Α. & G. PAPAIOANNOU #154
Nemea’s winery No. 1
Α. & G. PAPAIOANNOU is winery No. 1 in terms of the vineyard area, which is located in one of the largest regions of Greece, called Nemea. This is a winery with a small bottling line, a huge cellar for aging in barrels, and a new tasting hall. All vineyards have been certified organic. The winery owns the most famous Nemea vineyard, located virtually at the foot of the remains of the Temple of Zeus, which makes it the best place for tourists’ selfies. Papaioannou Winery is a family business, where nowadays, the representatives of the third generation of winemakers have been assisting their parents. It should be emphasized that the winery’s founder is one of the oldest winemakers in Greece, Thanassis Papaioannou.
Here, every member of the family works for a common goal – the continuous improvement of the wines produced, the maintenance of high standards of hygiene and organic characteristics as well as experimentation with new types of wines.
Wine that maintains its unique characteristics
Thanasis Papaioannou is one of the first producers who understood and promoted the idea that wine must maintain its unique characteristics. These characteristics come from the grape variety, the vineyards location as well as the procedures, which are followed by the viticulturist – producer for the sake of a biological balance. Mr. Papaioannou’s son, George, a chemist – oenologist, continues the tradition and is as creatively active in his own vineyards as in the modern winery of the Ancient Nemea.
100% organically vineyards
The family has privately owned vineyards in various locations of Nemea, and the chosen grape varieties are cultivated with the aim of achieving ultimate harmony with the ecosystem. The size of the vineyard – 57 hectares – the various vineyard plots in areas of the zone, which are characterized by differences in the ecosystem and the age of the vines, lead to a multi-dynamic result. All of the family’s vineyards are 100% organically cultivated. CULTIVATED VARIETIES: Agiorgitiko, Cabernet Sauvignon, Roditis, Assyrtiko, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Touriga, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot.
The jewel of the range is Thanassis Papaioannou wine. This wine is the perfect embodiment of a dream of the patriarch of Greek winemaking. It is created from a new variety of grapes – a cross between the Ukrainian flagship variety Odessa Black and Austrian Traminer Pink. The variety was bred by the famous scientist-ampelographer Pantelis Zamanidis pursuant to the order received from the winemaker himself, and got, like the wine itself, the ideologist’s name.
Thanassis Papaioannou passed away in 2019. It was at the time when the first release of his perfect wine of the first vintage – 2017 – was bottled. The cross acquired remarkable qualities: high resistance to cold, drought and fungal diseases, as well as the ability to early ripening of berries. And most importantly, he made it possible to create a wine possessing the best qualities of his parents.
The first vintage of 2017, bottled on the eve of 2020, demonstrated a rich and elegant color, a full body, but at the same time the softness reminiscent of the velvety petals, and a delicate aroma of roses and prunes. The wine was aged in new oak barrels for 2 years, and has a high aging potential. The 2017 vintage was released in 2019 in a limited edition of 1,000 bottles.
The Papaioannou winemakers create a very extensive range of wines in the middle price category, but of a high quality. The winery participates in a large number of prestigious world exhibitions and has a number of gold and silver medals awarded by the most prestigious international competitions. As concerns the wines range, wine connoisseurs are advised to pay attention to the aged wines from the Agiorgitiko collection. “The red wine of St. George” – this is the translation of the name of one of the noblest Greek grape varieties, which is an integral part of the cultural heritage of Nemea Region.
Great Days of Nemea
We advise you to pay a visit to A. & G. PAPAIOANNOU during the first weekend in September, when the Great Days of Nemea are celebrated. This is an annual celebration, which can be attended not only by the wine world experts, but also by everyone who decides to take a ride among the local hills decorated with the green candles of cypresses, abundant in autumn. It is due to these hills that Nemea is called the “Greek Tuscany”. We should add that it is also called “Burgundy” – due to its soil and microclimate.