“Wines of Athens”, a wine-producers association, was established by five members, Mrs. Fragou, Mr. Papagiannakos, Mr. Kokotos, Mr. Mylonas and Mr. Markou. The pre-mentioned producers have as common goal and purpose to promote the white Greek wine “Savatiano” in foreign markets, as a strong brand name and the Attica vineyard as well. Attica vineyard, the largest vineyard in the country, is near Athens (capital of Greece) and maybe the oldest one being connected with ancient Athens. The “Wines of Athens” wineries are open to the public and organize tastings of their wines, which visitors could choose to buy on the spot. They are also trying to connect the wineries with archaeological sites of the area. Athens is the only European capital where the vineyards are within driving distance of it.
When did this effort start?
Mr. Papagiannakos mentioned to AgroTypos “For many years we were thinking of starting this cooperation and we succeeded in it one year ago. There are also 3-4 local wineries having expressed an interest to join us and this will be made very soon”.
What are your prospects?
“Attica vineyard and its wineries are within driving distance of capital and the most important ancient monuments of the world which is a comparative advantage for the local wine-producers. “Armed” with the quality of our wines and our history we could create a strong brand name abroad, attract more tourists in Athens and increase our exports too”, said Mrs. Fragou.
What inspired you to make this cooperation?
“We were inspired by the example of Vienna, where the four largest vineyards were cooperated for the promotion of their wines. In our case a vineyard ought to have “Savatiano” variety in order to join “Wines of Athens”. Another basic requirement is the produced wine to have the high quality standards of this variety via a proper vinification process”, reported to AgroTypos Mr. Kokotos and he added “We have been trying to create a strong brand name for our wines for many years. We managed to make such an effort without any state intervention. It’s in our hands to highlight the quality of this wine and broaden our cooperation”.
What are the prospects for the “Savatiano” in the international market?
“Savatiano is a great variety which was used in wrong way in the past. For example, nobody knew Fileri (Moshofilero) or Assyrtiko types of wines 20 years ago. Today they are both worldwide known. This should also be made with “Savatiano”, which fits well with the Greek cuisine and Mediterranean diet. This wine is the perfect complement to a meal, because one highlights the other. I visited the USA and I did wine tasting with “Savatiano” on the roads of San Francisco 15 years ago. All wine connoisseurs loved it as it has a unique identity”.
For what reason should a person visit “Wines of Athens”?
“Through this effort we also try to reinforce the wine tourism in our region. Pupils, students and tourists are warmly welcomed to visit us and be informed how our wines are produced. Nowadays Greek consumers acquire knowledge for the process of wine production. The 75% of wine success is based on the vineyard. We try to make people to love our wines. In France, there are wineries selling directly to consumers or visitors, not through a liquor store or supermarkets. We would like to follow this example and we stress that a winemaker knows very well how to store wine in the best way.” Mr. Kokotos answered both questions.
How could tourists know about you?
“We cooperate with restaurants and hotels in Athens in order to raise tourists’ visits in our wineries”, said Mr. Markou and concluded “it takes almost twenty minutes for someone to come from Athens centre to our wineries by car”.