There are so many different reasons for loving Athens but if you also love wine then there is an extra reason! This region produces wine the last 3.500 years! According to Greek Mythology, Dionysus, the God of wine, brought the vineyard and wine to Greeks and he taught them how to cultivate the vines, how to produce wine and of course how to drink it!
In most cases, collaboration is more powerful that individuality and this is what 5 amazing winemakers of Attica thought about and they created jointly the Wine Roads Athens.
Wines of Athens was created by the need of the winemakers to put the vineyards of Attica and the local grape variety, Savatiano, on the map! Savatiano is the indigenous variety of Attica but also the most widespread in Greece and it is associated with the production of retsina, Greece’s most special and disregarded wine. Wines of Athens envision the return of Retsina, the oldest wine in the world, as well as creating a network connecting the wineries with the abundant archaeological sites of Attica, thus allowing the visitor to take a dream journey through history, enjoying the beauty of the Attican landscape and discovering the wonderful world of Greek wine.
But, Athens has yet another reason that makes it special. It one of the very few European capitals that vineyards and wineries are so close from the city!!!
The five winemakers are:
The Kokotos estate dates back to the 1970s when George Kokotos and his family decided to settle in Stamata, abandoning city life to build their home and create a small vineyard in the hills, north of Athens! To my opinion, it is a fantastic place to find what you look for, from olive grove to beehives, poultry farm and of course amazing wine! It is around 45 minutes drive from the centre of Athens, depending on the traffic!
This vineyard was founded around 35 years ago by Marcou brothers, who created this modern winemaking facility in Paiania, a 40-minute drive from the centre of Athens! Except the Savatiano, you will find there a great variety of grapes like Agiorgitiko (native of Nemea), Assyrtiko, Roditis, Athiri, Moschofilero, Muscat, Malagouzia, the French Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Italian Trebbiano. Not too bad, right?
You can visit the winery as it open to visitors and you will learn more about wine making process! You can check their website (I am afraid that it’s in Greek!) and contact with them at info[at]markouwines.gr.
The History of this vineyard begins almost a century back, in 1917 by the grandfather Antonis, whose main occupation was the vineyard and the production of wine, leaving the wort kneaded in amphoras for years. Later the small business passed to the father Dimitris, who continued the grandparents’ wine tradition, expanding the then business with the purchase of new vineyards and the creation of a small, modern, at that time, winery. After that, three sons, Antonis, Tasos and Stamatis took over and they went the vineyard one step further! Great story and a great vineyard!
It is located in the region of Keratea and belongs to the broader wine-growing zone of Mesogaia, a historic place, famous for its wine since the time of ancient Greece and the symposiums of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle! It is the vineyard with the highest altitude of Mesogaia, since it is located at the foothills of Mount Panion at an altitude of 200-350m., embraced literally by the sea, which gives to the vineyard a blessed breeze! You will find there, plenty of varieties like Savatiano, Malagousia, Assyrtiko, Aidani, Mandilaria, Limniona and Merlot.
I love environmentally friendly initiatives and Papagiannakos domain is one of them as it is the first winery designed and built in Greece according to innovative bioclimatic standards! Set among vines, the site on which the winery has been built is that of an old monastery and is located in the heart of the plain of the Attican Vineyards and it’s 40 minutes drive from the centre if you want to taste some good Greek wine! It is open during the weekdays and Saturday and on Sunday by appointment. It is located close to the Olympic Equestrian Centre where, amongst other things, interesting cultural events are held and is very close to beautiful beaches of Mesogaia and the Archaeological Site of Artemis!
The proprietary vineyards amount to 14 hectares and are located in Rafina, Spata, Pikermi, a few kilometres outside Athens. In Rafina is the beautiful winery of Anastasia Fragkou, which has the modern facilities and tradition of wine-making co-exists!
You can find the above Greek wineries at the below map and if you are interested in visiting them you can check their websites and contact with them.
If you need any additional information send an email to info[at]wineroadsofathens.com or simply ask me anything about the best wineries and vineyards in Athens! I can easily recommend you specific tour agencies that make wineries tours!
(The email is presented like this for anti-spam reasons. To use it simply change the [at] with the: @ and send it over).
This article has originally published at SecretGreece blog and it has been updated.