La Tour Melas
Kyros Melas has vision, although the germ of this vision started with a dare that classical French style winemaking could really never take root in Greece.
Just outside the village of Achinos one has to drive through dirt roads into the hills to reach this property surrounded by ancient, untouched oak forests, overlooking the Aegean Sea .
Nestled on the side of a valley, on clay limestone soil, at 180 meters altitude, the area is sloped South East. This allows the sea breeze to cool the vines during the day, while the rocky terrain keeps the vines warm at night, thus creating an ideal micro-climate.
Uncompromising standards result in vines producing only 30-50 hectolitres per hectare – A scarce yield, especially considering the dense planting. This density combined with the steepness of the vineyards results in less water per vine, hence more concentrated grape juice. Rigorous pruning (guyot simple) further increases concentration. Harvest by hand allows to pick only the healthiest and most mature bunches with a minimum of stress to vine, fruit and soil.
The estate that started out as organic is moving towards biodynamic viticulture. The vineyard is treated as a unified organism. This balances the interrelationship of soil, plants and animals as a self-nourishing system without external input. Flocks of geese and sheep graze the vineyard in winter to keep weeds in control, and bees begin pollinating the surrounding flowers in spring. In harmony with the astronomical planting calendar, precise phase of the moon is used as a guide for cultivating, pruning, harvesting, and even for filling bottles and racking barrels.
In the short span that La Tour Melas has been in existence, this estate has taken leaps and bounds to achieving it’s French right bank aspirations. Make no mistake here. This is not a French winery. This is a Greek winery, but La Tour is fast emerging as an example of what Greek can produce.
Idylle d’Achinos Rosé