Remote vineyards and ancient monuments make this region the ideal destination for a wine-lovers’ road trip. Just don’t forget to fill up, says Sarah Jane Evans MW
Peloponnese: Six of the best wineries to visit
Founded in 1979, Semeli’s Domaine Helios winery sits at 600m in the highly prized Koutsi region, with superb views. Welcoming to visitors, it offers a good range of Greek varieties and you can stay here.
George Skouras launched his pioneering label Mega Oenos in 1988, the first to blend Cabernet with Aghiorghitiko, followed by his Viognier Eclectique and Dum Vinum Sperum Chardonnay. Labyrinth, a special blend, is topped up, solera style, every year.
This award-winning modern winery is just 15 minutes the other side of the airport from Athens. There’s a chance to discover fresh Savatiano from Attica, as well as a resinated – Retsina – version.
George Palivos, the third generation here, is an Aghiorghitiko specialist. He describes Nemea as ‘the Bordeaux of southeast Europe’. The winery is 800m from the impressive site of ancient Nemea.
Giannis Tselepos trained in Dijon, and grows Moschofilero, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Merlot and Cabernet. Tselepos Estate is 14km southeast of Tripoli near the ancient city of Tegea, in the foothills of Mount Parnon. A tour includes a little chapel in the midst of the vineyards.
In Koutsi, Nemea, Gaia produces top-quality Aghiorghitiko, showing the potential seriousness of the grape. A regular Trophy winner at the Decanter World Wine Awards, visits are by appointment.