine was produced.