Greece - Nemea
Greece, a country in Southeast Europe, at the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula is in the Eastern Mediterranean and has been a member of the EU since 1981. With Athens as its capital and a population of approximately 11.2 million, it ranks 97th among the 100 largest countries world. Rich in ancient tradition and history where the first traces of human habitation in Greece appeared during the Paleolithic Age (around 120,000 – 10,000 BC). A characteristic monument is the Parthenon. A temple built in honor of Athena, protector of the city of Athens, it was the result of the collaboration of important architects and sculptors in the middle of the 5th BC. century. The era of its construction coincides with the ambitious expansion plans of Athens and the political prestige that followed against its allies during the period of Athenian hegemony in Ancient Greece. The Temple that was built on the Acropolis (the highest point of a city that was fortified with walls in ancient times) was finished in 438 BC.
Nemea, an area just 115 kilometers southwest of Athens, is also multifaceted with myths and traditions. It became better known from the famous feat of Hercules, i.e. the extermination of the terrible lion that was ravaging the area. The Lion of Nemea was a terrible animal in strength, fury and bulk which lived in a cave with two exits, on Mount Triton. The demigod hero, blocked one exit of the cave thus trapping the animal inside and then subdued it by hitting it with his club, while finally suffocating it with his hands. Also in the land of Nemea, reigned according to legend, Flias son of the god Dionysus (god of wine), who founded a city that bore his name, Fliasia. There, according to one version, the vine was cultivated for the first time and wine was produced, the perionymous bottle wine, and the vine is considered to have been a gift from God to his mortal son.
Nemea was earlier, during the Byzantine period, called Agios Georgios from the Byzantine church of the same name, from which the famous grape variety – Agiorgitiko – got its name. The Agiorgiti variety, and in general the production of grapes and wine in the region have been recorded in history up to 2000 BC.
Agiorgitiko is one of the two most important Greek red varieties. It is grown in the area of Nemea, where it comprises 80% of the vineyards. It is also called the “blood of Hercules” because of the deep red color of the wines produced. In an area of more than 25,000 acres and an altitude of 200 to 850 meters, the medium-sized grapes, thick-eyed, with spherical ridges, soft flesh and thick blue-black skin give the famous Agiorgitiko Wine, ranking Nemea as the largest producer of red wines in Greece.
It is a variety of medium vigor, productive and quite sensitive to downy mildew, botrytis and powdery mildew. It starts budding at the end of March and ripens in the second ten days of September until the beginning of October, depending on the altitude of the vineyard. Agiorgitiko is a versatile variety and produces rosé, red dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet wines that can be drunk fresh or aged. It can also give different types of products depending on the environment in which it is grown. In areas of low altitude it can produce remarkable sweet wines, in areas with a certain altitude high wines, with good acidity, rich in color, with good tannins, while in areas of high altitude it can produce excellent rosé dry wines. The Production Zone in Nemea gives the famous wine Protected Designation of Origin Nemea (PDO Nemea).
The Nemea Wine Cooperative was founded on 11/5/1937 and initially had 70 members. In 1959, in collaboration with the Wine Institute, he made the first experimental bottling of Agiorgitikos.
Today, after 82 years of operation and in modern facilities, the Cooperative has more than 400 members – winegrowers of the indigenous red variety “Agiorgitiko” – and has the ability to vinify up to 4,000 tons of grapes annually, which makes it one of the largest producers nationwide.
Its primary goal is to preserve the tradition and spread the Agiorgitikos, which is an integral part of the cultural heritage of the place. In the facilities which are on a plot of 33 acres with a building area of 8,500m², there are 10,000 tons of covered tanks (Inox).
With two bottling lines, the annual bottling capacity is 6,500,000 0.75lt bottles and 3,000,000lt in Bag-in-Box. An underground cellar with 427 French oak barrels has been built for the aging of the wine. The Cooperative exports the famous and award-winning Nemea wine (P.D.O.) to more than 15 countries abroad, where it is sold mainly through glass packaging in 375ml, 750ml and 2000ml contents. It also has professional Bag-in-Box packaging in sizes 3lt, 5lt, 10lt, 20lt as well as PET bottle, for the domestic Cold & Small Hot Market.
With more than 15 codes in the Greek Market, it has a presence in the largest organized retail chains as well as partners nationwide covering distribution in the HO.RE.CA channel.