SKOURAS: THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
An amazing location, state-of-the-art processing and bottling facilities and a well-designed tour: a visit to Domaine Skouras is a joy for any serious oenophile. A pioneer, George Skouras, is the man behind Megas Oenos, the first Greek wine to bring together a native variety (Agiorgitiko) to a foreign one (Cabernet Sauvignon) in the same bottle. Tour highlights include the aging room, known as the “cellar of a thousand barrels.”
ΙNFO | 10th km of the Argos–Sterna road, Malandreni, Argos, tel (+30) 27510.236.88. Open Mon-Fri 8:00-15:00, Sat 10:30-18:00. The tour (groups must book) is free of charge, but there is a fee for the tastings.
SEMELI: RAISING THE STANDARDS
One of the fastest-growing wine-producing units in Greece, Semeli is credited with raising the standards of Greek winemaking. Impressive in size, design and architecture, the winery is located on a beautiful spot at an altitude of 600m and affords stunning views of Nemea’s vineyards. The estate has eight guesthouses offering overnight accommodation and a dining room where the chef can prepare special meals.
ΙNFO | Koutsi, Nemea, Corinthia, tel (+30) 27460.203.60-1. Open Mon-Fri 10:00-14:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-15:00. For groups of 10 or more, tours are by appointment only. Prices start at €6 per person.
SPIROPOULOS: HONORING FAMILY TRADITIONS
The austere stone tower that rises majestically above the modern winery tells us a lot about how the Spiropoulos family has been producing its wines since the late 1980s: by marrying tradition with technology. The original vines were planted in 1860 and today are cultivated using organic methods. Visitors can have a stroll through the vineyard, tour the facilities and taste some of the signature labels (the Mantinia Estate and Nemea Estate).
ΙNFO | 15th km of the Tripoli–Artemisio road, tel (+30) 27960.614.00. Open Tue-Sat 9:00-15:00. Tours are conducted by appointment only.
TETRAMYTHOS: EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES
In a well-designed facility that instantly inspires a sense of familiarity, wine aficionados have the rare opportunity to see three young people – Aristides and Stathis Spanos, and Panagiotis Papagiannopoulos – approach traditional winemaking from a contemporary perspective. The Tetramythos team is constantly experimenting with new methods and techniques. Another big plus is that you can spend the night at the adjacent guesthouse (€50-80/night).
ΙNFO | 8th km on the Pounta–Kalavryta road, Ano Diakopto, tel (+30) 26910.975.00. Open daily 9:00-16:00. Tours and regular tasting are free of charge and there is a fee for special tastings.
TSELEPOS: IN THE HEART OF ARCADIA
With the stunning Arcadian mountains in the background and right at the heart of the family-owned vineyard, the Tselepos Winery has been producing award-winning wines since 1992 and exports half of its production. The visit includes a walk to the vineyard and the estate’s restored watermill, as well as a tour of the production facility and the cellars where the wines are aged. The opportunity to taste the Mantinia, Nemea and sparkling Amalia Brut labels is not one to be missed.
ΙNFO | 14th km of the Tripoli–Kastri highway, Rizes, Arcadia, tel (+30) 27105.444.40. Open Mon-Fri 8:00-16:00, Sat 9:00-15:00. Tours, arranged by appointment, are free of charge, but there is a fee for tastings.
MERCOURI: THE WORK OF GENERATIONS
The Mercouri Estate survived a devastating epidemic and bankruptcy in the late 19th century to pass into the hands of the fourth generation. Covering 16 hectares today, it is considered among the most beautiful wineries in Greece. The vineyard still has a small parcel of its original Italian Refosco, but has also been enriched with more than 15 native and foreign varieties. Tours take visitors around the vineyard, the production facilities, the cellar and the on-site museum.
ΙNFO | Korakochori, Ilia, tel (+30) 26210.416.01. Open Mon-Sat 9:00-15:00. Tours are conducted for groups of six or more, by appointment. The price of the tour and tasting starts at €10 per person.