Our winery is located in the very heart of the Peloponnese’s wine region, in the municipal district of Archaies Kleones (ancient Cleonae), Nemea, alongside the Corinth-Tripoli National Highway. It lies within the PDO Nemea winegrowing zone, Greece’s largest one, and is located just 50 km away from the PDO Mantinia winegrowing zone, Greece’s second largest. In the old days, the area was called “Kontostavlos”. The imposing Fokas Hill location is to the northwest of the winery, whereas the ruins of the acropolis of the ancient town of Cleonae rise northeast of the winery. What is more, the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, a monument commemorating Hercules’ killing of the Nemea lion, the hero’s first and greatest labor, are all to be found between those two landmarks, right at the Lafazanis estate border. At a distance of 5.5 km, our visitors have access to the significant archaeological site of Nemea where sights include the Temple of Zeus, the ancient stadium, and the site’s museum. Accessing our winery is easy via the junction of Aghios Vasilios-Archaies Kleones, at the 104-km mark of the Athens-Tripoli National Highway. The route is considered one of Greece’s most fascinating wine roads and destinations.
Our winery’s production capacity is 4,000 tons per year. The winery’s technical facilities are so structured as to combine modern technology with traditional techniques and an environmentally friendly design. The plant is outfitted with stainless steel tanks for fermentation storage in various sizes, pneumatic vacuum presses, a cellar reserved for wine ageing and equipped with French oak casks, and high-tech bottling lines. The facilities are under fully controlled temperature and humidity conditions throughout, to ensure that both production process and products enjoy excellent quality. One part of our premises has been designated as our event hall where product presentations, wine tasting, and seminars take place.
Pre-harvest control is designed to determine the date of harvest. The grapes’ maturity is tested physiologically and technologically both in the vineyard and in the laboratory and is then assessed by means of representative fruit samples.
Our harvest is the last task carried out in the vineyards. The date of harvest depends on how the grapes look and what the lab measurements show. The grapes are picked by people who know how to handle this enormously important task and how to leave vine and fruit unharmed so as to avoid affecting the raw material’s quality adversely.
The winemaking process begins with the supply of grapes from the privately-owned vineyards as well as from the cooperating ones. In either case, supplies are continuously monitored for quality. To protect our precious raw material, the grapes approved are placed in small crates (capacity: 20 kg) and then transported to their destination.
We implement pre-fermentative clarification by static racking only. During that process sulfate, ascorbic acid, and an enzyme that helps with the racking process are all added to the grape must. The must stays at a low temperature so that the action of the yeast is inhibited and the juice becomes separated from skins and other pulp residue.
The red vinification process begins with the destemming of the grapes. The raw material is then led to a fermentation tank and, in some cases, we apply cold maceration (cold soak). The must remains in the tank so that we can extract from it the desired elements such as color, tannins, and aromas. The next step involves the separation of the pomace from the juice and, in some cases, that is followed by malolactic fermentation. Many of the wines are then allowed to age in oak casks. No matter what the procedure, all steps are carefully monitored and carried out under controlled conditions.
Filtering is carried out by channeling the wine through filters which help it stay clear and stabilized while trapping and removing undesirable particles, bacteria, and yeast. Wine filtering is a mild process so as to protect the wine’s sensory characteristics from alterations.
After production has been completed, the department in charge of the task checks each lot separately and the batch is released for bottling and standardization, as long as the product complies with the standards set and stipulated by the quality system procedures of ISO 9001: 2008 and the food safety system procedures of ISO 22000: 2005. Our bottling plant is outfitted with ultra-modern equipment for all types of bottles and capping types, while our automatic robotic systems handle our bottle-positioning, boxing, and palletizing needs. Product storage conditions comply with the FIFO (First In/First Out) system.
White vinification begins with the destemming of the grapes and continues with pre-fermentative cold maceration (also known as a “cold soak”) of the grapes. Next, the grape must ferments under strictly controlled conditions and then the wines are allowed to rest for a while together with their lees. In some cases, that process is followed by “batonnage”. All of the cases above are followed by wine stabilization and bottling.
During that process, which usually follows alcoholic fermentation, the grapes’ malic acid is converted into lactic acid through the spontaneous or forced action by microorganisms known as lactic bacteria.
The aromatic components present in wine usually derive from the fermentation process, with some being the advanced form of aromas present in the must. Those aromatics are attached to the berries’ skin and pass to the must through mechanical processes. During the process of pre-fermentative cold maceration and under low temperatures, the must rests together with the skins so that those aromas may be extracted.
After fermentation, lees precipitate to the bottom of the tank, forming a thin layer. During the batonnage process, the wine is periodically stirred with its lees. The yeast present partially cleaves and releases proteins and polysaccharides into the wine. Batonnage is a technique that adds richness to the body of the wine.
That process stabilizes the wine over time and rids it of tartrate crystals (wine “diamonds”) which may later appear in the bottle. Stabilization is accomplished through the method of electrodialysis without having to subject the wine to the standard cold stabilization method.
Aging is the time period a wine stays in the bottle before being consumed rather than the time it has spent in oak casks before its bottling. During that process, the organoleptic (sensory) components of the wine change making it more enjoyable!
Maturation of the wines takes place in our winery’s cellar under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. Depending on the varietal the wine is crafted from and on the result we desire the final product to have, maturation times vary. The casks in our cellar can hold 500, 225, and 200 liters. The casks are renewed after their 4th year of use, are made of French and American oak and are procured from prestigious cooperage houses. During its stay in its oak cask, the wine is systematically checked until it reaches the required point of ripeness and is ready for consumption.
Our distribution and logistics center is located in Elefsina, Attica. It is where all of our ready-to-deliver products are stored so that we can serve our customers throughout Greece faster.