THE VINEYARDS OF NEMEA
In the Nemea region we cultivate 160 stremmata (approx. 40 acres) of organically cultivated vineyards planted with the Agiorgitiko variety. One hundred and twenty (110) of these stremmata are located around the winery in Ancient Nemea at an altitude of 385-406 meters, and the rest are located in the Achladia region at an altitude of 336-352 meters.
Our new winery in Nemea is located at the heart of our privately owned vineyards occupying an area of 110 stremmata (approx. 30 acres), and cultivated with the 'Agiorgitiko' varietal at an altitude ranging from 385 to 406 meters.
Designed by George Skourtis and Elena Stavropoulou, its construction began in 2005-6 and its first wine making operation took place in 2007. Only the requisite industrial and production areas, as well as the barrel cellar, have been completed.
The winery's total capacity is 700 barrels (225 liters each).
Since 2008, all of the red and rose wines of the Spiropoulos Domaine are produced and matured at the winery.
The winery's total capacity is 700 barrels (225 liters each). Since 2008, all of the red and rose wines of the Spiropoulos Domaine are produced and matured at the winery.
Ampelographers believe that Agiorgitiko is indigenous to Greece, likely the Argolis and Corinthia regions of Peloponnese, but while apocryphal tales exist of the grape being cultivated in Ancient Greece, there is no historical or genetic evidence to support those tales.
In Nemea, the wine made from Agiorgitiko is nicknamed the "Blood of Hercules" because of the legend that after the Greek hero slayed the Nemean lion, it was the local Nemean wine made from Agiorgitiko that he consumed.(Some versions of the story has Hercules consuming the wine before slaying the lion.) Another legend states that the wine was a palace favorite of king Agamemnon who led the Greek forces during the Trojan War.
The name Agiorgitiko means literally "St. George's grape" which could be a reference to the chapel of Saint George in Nemea or to Saint George's Day which is celebrated in November around harvest time in some Orthodox Churches. However, in many of the Greek areas where Agiorgitiko is grown, Saint George's Day is celebrated in April or May which cast doubt on the theory that the grape's name is affiliated with the feast day. Another theory is that the grape is named after one of the many Greek towns named after the Christian saint.
Agiorgitiko is a very versatile grape variety that can be made in a wide range of styles from light rosés to soft, fruity reds made by carbonic maceration in a style similar to the French wines of Beaujolais, to very tannic wines with spicy, red fruit aromas and the potential to age. At its most extreme, Agiorgitiko wines have the potential to be very low in acidity, high alcohol and high in phenolics with both issues requiring the winemaker to make decisions on how to handle these components in order to make a balanced wine.
The small berries and thick skins of the grape contribute to high phenolic levels of Agiorgitiko which leads the wine needing very little maceration time in order to extract the deep, dark color associated with the grape. It also contribute to the tannin levels and the grape's ability to handle the effects of oak aging in the barrel
DID YOU KNOW