Vangelis Gerovassiliou became a vintner out of sheer obstinacy. His father, Argyris, was a farmer. He made wine, but only for family occasions. While still fresh the wine was pleasant enough, but it tended to sour with time. As a student at the Agricultural University of Athens, Vangelis sought ways to improve it. He asked a chemical engineer for help. “I can’t tell you. It’s a secret,” the scientist replied. His secretiveness angered Vangelis and in the mid-1970s he decided to find the answers himself and changed his major to oenology.
So, Vangelis found himself in Bordeaux, where he received his degree and had the good fortune to work with Emile Paynaud, guru of the oenological sciences. The French master recommended Vangelis for the post of oenologist at the legendary estate of Porto Carras in Halkidiki, where he went on to work for 22 years. It was a major educational experience, but he was not happy working for others and decided to start his own vineyard, building on a family-owned, 1.2-hectare plot in Epanomi, on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. He bought an additional 3.6 hectares and planted only white varieties, mainly Malagousia and Assyrtiko. His winery grew to lead the vanguard of a major shakeup in the Greek vineyard and wine scene, particularly by the showcasing of the Malagousia variety, largely overlooked at the time.
Today, the Gerovassiliou estate covers more than 56 hectares. Its brightest star is Malagousia, followed by Assyrtiko, Limnio, Mavrotragano, Mavroudi, Syrah, Merlot, Viognier and Grenache rouge. Annual production stands at 250,000 bottles of white and 50,000 of red, with exports at around 35 percent.
But the Thessalonian vintner is not just proud of his award-winning labels. The Gerovassiliou Wine Museum he has created in the state-of-the-art Epanomi winery exhibits old presses and bottles, as well as barrels, farming equipment and machinery from a bygone era. The most fascinating part of the exhibit is a collection of 2,600 openers and corkscrews, which is considered among the largest in the world.
Domaine Gerovassiliou Malagousia
Made from the Malagousia variety that was nearly extinct before being revived thanks to the efforts of Vangelis Gerovassiliou, with strong fruity aromas (pear, mango and citrus) and a rich mouthfeel with intense lemon notes.
Mediterranean classics including seafood, poultry, pasta with light sauces and fresh salads.