Panos Sarris

Panos Sarris is a young winemaker and trained sommelier, who recently took over his family’s old Robola vineyards and built a new small winery to accommodate his natural winemaking goals.

The family vineyards are the epitome of the Robola grape on the island of Kefalonia, and have been for decades serving as the raw ingredient in other winemakers’ Robola wines. Panos decided to change this, and turn the old, bush-trained ungrafted, dry, mountainous Robola vines into pure natural wines under his name.

The terraced, bush-trained vineyards were planted ungrafted in Fagias, on the really steep slopes of mount Ainos, in 1979, on poor limestone gravel, at an altitude of 800m.

Panos’ wines are spontaneously fermented, unfiltered, and unfined, using foot stomping and various neutral oak barrels, to give his wines the raw maritime character that reflects the island of Kefalonia. Panos’ wines are some of the crunchiest and most idiosyncratic we have tasted. 

Panos is also making some red Mavrodafni from the island’s local clone, from his most recently planted vineyards, and a barrel aged Vostilidi from purchased organic grapes.

  • Winery: Panos Sarris
  • Focus: Natural Robola from old ungrafted vines
  • Region: Kefalonia (Ionian Islands)
  • Year founded: 2011
  • Size: 2 hectares
  • Grapes: Robola, Vostilidi, Mavrodafni
  • Viticulture: Organic (not certified)
  • Climate: Low Winter temperatures, normal rainfall, hot Summers, low humidity
  • Soil: Limestone gravel with 70% slope (terraced)
  • Vine age: Planted in 1979
  • Altitude: 800m
  • Distance from coast: 1 mile
  • Percentage of estate owned grapes: 80%

Kefalonia is the largest island of the Ionian sea. Famous for its exotic beaches and untouched nature, Kefalonia is the island where “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” was filmed, showing the world all its beauty. Kefalonia has an indented coastlines, made up of limestone cliffs, bays, and short strips of white sand. Some of its best known beaches are Myrtos, Fteri, Dafnoudi, and Kimilia. The caves of Melissani and Drogarati are also quite unique.

Kefalonia is a mountainous island, with a rugged topography and little arable land (less than 15%). It has a long history of winemaking, and is famous for the Robola grape, which is considered the ancestor of the Ribola Gialla grape found farther up North, across the Adriatic coast.