Wine Tasting in Central Greece: Visiting the Source

From Attica to the slopes of Olympus here are a few stand-out wineries well worth a visit - and all accessible from Athens by car.

Domaine Papagiannakos

The first bioclimatic winery in Greece, Domaine Papagiannakos has already scooped up a prize for its architectural design. Detailed tours (in Greek or English) through the vineyard, winery and cellar teach visitors about the characteristics of the cultivated varieties and about the winemaking process, and also give them the opportunity to sample the winery’s creations, all of which are available for purchase.

ΙNFO | Pousi Kalogeri, Markopoulo Mesogeas, Attica, Tel. (+30) 22990.252.06. Open Mon-Fri 8:15-16:00, Sat 9:00-15:30; tours and tastings (from €7 PP) by appointment. 

La Tour Melas

The history of La Tour Melas (or Melas Tower) began in 2001, when Kyros Melas imported Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot vines from France and planted them in a defunct olive grove. The guided tours (in English, French or Greek) of the winery and the surrounding area last about an hour and a half on average. During the wine tasting, don’t miss the red La Tour Melas with its distinctive bottle. You can also spend the night here; the most sought-after rooms are the beautifully designed accommodations within the estate’s imposing tower. In the morning, you’ll be greeted with a hearty breakfast of regional delights.

ΙNFO | Achinos, Fthiotida, Tel. (+30) 694.475.6556 and 694.285.8839. Free tours and tastings by appointment, from 8:00-15:00 daily.

Costa Lazaridi Wine Museum

 The Oenotria Land Costa Lazaridi in Attica was the second wine complex to be opened by the Lazaridi group (the first is in Drama, northern Greece). It consists of vineyards, a winery, cellars, halls and a wine museum. A multitude of exhibits and artifacts dating from the 17th century to the present, as well as audiovisual displays, provide the visitor with a comprehensive overview of the history of wine, spirits and vinegar production. Tasting sessions are also available by appointment. 

ΙNFO | 2nd km Kapandriti-Kalamos Road, Attica,
Tel. (+30) 22950.522.13. Open Mon-Fri 9:00-17:30, Sat-Sun 11:00-15:00.

Avantis Estate

Exciting things are in the cards for visitors to Avantis Estate, owned by vintner Apostolos Mountrichas, a name intrinsically linked to the Greek success of the red Syrah. After a tour (in Greek or English) of the facilities, guests can taste award-winning wines by the glass at its new wine bar, or increase their knowledge in an entertaining game designed especially for oenophiles. They can also enjoy the cosmetic properties of the grape with some pampering at the Lenga Grape Spa or by purchasing antioxidant creams to take back home.

ΙNFO | Mytikas, Lilantio, Halkida-Evia, Tel. (+30) 22210.553.50. Daily 11:00-16:00, Sat 11:00-17:00, Sun11:00-15:00; tours and tastings from €5 PP.

Rapsani Wine Adventure by Tsantali

Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain, is also a place where wine grapes have been cultivated since the 18th century. After experiencing a lengthy slump, the practice of vine-growing was reinvigorated in 1991 when the Tsantali family acquired the local winery. Today, its zone of PDO Rapsani comprises a collection of small vineyards scattered along the southeastern slope and covering a total area of 90 hectares. The Rapsani Wine Adventure takes visitors on a “wine safari” up the mountain in off-road vehicles, continues on to the Church of Aghion Theodoron for a picnic of local delicacies and Tsantali Rapsani wines, and ends at the charming village of Rapsani with a visit to the Museum of Vine and Wine.

ΙNFO | Tel. (+30) 23990.761.00. Tours by appointment for groups of 4, 8 or 12; from €40 PP. Available from mid-March to early September.

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