On a recent trip to Zakynthos (or Zante to us Brits) I decided that it was imperative that we visit a winery. Prior to heading out for a much needed holiday, I did a little bit of research and found that Grampsas Winery was only a 15 minute taxi journey from where we were staying. Furthermore, it got rave reviews on TripAdvisor and, most importantly of all, their wine selection looked good.
Grampsas Estate was created to show the undiscovered wealth of Zakynthos grape varieties. With proper care in cultivation, respect to nature and humans and by utilizing knowledge and experience. The strong commitment to the quality of the raw materials and the careful winemaking has a unique effect, making richer the range of Greek wines.
The childhood memories of vintage scenes and fragrant mustard aromas were what led two brothers, Christos and Tassos, in 2011 to create a modern winery in the Estate that they grew up in.
Grampsas Winery is located in Lagopodo, central to the quieter resorts in the south such as Keri and also to the livelier resorts in the east such as Laganas and Kalamaki. It is a boutique, third generation winery that has only recently begun to produce wines for wider consumption under the careful management of Christos and Tasos Grampsas. Their wines derive from the Goustolidi and Agousitatis grapes which allows them to produce interesting and flavourful reds, whites, roses and also sweet wines.
The estate aims to highlight the unexplored wealth of local varieties such as Gustolidi, Pavlos, Skiadopoulos and Augustiatis and to relocate Zakynthos to its rightful place on the wine map of Greece, an island with great potential in viticulture. Respect for tradition and the monitoring of oenological developments at a scientific level are harmoniously combined, offering each wine lover a unique experience.
The premium package consists of three white, one rose and three red (with one of the reds being sweet). Below, I will list each one and discuss what i thought about them in brief but i should say here that they were all good wines and all very reasonably priced as part of the package and also to buy individually or as a box of six.
We started with the Novita 2018 which is a white wine made from the Goustolidi grape. It was nice! Pale lemon in the glass with tropical fruit aromas on the nose and palate. There was also slight hints of minerality there which I’m always a fan of. A bloody good start…
We then moved on to the Novita 2015 and I was immediately hit with banana on the nose. There was also plenty of trpoical fruit on the palate with a fair bit more minerality going on as it went down. It was medium bodied and had a good mouthfeel. Definitely a step up from the Novita 2018. I was already enjoying myself and I was only two wines in!
Then came the third. Goustolidi V 2017. This was a stunning white wine. It was medium lemon in the glass but the nose was one of brioche, bread and nuts. It was fruity on the palate but it had this smooth, creamy mouthfeel which is a surefire way to my heart and to a massive thumbs up from me as well. It was an outstanding wine, so much so that I bought one to bring home with me for £18.
The next was my version of wine hell. The Sun Rose 2018. I knew I’d have to suffer through this one and i didn’t mind because I’d had 3 crackers so far and i was still yet to try the reds. Then i drank it. It was salmon coloured in the glass with a floral nose that offered hints of red summer fruits. There was a big surprise on the palate as there were slight hints of caramel and all of this combined made for a very satisfying, easy drinking rose wine!
The first red we tried was the best wine of the day. Root of the Mountain 2015. It was exactly what i look for in any bold red wine and the Agoustiatis grape can truly hold its own amongst the better known grapes. It was a dark, ruby colour in the glass with strong notes of cherry on the nose. It had been aged for 12 months in oak barrels and that ageing process give it hints of chocolate and peppered spice on the palate. I actually felt like i was drinking a right bank Bordeaux red such as a Canon-Fronsac and to me that is as good as wine heaven. An outstanding wine and another that I picked up to bring home with me for £25.
The next was Root of the Mountain 2017 and though it was good, it was massively overshadowed by its older brother. It was violet in the glass, fruitier on the nose and spicier on the palate. The problem with this wine was that I was drinking it but I was still raving about the 2015. Perhaps i should have been given it the other way around as it’s likely i would have appreciated it more.
And the final wine was a first for me. The Light of the Sun 2015 which was a dry, sweet red wine. It was ruby in the glass and there was plenty of jam on the nose. It was very cloy in the mouth and there were good notes of jam and cherry when it went down. I’m a sucker for anything sugary so I really enjoyed it though I can see why it is billed as a dessert wine.
After the tasting had finished, we were able to join on to the tour which lasted for approximately 20 minutes. We did only see the stainless steel tanks and the barrel room (it was tiny!) so it was quickly back to the terrace where I could purchase any of the wines I’d had by the glass. It was an easy choice. Goustolidi V to start which was £8 per glass and then I had two glasses of Root of the Mountain 2015 for £10. This was not on the menu so I had to ask for it. Each one was worth every penny and I got into a good conversation about Root of the Mountain 2015 with Yiannis as it was his favourite. I was pretty much sozzled at this point so it was time to purchase a couple of bottles before leaving and heading on back to our apartment.
Many many thanks to Grampsas Winery for what has been the best wine tasting experience I have had to date. I drank seven very, very good wines on a beautiful terrace in a quiet location with amazing weather and I loved every minute of it. The winery caters for all budgets and you could spend as little as £10 or as much as £150 and still get the trademark Greek hospitality with outstanding wines to taste. Yiannis looked after us from the moment we arrived and you can tell he loves his job because it really comes through as he’s explaining about the wines and the winery itself. His welcome was outstanding and he even bade us farewell with a cheeky bottle for free which really topped the experience off.
More information about booking can be found on the Grampsas website.
Opening hours vary and they are closed on Friday’s and Saturday’s so be sure to check Google in advance. On their Google Business page they said that tours operate every half hour but this wasn’t the case when we visited and we jumped on a pre-booked tour and mooched around in the background.
Grampsas really understand the benefits of wine tourism and they take advantage of the influx of tourists to the island by ensuring that their tours are succinct (and spoken in very good English), that the welcome and farewell you receive are second to none (I’m talking about you Yiannis), that there is a tasting list to suit all budgets and that you’re enjoying really good wine in a very tidy, peaceful, well looked after place. They care and it really does shine through.
You can buy online at GreeceAndGrapes.com
The Grampsas website includes further information about their wines, along with details about tours, tastings and more.
Telephone: (+30) 697 403 4800
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