Kefalonia, the jewel of the Ionian, owes its great winemaking wealth to two main factors: its wonderful and rare varieties and its charismatic and diverse terroir. The noble Robola, the dynamic Mavrodaphne, the multipurpose Zakynthino, the tannic white Vostilidi, the aromatic Muscat, the elegant Tsaousi, are all rare varieties with a unique oenological interest. Each farmed at their ideal vineyard, they are able to offer wines of the highest quality, creating a wide range of select wines.
The mountain range of Aenos, at the center of the island, naturally divides Kefalonia into a northern and southern part, creating many different vineyards, as well as many different microclimates, even at very short distances. The seismic nature of the island offers an even greater diversity to the island’s morphology along with different soil compositions per area. The delayed appearance of phylloxera on the island (1970) and the preservation to date of certain old, self-rooted vineyards, is an additional characteristic of Kefalonia which increases its high-quality winemaking potential.
Drawing on the potential offered by grapes—not only of each variety but of each individual vineyard parcel from the same variety—we have created a broad range of high-quality fresh and aged terroir wines with a limited number of bottles. Ceaselessly creative, we continuously experiment, enriching our unique collection with new winemaking creations every year. We place a strong emphasis on the selected cultivation areas and the terroir (select vineyards) as well as on the old, prephylloxera vineyards which we are attempting to preserve. Our basic philosophy is organic farming and a minimum of interventions during winemaking, as we feel that these practices lead to a better expression of the terroir in our wine. The use of green manure on the vineyards, the avoidance of processes such as strong refrigeration, artificial clarification and filtering of the wine, the use of the bipotential calendar and the moon phases for the proper selection of the day’s work, along with other similar practices, combined with excellent raw materials and rigorous grape sorting, are the factors which define and differentiate us. Our winery and vineyards have received organic certification by the DIO organization.
The Land of Robola
Robola is rightly referred as the Ionian Countess. It was brought to Kefalonia by the Venetians around 1500 AC. It is a delicate variety and very oxidizing, susceptible to diseases and quite peculiar in its cultivation, while it requires constant vigilance and delicate handling during its vinification. For years, it has been the main variety of Kefalonia, with the PDO zone located in the center of the island, at the foot of the mountain range of Aenos and at an altitude of 500 – 800 m. In the semi-mountainous areas of the zone and on slopes with stony, limestone soils and steep slopes, Robola develops its noble character better than anywhere else. Within the area of Robola there are some ideal vineyards, such as some locations in the areas of Fagia and Lakomatia, where the composition of their stony soil, their slope, altitude and orientation of their vineyard create a rare microclimate with optimal cultivation conditions. On these rugged and barren slopes, the cultivation of Robola is arduous as it is done exclusively manually, while its extremely low acreage yields do not exceed 400-500 kg, making its cultivation even more difficult. In these rare and charismatic vineyards and with proper care, our countess develops the maximum of its quality potential, transforms into a diva and rewards us with her uniquely wonderful finesse.
The Land of Zakynthino
This rare and versatile variety, as its name suggests, originates from neighboring Zakynthos. He moved to Southern Kefalonia 600 – 700 years ago from Zakynthian families or monks of the Metochion of St. Dionysiou Kefalonia. In the lands of Elios, in Southern Kefalonia, it found a very good expression and spread rapidly, being to this day the main variety of our region. Over time, there is a gradual abandonment of its cultivation in Zakynthos, where it no longer seems to exist. Growing up with the taste of this grape and vinifying it for over a century, we are sure that the variety has great potential and can give wines of the highest expectations and pleasures. It is the first wine that the family bottled in 1950, in Alsatian type bottles and with an ornate label created by the painter Varlamos. Most of the vineyards in our area are old, self-rooted and prephylloxera, over 50-60 years old. The most charismatic areas for the cultivation of the variety are the clay-sandy southeastern slopes of the villages of Thiramona, Mavrata, Ratzakli. The gray soil of the area, its sea breeze and the air that dries the grapes from the high morning humidity of the wider area, are the determining quality factors that differentiate and highlight these slopes in the exceptional terroir for Zakynthino.
The Land of Mavrodaphne
The legend wants it to be the vineyard planted by the king of the island, Kefalos, to remember his homeland, Athens. The area where he planted the Mavrodaphnes vineyard was named Athenais Gis, today’s Thinia. It is a natural bay with a northerly orientation, great ground call, clay-sandy and / or silvery soil and magical views while it is one of the best in the zone of PDO Mavrodaphne Kefalonia. Same soils found in several different areas of the island, such as Soullaroi and Xavdata Palliki or Ratzakli of Elios and slopes Thiramona where our own vineyards are. Clone traditionally grown on the island has small berries, medium productivity, high concentration and intense herbal character. The variety is widespread in Greece for its sweet expression, but not in Kefalonia. The island produces excellent dessert PDO wines from Mavrodaphne, but its wine tradition is related to its dry winemaking. In the late ’90s we were introduced to the production of dry Mavrodaphne and with too much joy we painted our hands black while extracting this so intensely colored variety. This image accompanies us and fills us with the then childhood enthusiasm in each of our harvests, in each new coloring of our hands.
The Land of Muscat
The White Muscat of Kefalonia is a wonderfully expressive and noble clone, of the well-known aromatic variety. In fact, when it comes from the loam-sandy slopes of the PDO zone and from old organic vineyards, then it is a treasure in small berries. Its thin-skinned, compact grapes are definitely very susceptible to disease and oxidation and require good exposure to air and sun as well as great care in the winery. The location of the vineyard is crucial for the quality of our grapes, as it enriches its aromas with the botanical and mineral character of some charismatic vineyards of the island.