Kontozisis Organic Vineyards is an organic grower in Karditsa, a rural town in the region of Thessaly. Karditsa is known as the bicycle capital of Greece, and the homeland of the impressive Limniona red grape. The winery and vineyards are on the foothills of mount Agrafa, in two distinctive terroirs between Kanalia and Dafnospilia.
Kontozisis has been practicing certified organic agriculture and organic vinification since 1991, one of the first to get such a certification in Greece. His long term commitment to organic practices shows his honest approach to sustainability. Having worked only with the local market of Karditsa, organic practices were something that was not appreciated, but Kontozisis insisted on farming without chemicals, and making honest, natural wines. The few loyal fans of Kontozisis wines in Karditsa were enough to keep going throughout the years, and eventually making them available to a market that fully embraced the authenticity in those wines; the big urban centers of the United States.
Andreas Kontozisis and his partner Aphrodite Tousia are working passionately with the area’s indigenous red grape, Limniona, among others, for which they have developed proprietary vineyard techniques to get as much concentration as possible from the variety’s large grapes. All grapes are hand harvested and pruned from the low-yield (28 hectoliters / ha) estate-owned vineyards of 11 ha. Kontozisis uses no press (only free run wines) and no commercial yeasts.
- Winery: Kontozisis Organic Vineyards
- Focus: Natural vinifications of the local Limniona and Malagousia grapes
- Region: Karditsa (Thessaly)
- Year founded: 1991
- Size: 11 hectares
- Grapes: Limniona / Xinomavro / Merlot / Syrah / Malagousia / Assyrtiko / Roditis / Muscat of Alexandria / Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay
- Viticulture: Organic
- Climate: Warm and sunny during summer with low precipitation. Mountain formations provide cool nights (the big variance of temperature between day and night, together with the area’s micro-climate, soil, and cold currents from the surrounding mountains, give the wines / grapes their unique expression and sense of place). Rains could be a problem during mid to late September.
- Soil: Sand / loam
- Vine age: Planted between 1991 and 2010
- Altitude: 200-250m
- Distance from coast: 50 miles
- Percentage of estate owned grapes: 100%