The vineyard belongs to a comprehensive management program
The love of Nikos Argyriou for good wine combined with his knowledge on agricultural production urged him to the creation of the first vineyards in 1998. To this day, the vineyard has reached a total area of well over 290 acres. The Argyriou winery was established in 2002, which is the year that our first winemaking took place – that of the White "Erohos" and of the Red "Erohos".
Today, the estate produces 9 different types of wine, placing special emphasis on both the cultivation of Greek varieties forgotten in time, as well as the pinpointing of the special characteristics of international varieties.
Nikos Argyriou was born in Polydrosos, Parnassus, in a family occupied with agriculture and farming. Since 1982, his activities had been in connection with the cultivation of tobacco, as well as other agricultural products, which marks his relationship with the land and its cultivation.
The decision to dedicate his efforts to the vineyard was largely owing to the appropriate soil and climatic conditions of the Parnassus region, which are ideal especially to the cultivation of not only Greek but also international varieties, bringing out excellent results.
The winemaker has passed on his love and passion for excellence in wine and winemaking, not only to the members of his family, who support this effort, but also to all those who collaborate with the estate.
Today, the total area of the vineyard is 300 acres, enough to meet the annual demand for wine exclusively from privately owned vineyards. Due to the ideal soil and climatic conditions prevailing in the area, it is recommended that both native and international vine varieties be cultivated –a practice that brings out excellent results. The vineyard is located in the wider area of Parnassus and is divided into two parts, one position being at Balos and the other at Anamero. The altitude ranges between 400-550 meters and the grounds are sloping with good drainage at that.
The word "Terroir" comes from the French word "terre" which means earth or land. However, in the description of wines it has acquired a broader meaning. Terroir is a complex concept comprising climatic conditions (micro-climate), soil composition, topology (slope, altitude, and sun exposure), the relationship of the earth to the liquid element, and the human factor in the vineyard.
The soil is loamy clay, i.e. the soil composition is cohesive, thus helping to achieve low acreage yields for the best possible quality of the grapes.
Regarding the climatic and topographic conditions, we would say that they are ideal. The area is characterized by dry summers and mild winters while the altitude at which the vineyards are located (400/550 meters) helps considerably in the production of good quality of wines.
The main feature of the area is a continual "breeze" blowing from the mountain massifs of Parnassus, Kallidromo and Oiti that surround the vineyard and allow the north winds to constantly penetrate the area, thus maintaining low temperatures plus sufficiently oxygenating the vineyard during the summer time. Moreover, the climate is considered dry, which is quite an important parameter for the proper development and yield of the vineyard.
In order, however, for the term "terroir" to take substance, human intervention in the vineyard must be taken into account. The viticulturist, based on the viticultural techniques and his dedication to the vineyard, will create his own tradition in the wine production of the Parnassus area.
The wines of the Argyriou Estate have, after 20 years of viticulture in the area of Parnassus, acquired their own special identity.
The Greek varieties cultivated in the estate, are the Mavroudi, a variety that was revived by Nikos Argyriou after years of experimentation and which now forms the basis of most of the red wines of the estate.
There is also the robust Roditis, and the refined Robola, the mineral Assyrtiko, and the aromatic Malagouzia, varieties that not only have already been awarded with distinctions, but also have a global perspective.
Regarding international varieties, we cultivate the classic white Sauvingnon Blanc and the Chardonnay, while with reference to the red ones, we produce the world-famous Merlot, the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Pinot Noir.
WITH RESPECT TO BOTH MAN AND NATURE
The vineyard belongs to a comprehensive management program, therefore the production of grapes is based upon respect for both the consumer and the environment.
Finally, the multitude of tasks in the vineyard, such as pruning, cropping, leafing, and harvesting, is done manually, emphasizing on the human factor that is so important in creating the final product. We take care of the land and return to nature what we get from it.
We take care of the land and return to nature all that we receive from it. The wine industry has assumed a leading role in the green business practices. At the Argyriou Winery, we apply a production model that aims at the best result. Our main priority remains the natural environment by actively participating in a series of important programs that shape the future of the wine industry.
The sustainable practices that we apply concern the cultivation of vineyards, the production of grapes as well as winemaking.
The winery is located within the settlement of Polydrosos and is surrounded by a small vineyard. In 2011 that space was expanded in order to accommodate the new increased production; so, now the winery is divided into two sections.
The first section includes wine-making equipment, i.e. stainless-steel cooling tanks for the wine-making of white and red wines, as well as the pressing facility and other equipment necessary for the production process. The second section houses the bottling line, as well as the resting places for the oak barrels where the wine is aging.
In 2009, a standard wine-tourist unit was created in Polydrosos for our visitors – lovers of wine – operated by members of the Argyriou family, offering tourists the opportunity to try the varieties of the estate wines in a specially designed space (cellar), while visitors, on the other hand, are able to stay in Polydrosos to enjoy both the wonderful local cuisine, and the various activities offered in the area.
Polydrosos is a beautiful village at the northwestern foothill of Mount Parnassus with about a thousand permanent residents. The plateau formed in front of Polydrosos, where the vineyard is located, is surrounded by the mountain massifs of Parnassus, Oiti and Kallidromo, thus creating an imposing landscape. Polydrosos belongs to the administrative boundaries of the prefecture of Fokida, with Amfissa as its capital, less than two hours’ drive from Athens and three from Thessaloniki.
The main feature of the place is the abundance of water. This is the reason for the creation of a rich ecosystem with a great variety of flora and fauna. It is no coincidence that here is the Parnassus National Park and the wildlife reserve, a modern refuge for a large number of wild animals and plants.
Apart from the natural beauty of Polydrosos, however, there also unfolds a history that spans hundreds of years - from the time of Xerxes, who left his mark in the area, as the geographer and historian Pausanias mentions, up to the more modern history of the Ottoman rule and today’s independence.
In today's Polydrosos, the main occupation of the inhabitants is agriculture, cattle-raising, beekeeping, and logging, which provide self-sufficiency to the daily meal of the local people. Also, tourism and the development of tourist residences have proven a very powerful tool for the economic development not only of Polydrosos, but also of the wider area of Parnassus.
The most important pole of development of the area remains the ski center of Parnassus, which attracts the fans of winter sports and tourism for endless hours of descents on the slopes of the organized ski center. There are other mountain activities available in the area, such as hiking and mountain biking. The area is also suitable for religious tourism, as there is a large number of churches and monasteries, as well as for thematic tourism due to the existence of the mining park ‘vagonetto’ that acquaints the visitor with the mining history of the bauxite deposit, thus traveling them back in time.