In Thiramonas, a small picturesque village of southern Kefalonia, Nikos Petrakopoulos carries on a centuries-old family tradition. As a descendant of the Melissinoi and Solomoi families, he aspires to leave his personal mark on the island’s cultural promotion, building on its wine-making wealth and rare local grape varieties.
The Melissinos family was one of the Byzantium’s most prominent families. Hailing from Emperor Michael Ragkavi, their members included Caesars, administrators of subdivisions, army officers, clergymen, etc. After the fall of Constantinople, at around 1500 AD, Richardos Melissinos sought refuge in Kefalonia, where he became the forefather of this island’s great family. Significant public figures came from this branch, such as the Archbishop of Kefalonia & Zakynthos Avramios, as well as the prominent family of Melissinoi in Russia, established when Petros Melissinos was accepted for training with the first student body of the Saint Petersburg military school in 1740. This brave man restructured the Russian artillery, eventually being placed in charge of the entire artillery and decorated with the medal of knighthood. Another significant figure of the Russian family was commander Alexis Melissinos, Major General of the Hussar Regiment, who received the highest honors for his bravery.
The Solomos were one of the oldest families in Venice, with doge Pietro Centranico Salomon bearing this name since 1000 AD. In 1500 AD, as a reward for Giacomo Antonio Solomon’s capture of old Navarino, the family was given important fiefdoms throughout Kefalonia, while Aloisios Solomos was appointed as the island’s first Venetian commander. Other important figures of the family include Alexandros Solomos, founder of Kefalonia’s first theater in 1840, Nestoras Solomos, a militant and radical, representative of Kefalonia in the 1st Greek Parliament after the unification of the Ionian Islands, and Marinos Solomos, an acclaimed jurist. His book, La Statistika Generale de la Isola de Kefalonia, is a reference for scholars of Kefalonia’s fiscal state during the British rule. Marinos’ descendant, Panagis Solomos, was one of Greece’s pioneers in information technology and labor organization, being one of the first to bring computers to the country. Panagis was also a wine-lover. He was involved in the cultivation of Kefalonia’s Zakynthino variety and had been bottling wine as personal and business gifts since the 1950s.
These two great families have been mentioned since the 1580s in the “Libro d’ Oro”, the book on the island’s nobility, bearing their personal crests.
The house in Thiramonas, which now accommodates our small winery, was once the Solomos family’s farmhouse. The family had always used the ground floor as a cellar for the production and storage of wine, which it had been bottling for its own use since the 1950s. The house collapsed with the devastating earthquake of 1953 and was completely rebuilt in 1955, using stone and following the old, minimal and noble architecture of the Venetian era. The arcs, large windows and stone-built steps are distinctive elements of this rhythm, while the “goulostroto” (cobblestone) in the main courtyard from the 1800s, as well as certain pieces of the furniture – heirlooms from the 1700s, have been preserved. The building is surrounded by a 1,500 m2 yard which encompasses a substantial orchard and other age-old trees. The courtyard, laid out with dry-stone walls and stone-built terraces on multiple levels, forms an ideal environment for our visitors’ wine tasting. It also includes two old cisterns, along with remnants of the family’s stone-built oil mill. The building’s ground floor now houses the vinification and aging areas, while the second floor comprises the family’s summer residence. To meet our modern needs, we have expanded into another two neighboring houses. Tzogia’s home, a typical auxiliary building, and Giannis’ home, with the huge, centuries-old olive tree in its yard. Both were built after the ‘53 earthquake for the immediate housing needs of the island’s populace.
Nikos, Kiki, Panagis, Dimitris and Ioanna are our cohesive, tireless team.
Dedicated to the dream of creating excellent wines, each with their role but all working together, we offer our very best, so that the result satisfies—first and foremost—our high ambitions.
The visionary and creator. He is always optimistic, quite persistent and very accurate. Nikos is behind everything.
The oenologist, winemaker and farm manager. She is responsible, methodical and very creative. Kiki is next to everything.
The winegrower. He is a proponent of organic farming, persistent and very patient. Panagis is before everything.
In charge of deliveries and production support. He is swift, direct and effective. Dimitris is a part of everything.
She is sociable, optimistic and very enthusiastic. He deals with the sales of the estate and is everywhere and always.