Why Wine-Lovers Should Flock to Greece's Nemea Region

Courtesy of Semeli Winery
Courtesy of Semeli Winery
Photo of Ethel Dilouambaka
25 February 2017

Nemea may not have many historical monuments like the rest of the Peloponnese, but it still boasts 3,500 years of winemaking history. If you are a wine lover, this region is a perfect destination for you. With several wineries and cultural sites to visit, the area is worth exploring.

Lafazanis Winery

Lafazanis Winery is located in the heart of the Nemea region in Archaies Kleones, near the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, which commemorates the hero’s feat of killing the Nemean lion. Perched on the slopes of Fokas Hill, Lafazanis’ vineyards include a wide variety of grapes including the Agiorgitiko, a red variety native to the region, Cabernet Sauvignon, Assyrtiko Gewürztraminer, Tannat, and Syrah. The winery produces organic wines, and its history dates back to 1946.

Lafazanis Winery, Archaies Kleones, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 27460 31450

Courtesy of Lafazanis

Courtesy of Lafazanis

Domaine Spiropoulos

The Domaine Spiropoulos, known for its organic wines, has two vineyards. One sits on the Mantinia Plateau and focuses on white wines, while the second, in Nemea, features Agiorgitiko, Bordeaux and Syrah varieties. The result is highly fragrant and aromatic wines, produced and matured in the winery, which also makes wine vinegar and even has its own tsipouro.

Domaine Spiropoulos, Winery of Ancient emea, Korinthos – Tripoli National Road, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 2796 061400

Lafkioti Winery

Located in Archaies Kleones, within the terroir (AOC) of Nemea, the Lafkioti Winery makes delicious and flavorful wine from local grapes. Established in 1963, it was one of the first wineries in the region to use stainless steel tanks and has since expanded to include the production of international varieties (Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon) blended with local grapes, which have been very successful in Greece and abroad.

Lafkioti Winery, Ancient Kleonae, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 2746 0 31000

Courtesy of Lafkioti Winery

Courtesy of Lafkioti Winery

Palivou Estate

Close to the Temple of Zeus in Ancient Nemea, the Palivou Estate (or Ktima Palivos) is one of the two largest privately owned wineries in the PDO Nemea region. When patriarch and third-generation winemaker George Palivos passed the torch to his daughters, the estate underwent a dynamic revamp, making it a well-established name in the wine industry. Producing high-quality wines made from local and international varieties, Palivou’s winery should definitely be on your wine route.

Palivou Estate, Ancient Nemea, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 27460 24190

Cooperative Winery of Nemea

At the time of its foundation in 1937, the Cooperative Winery of Nemea included 70 members. Today, the cooperative has over 1,000 members, all of which grow the local grape variety, Agiorgitiko. With a desire to preserve and spread the Agiorgitiko tradition, the cooperative exports Nemea wines (PDO) to more than 15 countries. The winery is open every day by appointment and also hosts wine tastings, which include several labels, such as Nemea Grande Reserve and Nemea Special.

Cooperative Winery of Nemea, 130, Papakonstantinou Avenue, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 27460 22210

Courtesy of Cooperative Winery of Nemea

Courtesy of Cooperative Winery of Nemea

Domaine Bairaktaris

Another reason why you should visit the Nemea region is Domaine Bairaktaris, a family business located in the valley of Nemea. Opened in 2008, the modern winery is a dream come true for the youngest family member. Crafting wines from the famous Agiorgitiko variety, the winery also cultivates Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Roditis, Savatiano, and Moschofilero varieties. Taking a tour of the estate is a unique experience – you will discover fresh and aged wines skillfully made with love.

Domaine Bairaktaris, El. Venizelou 83, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 2746 020455

Courtesy of Domaine Bairaktaris

Courtesy of Domaine Bairaktaris

Gaia Nemea Winery

At an altitude of 550 metres (1,804 feet), Gaia is the brainchild of Yiannis Paraskevopoulos (an agriculturalist with a PhD in oenology from the University of Bordeaux II) and Leon Karatsalos (another agriculturalist). Founded in 1994 with the desire to produce wine from unique local grapes, it is part of the ‘Wine Routes of Peloponnese’ and is open by appointment. Visitors can taste wines produced on-site as well as those from its sister estate in Santorini.

Gaia Nemea Winery, Koutsi, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 210 8055642 3 or +30 27460 22057

Semeli Winery

Founded in 1979 in Koutsi, Nemea, Semeli Winery is set in a verdant, lush landscape, perfect for a well-deserved stop after exploring the nearby cultural highlights. The estate counts eight luxury guesthouses where visitors can relax and enjoy the winery’s products while taking in the magnificent views over the area.

Semeli Winery, Koutsi, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 27460 20360 or +30 27460 20361

Courtesy of Semeli Winery

Courtesy of Semeli Winery

Ancient Nemea

While the region is famous for its wine, it’s also well known for its incredible cultural sites, including that of Ancient Nemea, a must-see. A vast archaeological site, it includes not only the Sanctuary of Zeus but also the stadium where the Nemean Games took place, which honored the ancient Greek god. Legend has it that it was also the place where Hercules slew the Nemean lion, and whether it is true or not, the richness of the area alone makes it worth a visit. Make sure to stop by the museum at the entrance of the site, where you can admire sports-related artefacts, prehistoric finds from various locations in the district of Nemea, as well as pottery and jewellery from the Mycenaean cemetery at Aidonia and the settlement of Agia Eirini.

Ancient Nemea, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece, +30 2746 024303

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