Laconia is in the most southern part of the Peloponnese, and has the smallest vineyard acreage of all Peloponnesean prefectures. Historically, the region had been truly significant for wines as it is home to the famous Malvasia, which was being produced for many centuries. However, the wine industry there was unable to recover after the end of the Turkish occupation. Although many families produced wines for their own consumption, it was not until 1990 that commercial wineries were established. Laconia is full of viticultural treasures, and boasts many indigenous grape varieties that can only be found there.
Truly exciting wines are being produced – I believe strongly that the wines of Laconia are up and coming. Vatistas is a producer who works wonders with the local Petroulianos, Kidonitsa and Malagousia varieties. Theodorakakou is one of the largest organic growers and concentrates heavily on the varieties that are exclusive to Laconia. Monemvasia Winery also aims to unlock the potential of Laconia, producing mostly blends from up to a handful of varieties.
This prefecture is located in the southwest. The first bottled wine from this area became available only in 1985. Apart from some Greek varieties, the focus is on international ones. The Tsoli winery produces a top Cabernet Sauvignon called Annie’s Animus and also a superb Annie’s Animus Merlot. Both wines are unrefined and unfiltered.
Ilia with its capital Pyrgos are in the northwest. Just 25 years ago it was hard to find any producer who bottled their wines at all in Greece. Christos Kokkalis, from this region is likely one of the first producers in the whole of of Greece to have done it; his Trilogia wine is a Cabernet Sauvignon that is consistently rated at 90+ points. His Syrah is nearly as impressive. At the Mercouri Estate wines are made that express their own personality. Because of their historic connections with Italy, some Italian grape varieties were planted and stunning Italian/Greek blends are being produced.
Achaia is located at the northern coast, between Ilia and Corinth. Many of the vineyards in Achaia are located on steep mountain slopes. The best Roditis wines of Greece come from this area and are typical of the modern Greek style wines. Intensive aromas of ripe citrus fruits are their trademarks. The sweet Mavrodaphne wines of Achaia’s capital, Patras, are world famous and are one of Greece’s strongest export products. Antonopoulos Vineyard portfolio consists of truly inspirational wines of consistently high quality. Mega Spilaio and Tetramythos are relatively new entries; both are being exceptionally elaborate in their production, which is evident in their wines. Finally, Parparoussis is one of the most distinguished winemakers in Greece, and his wines are truly elegant in style.
Learn the Secrets of Undiscovered GreeceDuring the Middle Ages, the Malvasia wines of Laconia were world-renowned
Laconia is in the most southern part of the Peloponnese, and has the smallest vineyard acreage of all Pelopnnesean prefectures. Historically, the region had been truly significant for wines as it is home to the famous Malvasia. Read more about Laconia.
Theodorakakou is one of the largest organic growers in Greece, and concentrates heavily on the varieties that are exclusive to Laconia. Kydonitsa and Mavroudi are found only in Laconia, though their grape collection is complemented by local Monemvassia, Petrouliano and Thrapsa and the widely known Assyrtico, Roditis and Agiorgitico. Find out more about Greece's undiscovered grapes.
Markus Stolz, originally from Germany, lives with his Greek wife and his four children in Athens, Greece, where Greek wines first captivated him. He holds the Advanced Certificate of the WSET. Markus authors Elloinos, a blog that shares his passion for Greek wines and the Greek culture, and can be found on Twitter @elloinos.