Many acres of vineyards on the island of Paros continue to be cultivated today. Old grapevines are planted using the traditional “aplotaria system” (a system where vines are planted some distance apart and are left to grow along the ground without support), while new plantations are mainly planted in the more modern, linear grid pattern, maximizing the use of space.
The island’s largest viticultural region is located around the foothills of Mount Profitis Ilias where, thanks to the Meltemi winds (strong, dry summer winds that blow from the north), the unique microclimate encourages the growth of hardy vinestock.
The island produces two PDO wines: one white wine, produced from the Monemvasia variety, and one aged red, produced from a blend of the Mandilaria and Monemvasia varieties, and which is Greece’s only PDO red wine that is produced from a blend of white and red varieties.
The family’s history, their full-flavored wines, the beautiful winery, the tour and the winetasting experience are reasons to visit the island’s most organized and complete winery. From the time when the family loaded their demijohns (bulbous narrow-necked bottles) aboard “Sevasti,” the family’s caique, and sent their wines to the other end of the country, to the present day, when the family’s fourth generation, bestowed with over a hundred years of experience and know how, uses modern vinification methods and exports its products, many things have changed. On the winery tour, you’ll see the old porcelain wine tanks that have been transformed into cellars where old vintages and rare bottlings are stored.
At the Moraitis Winery, you’ll learn the history of Paros’ vineyards, and you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of its most famous wines on the grounds of the estate. Ask for a horizontal tasting of their Monemvasia wines, the island’s best variety, which the winery vinifies in different ways. Other notable wines include the Thapsana, a limited Monemvasia edition from the inaccessible region of Thapsana with its indigenous (pre-phylloxera) grapevines, and the Malvasia, a ballad of sundried Monemvasia grapes.
Tel. (+30) 22840.513.50
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12:00-20:00
George Moraitis has been involved in winemaking since 1976 when, together with his family, they produced their first bottled wine under the brand name “Kavarnis.” Many years later, in the year 2000, he created his own winery under the name “Moraitico.”
With grapes from organically cultivated vineyards from the towns of Kamares, Protorgia and Fikia, George Moraitis produces three wines in a total number of 60,000 bottles per year: a white wine, which is a blend of the Monemvasia, Assyrtiko and Malagousia varieties, a red wine that is a co-vinification of the Mandilaria and Mavrotragano varieties, and a rosé wine, a blend of the Mavrotragano, Malagousia and Mandilaria varieties. The wines are truly reflective of the Cycladic terroir and George Moraitis’ elegant, studious style.
Naousa – Parikia country road, Fikia beach
Tel. (+30) 22840.519.20.
The winery is not open to the public, but you can buy the labels from there.
Asteras Winery – Ktima Roussos
Kostas Roussos has always had an affinity with vineyards. From a young age, he loved to watch the workers prune the grapevines. He comes from a vinicultural family, one of Paros’ many families that cultivated and supplied grapes to the island’s two largest wineries. His personal winemaking story began in 2016. He bottled his first wine in 2018 with raw materials from the family’s vineyard in Asteras, under the expert guidance of enologist Ilias Roussakis.
That year, he built his winery in the same area, where he planted an Assyrtiko wine grape. In addition to the island’s two PDOs, he has also invested in Malagousia, one of the varieties that he truly believes in and is sure that the island’s climate and soil are ideal for its production.
Kostas Roussos produces seven labels in approximately 25,000 bottles per year.
Tel. (+30) 22840.517.98
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 08:00-16:00
Alissafi Winery – Domain Adam
An architect for 55 years but also a painter, Adam Kostikas, who was born in Metsovo and raised in Athens, is an “amateur winemaker” as he likes to call himself. Although he had prepared the groundwork in 1995 after purchasing land with olive trees and grapevines in Kamares, he only started getting seriously involved in winemaking 10 years later when he replanted the vines and repaired the old structures on the estate. In 2008, for the first time, he bottled the wines that he produced with minimal interventions.
Over the next few years, with the experience he had acquired as a self-taught winemaker, he tried to produce wine from the Aidani and Mavrotragano varieties that he had cultivated himself, as well as from the Monemvasia, Mandilaria and Vaftra varieties that he had bought from local growers. At one of the smallest wineries of the Cyclades, Adam Kostikas produces about 5,000 bottles, with wines that embody the history of his land and his winemaking method. “I’m doing this as a means of escape,” he tells us.
His wines are idiosyncratically “vins de table,” with a very exceptional, elegant style, not always easy on the palate, sometimes with imperfections, but they certainly present a very interesting evolution over time.
Tel. (+30) 22840.288.54, (+30) 697.748.6526
The winery is open to the public by appointment only.
A ship engineer and later a retiree of the Public Power Corporation (DEI), Nikos Louridis received his pension in a lump sum amount and used it to create a small winery. Together with this wife, Sofia Iliadou, they began producing bottled wines in 2008. “The two of us do everything,” they tell us, explaining that they cultivate the land, they harvest and press the grapes, they produce the wines, they bottle the wines and they sell the wines on the market.
The only outside help they receive is some advice from experienced enologist Giannis Flerianos. They produce about 3,000 bottles of white and red PDO Paros wines. Some years, they also produce a very interesting, robust sun-dried wine.
Nikos Louridis and Sofia Iliadou will personally welcome you and give you a tour of their winery.
Tel. (+30) 697.494.7740
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00
Agricultural Cooperative of Paros
The Agricultural Cooperative of Paros, one of the oldest cooperatives in Greece, was established in the 1920s. In 1956, after buying out the Votris Winery, the cooperative began producing wines, undertaking the task of solving the problems the island’s winegrowers faced due to the dramatic changes that took place in their sector following the phylloxera epidemic and grape crisis.
In 1987, the winery was modernized, it relocated to new premises, it increased its production capacity and, with the union’s help, it managed to have Paros recognized as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) zone. In the years that followed, the cooperative played an important social and economic role on the island.
Currently, having secured a significant financial investment from a private investor and having entrusted the wines’ production process to renowned enologist Dimitris Mansolas, the cooperative is at a transitional stage of development. The first three wines that the cooperative circulated – which presently are sold exclusively in Paros – are a prelude to its future.
This article was originally published in Greek in Oinoxoos magazine.
Aghios Giorgos, Parikia
Tel. (+30) 22840.221.79, (+30) 22840.222.35
The Cooperative is presently not open to the public