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For more than one hundred years the Zafeirakis family has been practicing viticulture in the town of Tyrnavos. This is central Greece, the region of Thessaly, south of Macedonia, north of Sterea, which is north of Attica, where Athens is, and East of Epirus. This is the land of Achilles, Centaurs, dramatic cliffs and rugged mountains, verdant valleys, and the largest plain in Greece.  Thessaly has cold winters and hot summers, a classical European continental climate. It’s capital, Larissa, is a modest city of less than 200,000 residents.

The fourth and current generation of Zafeirakis wine maker is Christos. After completing his degree in Enology at the university of Athens, he continued at the University of Turin and then the Agricultural University of Milano for a Masters in Winery Management. All of this achieved while working in various Italian regions including Piemonte, Toscano, and Alto Adige.


Upon returning to Greece in 2005, he planted his first organic vineyard in the PGI region of Tyrnavos. Armed with a modern education and exposure to new ideas, Christos set about changing the way things are done in Greek winemaking. He has gained notoriety for his efforts to revive the regional indigenous variety, Limniona, a grape often compared to Pinot Noir. His stylings of this ancient variety are akin to Burgundy in their elegance and depth. Additionally, he has gained fame with the traditional white, Malagousia, and with Chardonnay.


Christos employs Organic and Biodynamic practices, uses indigenous yeasts, and generally takes a hands-off approach to his winemaking. White wines are refrigerated for 24 hours around 40F and then they are fermented in steel tanks and/or in large wooden barrels, racked from the lees and left on the skin. The wines are aged in large oak barrels, some old some new, depending on the vintage.


Red Wines, meanwhile, are vinified according to the Tyrnavos PGI guidelines. Large, used, Austrian tanks are used without added yeasts. Extraction is typically around three weeks, followed by malolactic fermentation, also conducted within oak barrels. Aging is done in varies larger barrels, both old and new, as well as amphorae, averaging around 12 months prior to bottling.


Foothills Chardonnay


This is from a region that is hot and dry in the summer. The average age of vines are between 20 and 30 years. The soils are flinty, sandy-clay. The source vineyard is Paleomylos in Tyrnavos and sits between 200 and 300 M, essentially high foothills, as the name suggests. Fermentation occurred spontaneously in oak barrels, and maturation occurred in larger oak barrels for a year. This is world-class chardonnay, rich and creamy without being heavy. It is minerally and bouncy, yet it has some stuffing, a girth suggestive of great wines.


Microcosmos Malagousia


This is from the same vineyard as the Chardonnay in Paleomylos, in sandy-clay soils with a high concentration in flint, sitting at 200-300 altitudes. The vines are 20 years old. This wine is certified organic by Biohellas. Vinification is classic, with spontaneous fermentation using wild yeasts. Both fermentation and aging occur in stainless steel to preserve both freshness and levity. Malagousia is a member of the floral whites. Like it’s brethren, it is very peachy, loaded with white flowers, hints of honeysuckle, and sugary baking spices, while maintaining dryness. Additionally, these can be lowish in acid. However, Microcosmos has ample enough acidity to support what could be a fairly huge personality. If you love southeast Asian foods, like Vietnamese, this is a good pairing.




This is a grape that is finally getting its long-earned place at the table of the greatest whites in the world. Hailing from the Cyclades, and finding its fame and glory on the small island of Santorini, Assyrtiko is becoming an important part of wineries’ portfolio all over Greece.

The reason is the sheer complexity and elegance this grape is capable of; explosions of citrus and exotic minerality, the weightiness and bracing intensity of a Riesling, and the length and sophistication of top Burgundy. Zafeirakis’ hilly take on this island grape is all about structure and green fruit. While there are hints of saltiness, this is not what drives the minerality like its sea-adjacent siblings. Here, there are more hints at volcanic soils and limestone.  There is no end of shellfish that is ideal with this Assyrtiko.


Limniona Rosé


The grapes for this wine are refrigerated for 24 hours at 40F and vinified with native yeasts, and no fermentation. This rose is herbaceous, leaning towards strawberries, and stewed cranberries. This is not St. Tropez water, rather something for the table, yet still every bit as fresh and crisp.


Young Vineyards Limniona


This is 100% Limniona from the younger vines on the estate, spontaneously fermented in large oak vats, and aged in very large oak. This is Limniona’s Côte Challonnaise to the older vine’s Côte de Nuit. Red fruit is at the core of this wine, with high-toned, brambly notes, clay pot, wild herbs, and a touch of anise.




Made from vines averaging around 25 years, from vineyards at Paleomylos and Kampilaga. This wine was made with spontaneous fermentation in large oak barrels, extraction lasted for 20 to 25 days. The wine was then aged in large 1200L and 2400L barrels. Limniona from older vines gains a fair amount of complexity, while the characteristics intensify; dark red fruits, wild berries, black cherries, blackberries, and a hint of purply licorice. This wine is certified Organic by Biohellas. This would be wonderful with a game stew, wild mushrooms, braised beef, wild boar, and so much more.








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