On the slopes of Mount Helmos, a popular ski resort near Patras in the Peloponnese, you will find the vineyards of Tetramythos. As you would expect in an area where Greeks go to ski, the vines are planted at altitude, on 14 hectares of limestone soil between 450 and 1,000 metres above sea level, beside olive and almond groves. At these elevations and with the help of breezes drifting in from the Gulf of Corinth the heat of the Mediterranean sun is somewhat mitigated and freshness can be retained in the grapes and consequently the wines.
Viticulture here is environmentally sustainable and owners Aristos and Stathis Spanos and Panayiotis Papagiannopoulos have equipped the winery with all mod cons since it was completed in 2004. They met in 1999 when the brothers Spanos had a desire to make wine and serendipitously met winemaker Panayiotis and established Tetramythos together.
Greek varieties such as mavro kalavryta, malagousia, agiorgitiko and roditis rub shoulders with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sauvignon blanc, allowing them to make interesting blends as well as single-varietal bottlings. They also make, and have done much to restore the reputation of, Retsina wines gently flavoured with resin. These wines are much debased in the hands of others but here a delicacy is achieved that will surprise and delight many wine lovers.
The retsina is made in traditional clay pitharia (amphorae) specially imported from Crete which is an illustration of the attention to detail that puts Tetramythos among the best producers in Greece.