We spent the afternoon in a cozy country kitchen making ‘lazy pie’. The sound of laughter and easy conversation filled the room along with the aroma of fresh baked pastry and caramelized onions. It was a perfect addition to our Peloponnese excursion. Although the itinerary created by Mythical Peloponnese did prepare us for a visit to a Greek winery we could not anticipate it being such a special place.
In the heart of the Peloponnese lies the nature lovers haven of Arcadia. The varied landscape of forests, lakes, rivers, mountains and valleys sets the perfect scene for Eco tourism but it is also home to the Mantinia wine region. It is here in the village of Kapsia that you will find the very special family run Kalogris Estate winery.
This small organic winery is housed in a beautiful 19th century restored stone farmhouse that exudes the warmth and love of the Kalogris family themselves. The estate produces only ten to twenty thousand bottles of all organic wine per year and to paraphrase Christina Kalogris ‘that is enough’. They do not sell their wine outside of Greece and have no plans to ever do so.
Vagelis and his wife Christina made the decision to move out of Athens ten years ago to the more peaceful Peloponnese region with a goal of returning to the old way of life. Their dream was to create a simpler, quieter, happier lifestyle for their family and if the contagious smiles and laughter of daughters Kiriaki and Tatiana are anything to go by I’d say that they have indeed succeeded. They say that by leaving behind the stress and ambitions of city life they are able to work differently leaving more time to enjoy life as much as possible by traveling, playing and having fun together. In other words they try to live a life of balance. I suppose it’s no mystery why this particular afternoon was a highlight for Nathan and I.
Amazingly this husband and wife team had absolutely no experience in wine making when they arrived with their dreams ten years ago but they have since produced some delicious vintages and created an idyllic setting. What is their secret? Well aside from the standard skill and dedication required to make good wine I believe that the joyful energy of the family plays a big part. That and the fact that they play a variety music for the vines. Tatiana told us with a laugh that Dad will play Mozart but that she will go out and switch it to Top 40. Whatever the reason it’s a perfect place to spend an afternoon sitting in front of the stone fireplace sipping wine.
If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Kapsia in the beautiful Peloponnese region don’t pass up the chance to visit this charming family and get a taste of their hospitality and their wine.