We’re approaching our 40th anniversary as a company, which to us seem pretty significant! But the reality is that some of the wonderful producers we represent have been around for much, much longer than that. Our wonderful Greek agency Domaine Papagiannakos is celebrating their 100th anniversary, which is actually significant by anyone’s yardstick. Congratulations guys!
There was plenty happening in 1919. Lloyd-George was Prime Minister and had just signed the Treaty of Versailles – yay for peace! He signed on the dotted line right next to Woodrow Wilson whose Congress had only recently ratified the Prohibition legislation – boo for booze! They then redeemed themselves by passing the Women’s Suffrage Bill – yay for equal rights! And someone completely unrelated had invented the first pop-up toaster – yay for breakfast!
But, 30km south of Athens, Greece there was a great ‘yay for wine’ moment, too. Domaine Papagiannakos was established, having produced its first-ever barrel of Savantiano! 2019 is their hundredth year of existence, so it seems fitting to take a look back at where it all started, and how far they’ve come.
We all know that Greece is really old. You only have to Google ‘Athens’ or watch 300 to realise that. But, you might not know that the Ancient Greeks had a bit of a penchant for wine – they drank a lot of it, made a lot of it (in amphora, too… those new wave experimentalists!), and traded a hell of a lot of it all around the Med.
Even then, the vineyards of the Attica region were highly-regarded, so it makes perfect sense that a couple of thousand years later ‘Grandpa’ Papagiannakos recognised their quality and decided to set up his own winery in Markopoulos.
From humble beginnings
Back then, the Papagiannakos estate was producing solely wine made from Savantiano a variety they still champion today. The grape is most famous for its use in the production of retsina but on its own, when from low-yielding, high-quality vines, produces broad, well-balanced wines with lots of peach, lemon and herbal characteristics.
“Recommended producers such as Papagiannakos in Attikí… show what can be achieved with this underrated variety.”
In fact, if you flip to the Savantiano entry in “Queen Jancis’” ‘Wine Grapes’ epic – the authority on almost anything you need to know about any variety ever – Papagiannakos is singled out as producing flagship examples of the variety.
A truly modern winery
Since then, under the guidance of third-generation winemaker and current steward of the estate, Vassilis Papagiannakos, the winery has introduced Malagouzia along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other varieties. The wines that Vassilis produces are truly exceptional. You might expect us to say that, but it’s true… even Jancis says!
Today the winery continues to move forward, whilst remaining true to traditions, with the development of a stunning 21st century, bioclimatic winery – the first of its kind in Greece – and a focus on the use of modern winemaking techniques in order to guarantee the absolute quality of every bottle that leaves the estate. 100 years of experience, expertise and flawless execution make Domaine Papagiannakos a noteworthy producer, not just in Greece, but the world over. We can’t wait to see what the next 100 bring!
Pure, restrained, and without putting a foot wrong, the range is competently complete and a very good reason to consider adding Greece to your offering!