Domain Porto Carras, Sithonia Peninsula
The vineyards of Domaine Porto Carras are located on the western coast of Chalkidiki's Sithonia peninsula 6.5 hours northeast of Athens, Greece. At the point where the lush slopes of Mount Meliton slope meet the clear waters of the Gulf of Toroneos, over 1100 acres of stunning terraced vineyards make-up one of the largest and most picturesque vineyards in Greece. During a 1963 cruise to Mount Athos, the ship owner Giannis Carras fell in love with the coast of Sithonia and the vision of creating this vineyard project was inspired! The first plantings took place in 1965 and the first results were available in 1972.
The father of modern wine-making, University of Bordeaux Professor Emile Peynaud, was a significant contributor and assisted in determining the best grapes to plant in this climate and soil conditions. Eventually 27 varieties of grape were planted, consisting of 13 French and 14 Greek, from whence the first commercially vinted Cabernet from Greece came from the Slopes of Mount Meliton. But the indigenous varietals are the pride of the chateau. The owner's daughter, Ylianna Stengou, has devoted herself to the Domaine and the development of indigenous Greek varieties. Here they grow Limnio, the oldest recorded varietal and Assyrtiko, the oldest recorded white varietal.
Domaine Porto Carras is the largest Organic vineyard in Greece thanks to the exceptional ecological profile of the region. The terraced vineyards are virtually free of most of the vine diseases that trouble producers in other regions and all the vineyards are planted in terraces allowing for perfect drainage. The domaine's chalky and schistose soils contribute to the low vine disease issues.
All of these factors come together perfectly to allow the best grapes in the country become some of the best wines in the world.