It all began in the late 1950’s, when the former Prime Minister of Greece, Evangelos Averoff, planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the country, on the steep slopes of Mt. Pindus. Rumoured to have been “borrowed” by Chateau Margeaux, Mr. Averoff managed to weave the vines into a basket and bring them home. His wine went on to receive a number of international accolades, which helped set the stage for Greek wine. Aiming at stimulating economic and cultural growth through wine, Averoff teamed up with French viticulturists to establish proper vineyard management for Greece’s indigenous grape varietals, which at the time were nearing extinction due to neglect. He found that by blending regional varieties like Agiorgitiko and Moschofilero with international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the wines were more widely embraced. Though he passed in 1990, to this day, Evangelos Averoff is credited for establishing many authentic cultivation techniques of Greek varieties.
Strofilia began with two friends, big dreams, and the cultivation of a vineyard near Anavyssos. They chose Cabernet Sauvignon and Ugni Blanc, for its popularity in France, and harvested their first vintage in 1984 with great success! The following year they had such demand that they needed to blend with regional wine, so they made the decision to use Savatiano and Roditis, which had only been used in Retsina previously. Everybody thought they were crazy, but they were able to show that by picking early and with proper handling in the cellar, they could produce fascinating and delicious wine. The following year, a local chemist intrigued by Greek wine joined their team, and together they began the first wine bar in Athens, Strofilia’s, as a way to give back to their community.
Now, Strofilia is one of the most dynamic and diverse wineries in the country, with vineyards in Nemea, Peloponnese, Mestovo, and Anavyoss, showcasing what New Greece is capable of.