Peloponnese: between sky and sea

map_of_Peloponnese_(Greece).svgAfter our nice stay on the Aegean Santorini island, we decided to go to the totally different region called Peloponnese (« Pelops island» in Greek). Separated from the northern mainland by the Corinth Canal, this southern mountain region is full of surprises: archeological sites, wild nature and of course great wines!

Upon our arrival in Pireus, we decided to drive a thousand kilometers to reach the village of Kiato where we had booked a cheap and convenient guesthouse. The day after, we could admire the beautiful seaside landscapes of the Gulf of Corinth and its picturesque villages like Melissi. We then left this region to discover Achaia beauties. There, in the high mountain village of Diakopto we planned to go and visit Tetramythos Winery.

Tetramythos

Tetramythos Winery was founded by two passionate organic winemaking brothers, Aristides and Stathis Spanos as well as a talented enologist, Panayiotis Papagiannopoulos. In 1999, they made their first wines together. New vines were planted, and a new cellar was built between 2003 and 2004.

Today, the domain has a total of 30 hectares whose 10 are owned. The vines are grown at an altitude between 450 and 1000 m in the villages of Diakopto and Kalavrita. Thanks to this geographical location, the vines benefit an extremely good climate with sea breeze and the closeness from Corinth; the soil is made of shell limestone. The organic certified winery offers a large range of wines made from 7 different grape varieties in the purest regional tradition: Assyrtiko, Roditis, Malagousia, and also the famous Retsina or Black of Kalavrita. The winery works mostly with single grape varieties and experiment fermentation in amphorae and wooden tronconic vats.

Sofia, a young enologist who arrived a year ago in the winery warmly welcomed us and offered us a nice tasting. We started visiting the wine cellar discovering the oak barrels and the amphoras and while she was explaining about the winemaking process, she suddenly drew our attention to a few bottles piled up on the ground. These were the only bottles which could be saved during the terrible fire that devastated Peloponnese in 2007. Very impressive.

After this emotional part of the visit, we decided to drive to the vineyard. Sofia and her colleague took the winery truck to take me at the top of the mountain. I sat at the back of the truck with a nice brown dog while David followed us with our heavy loaded bike. Since he was behind us, I could take a few pictures of the brave pilot! Once at the top, we discovered a breathtaking panorama: mountains on one side, sea on the other side! As for the vines, they already have their orange and red autumn colors, a real impressionist painting!

Harvest was carried out in August, but Sofia showed us a few ripe grapes that were still there waiting for us! A true delicacy!

All the wines we tasted were great, that’s why it was difficult for us to choose only one favorite wine.

Our favorite wine

The natural sweet wine, made from a 100% mavrodaphne of Patras (mavro=black, remember?), an autochthonous grape variety. For the anecdote, the name Mavrodaphne is said to have been given by the founder of one of the oldest Greek wineries, Gustav Clauss after he fell in love with a black-hair girl named Daphne.

The grapes are late harvested which gives the wine its sweetness with 70g/l residual sugars and a high level of alcohol. This also explains why this wine is not part of the DIO Patras. Ageing is carried out in oak barrels during at least 3 years. Aromas of plum, tobacco, dried fruits and caramel. Perfect with a desert. Ageing potential: 10 years

Did you know that?

Another surprising Tetramythos wine we discovered is Retsina. This wine which name means “resin” has been produced since the Antiquity and made in clay amphoras. Historically, Greek people used to keep their food products such as olive oil in amphoras they would seal with a pine resin paste; Peloponnese region is famous for its high-quality pine trees especially Aleppo that offers special aromas to produce wine. This ancestral technique is still used today to produce a white wine mainly from Roditis to which we add resin during the fermentation. Although the resin is eliminated before the wine is bottled, it gives the wine special aromas of fresh grass. This kind of wine perfectly matches with Greek products such as feta cheese. For natural wine lovers only!

Contact

Tetramythos Winery

8ο kil. Pounta-Kalavrita

Ano Diakopto, 25003

T : +30 26910 97500

www.tetramythoswines.com/en

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