This weekend my family and I went to the gorgeous wine region of Aegialia in the Peloponnese. The landscape is simply stunning, and in my view the wine growing areas in the mountainous regions would deserve their own appellation. On Saturday evening we had dinner with Panayiotis Papagiannopoulos and his lovely wife Eleni. Panayiotis is the winemaker at the Tetramythos winery, you can read more about them here and here.
My wife was intrigued by his enthusiasm, dedication and love for his profession. She asked him about how he would define ‘success’ for himself – how would he describe his personal philosophy and aspirations when making wine.
His reply was very thoughtful, and touched me deep down. I felt his explanation was very honest and unpretentious.
“There are many valid goals that a winemaker might have; there is no black or white answer. It depends on the personality of the winemaker and also on the way he or she grew up. Some winemakers aim for the production of high volume wines and focus on economic goals. Others strive towards producing the finest wines in terms of quality, no matter what the costs involved and the final price tag of the wine.
Wine has always been an intense presence in my life: I still remember wines being stored next to my little sister’s crib. Wine was a part of everyday life. When I started growing up, there was no question for me that I would become involved in winemaking.
My philosophy is a simple one; it comes from my heart and reflects the way I was brought up: I want everyone to be able to enjoy a solid, really good quality wine with every meal on a daily basis. It is often the simple things in life that please us most. It breaks my heart to see people turning to cheap wines that they can afford, but that do not have any soul. On the other hand, many high quality wines are simply not affordable on an ongoing basis, and also can be too expressive for instant gratification. I want to make wines that bridge this gap, wines that you get immense pleasure from, wines that pair extremely well with food, and that are within your means.”