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Domaine Carras

The Greek winery headquartered in Thessaloniki in the region Macedonia was founded in the early 1960s by ship magnate and multimillionaire Ioanni Carras (1905-1990). However, the winery was "only" part of a huge project with a few hotels, marinas, golf courses etc. The ambitious goal of Carras was to initiate a new era in the viticulture of his home and the best wine Greece to produce. The total property with all facilities covers 1,800 hectares, the terraced vineyards with 475 hectares are located on the banks of the Aegean on Sithonia, the middle finger of the Chalkidike peninsula. They form the entire appellation Côtes de Meliton (Playies Melitona). The use of French terms has been chosen deliberately, because you orientate yourself with the grape varieties, the vinification and the expansion according to the French model.

A number of methodological experiments were started in an area that had not previously been used for viticulture. Under the supervision of experts, professors from the University of Thessaloniki, and Professor Émile Peynaud (1912-2004) from the University of Bordeaux began extensive work. The forest was partly preserved to serve as a natural barrier against the wind and excessive temperatures. Entire hills were redesigned using bulldozers to achieve better sun exposure. The first vineyards were not planted until 1965.

27 different grape varieties were cultivated, including 13 French and 14 Greek. Studies have shown that the French vines thrive better at higher altitudes (300 to 400 meters), the native ones at around 200 to 300 meters. The vineyards are planted with the French varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cinsault, Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc and the native varieties Assyrtiko, Athiri, Limnio, Malagouisa, Roditis and Xynomavro. It is 60% white wine and 40% red wine. The first harvest took place in 1972, however, due to various major problems, the entire wine had to be destroyed.

The cellar master in charge was fired and the well-known wine maker Evangelos Gerovassiliou was hired. The French-oriented wines are aged in French oak and marketed under the name "Côtes de Meliton". The premium red wine "Château Carras" is blended from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Limnio. Wines from predominantly Greek varieties are produced under the "Domaine Porto Carras" brand. From the beginning of the 1990s there were major financial problems, after the 1997 vintage there was a total standstill. The entire property and winery have been owned by the Technical Olympic Group of Companies since 2002. All vineyards are now cultivated according to the guidelines of the organic viticulture cultured.

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