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by Markus Stolz

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Ktima Tselepos

byMarkus Stolz
May 20, 2009, 6 Comments

 

Yiannis TseleposYiannis Tselepos invited me for talk and food to his estate in Rizes, very close to Tripoli, on the 19th of May. It was a hot, but extremly windy day, I could not go faster than 120 km/h on the motorway. After I arrived at the winery, Yiannis took more than an hour to show me his vineyards. The altitude is about 800 m, and there are a total of 50 ha, plus another 30 ha of forest. On the photo on the left the city of Tripoli can be seen in the background. I turned around in any direction, and all I could see was the vast territory of the Tselepos estate. It it an amazing sight! Up to 25 employees work in the vineyards, and all work is done by hand. For example, weed is pulled out by hand only – quite a task for such a large area. Grape varieties are Moschofilero, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, newly planted Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The soil consists of schist. Tselepos also owns 8.5 ha of the Driopi Estate in Nemea, where Agiorgitiko is planted. Included in the vineyards in Rizes is a beautifully built private church with hand-painted pictures of wine related biblical themes. In addition, a mill from 1780 was restored, this is yet another showpiece. Yiannis told me that he wanted to show me everything so that I get a feeling for the man behind the label, he does not usually show people around. I was very impressed, the love for even the smallest detail cannot be missed. He lives and breathes wine and certainly is extremly passionate. We then drove to Tripoli and had a light lunch in the oldest taverna in town (1933). Food was perfect, oven baked anchovies, beet and wild mountain herbs. We drove back to his estate and had coffee there. He is also currently building a new winery plus cellar from scratch. Work should be completed this year. As a summary, this is a very serious estate where the passion for wine is matched by the meticulous work in the vineyards.
Tselepos Vineyards
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About Markus Stolz

Over the last years, I have come to really appreciate Greek wines. There are many grape varieties that exist only in Greece and I have the good fortune of being able to try them all. I wish to share my enthusiasm with wine lovers around the world, who often limit themselves to maybe four red and four white grape varieties for most of their life.

  1. bill horganSeptember 3, 2009, 8:54 am

    It would have been nice to have reviewed the wines currently available and to have barreled sampled some up and coming wines.

  2. adminSeptember 3, 2009, 9:21 am

    Bill,

    thanks for your suggestion. I will keep this in mind for future articles, glad you brought this up.

    Markus

  3. GeorgiaSeptember 25, 2009, 9:58 pm

    I also got to visit Tselepos winery with a friend of mine on August 24th, 2009. I loved it! I was able to taste some of the wines and chatted with the oenologists. I am very proud to have wineries like this in Arcadia! My parents have a house in Tripoli and were born and raised in Arcadia….so it definitely means a lot to me! I work for an Importer/distributor here in the USA and we sell Italian and Greek wines. I am currently looking for a new job in the wine field but would like to stay with Greek wines. I do believe with the right marketing Greek wines would be a huge success in the USA! Thank you so much for your blog…I look forward to reading more!

    Georgia

  4. elloinosSeptember 25, 2009, 10:16 pm

    Hi Georgia,

    thanks for your comment! I am glad you visited the estate, Yiannis Tselepos is larger than life himself and a great character who is totally commited to his work. I hope you will be able to stay with Greek wines, maybe somebody in the business who reads this can make contact? I agree that Greek wines could be a huge success in the US, which is already further evolved in this respect than Europe. I am receiving quite a bit of interest from the US, which can only be a good sign of things to come.

    Markus

  5. Paul DOctober 8, 2009, 10:33 pm

    Have enjoyed the Gewurztraminer (called Melissopetra if memory serves) I have managed to track down on a couple of occasions whilst holidaying in Greece.

  6. elloinosOctober 8, 2009, 10:43 pm

    Paul, Melissopetra is the correct name :) I admire this Gewurztraminer, one would not place this as coming from Greece. Mantinia has a cool climate for Greek standards, and the vineyards have an average height of approximately 600 meters. This results in wines that could easily be mistaken as coming from a cool climate area like Alsace. But this Gewurztraminer offers an additional fruit layer, very exciting wine indeed.