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Epirus and Wine

The wine-producing region of Epirus has a more continental climate than most Greek wine regions with a Mediterranean climate. Epirus experiences some reasonably heavy snowfall during the winter with very low temperatures. Having a cooler climate means the grapes ripen very slowly and retain most of their acidity. This is why most of the wine produced in Epirus is sparkling.

The center of wine production is the capital of Epirus, Ioannina. The wines produced in the area are called Ioannina or Zitsa. In addition, the name Zitsa is the only PDO in the wine region of Epirus and the only one in Greece that is given to sparkling white wines. Another regional name in the viticultural region of Epirus is Metsovo, the one with the highest vineyards.

Limestone is the main typology of the soil that can be seen in the wine-producing region of Epirus. The steep slopes where rows of vines are planted help the limestone hold just the right amount of water, especially after rain. This condition results in less leafy vines and less dense grapes.

 

Grape varieties that you will find in Epirus:

Red: Vlahiko, Bekari, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
White: Debina, Traminer, Chardonnay

 

What to taste in Epirus:

Debina is the number one grape from the wine-producing region of Epirus and its wine is a fresh, high acidity, light and aromatic drink. The most recognizable flavors are pear and green apple. Debina is a delicate and dry sparkling white wine.

Vlachiko is an elegant red wine with a bright, ruby ​​color and high acidity. Vlachiko ages normally in barrels that give the wine an aromatic and spicy aroma, clearly detectable on the nose. Of course, there are some fresh fruity notes in this wine bouquet.

Tsipouro, made of wine…

Tsipouro is a Greek alcoholic spirit that began its course about seven centuries ago in the monasteries of Mount Athos. Tsikoudia or Raki in Crete is something similar. However, its main difference is that tsikoudia is a product of single distillation. In other countries, similar drinks are Italian Grappa and Middle Eastern Arak.

Tsipouro should not be confused with ouzo, as it is a drink with a different way of preparation.

Tsipouro is produced by distilling marc, i.e., from the residues of grapes that remain after pressing and extraction of the must for the production of wine. It is also possible to distill whole grapes, in which case the yield is higher, or even ready-made wine. Both white and red grapes can be used.

During the distillation, various aromatic substances, such as anise, fennel, etc., are sometimes added to the distiller, in addition to the marcs or, in Crete, added walnut leaves. Anise is the cause of the “whitening” of tsipouro when adding water or ice.
Often, a second distillation improves the quality of tsipouro

Wineries of Epirus

Zoinos Winery

Behind the creation of Zoinos Winery is the restless and progressive spirit of the region’s wine growers, which characterizes Epirus over time.

Zoinos Winery website...

Holy Monastery of Votsa

The production of wine is considered by the monks to be an honor and they offer it with respect and consistency.

Votsa website...

Markatselis Winery

The Markatseli Winery was founded in 2006. It is the first winery (100 m2) with a license to bottle wine and aromatic drinks (vermouth) in Thesprotia.

Markatselis Winery website...

Katogi Averoff

Starting in the late 1950s, Katogi Averoff remains profoundly connected with its founder, Evangelos Averoff, the Metsovo region and our family of vine-growers and winemakers.

Katogi Averoff website...

Evdoksia Estates

In the area of Tzoumerka, next to Arachthos, where the heavens are joined to the earth, there is the Eudoxia Land. A century just after the stopping of the old winery (around 1904), in 2004 they started operating.

Evdoksia Estates website...

Zervas Winery

In the valley of the ancient river Thyamis, today's Kalamas, in Parapotamos, Thesprotia, the Zervas family cultivates its vineyards with respect for tradition and dedication to quality.

Zervas Winery website...

Lamprakis Winery

The winery of the Lambrakis family is located in settlement of Kounies in Central Tzoumerka (40 minutes from Arta) near the settlement of Ramia.

Lamprakis Winery page...

Domaine Glinavos

Founded in 1978 at the hill of Prophet Elias in Zitsa, by the oenologist and viticulturist Lefteris Glinavos. The main concern of the founder was for the winery to be in harmony with the features and characteristics of the area.

Domaine Glinavos website...
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