EPIRUS

Viticulture and winemaking in Epirus date back as early as the 15th century. Although in terms of quantity its wine production falls short of other geographic regions of the country, this is not the case with regard to quality. As far as wine style is concerned, Epirus produces expressive wines from local and international varieties of a unique character. Epirus’s natural beauty and cultural heritage as well as its many areas whose climate is barely suitable for viticulture can be its trump card in showcasing and promoting a small —but enterprising— regional wine industry.

Save for a few lowland areas, Epirus is especially mountainous, most of the terrain at an altitude of 700m (2300 ft.). This high altitude is one of the major factors that contribute to the region’s humid and cool climate. To the West, the Ionian Sea moderates extreme weather phenomena, which may occur either in summertime with high temperatures or in wintertime with extreme cold. The Pindos Mountain Range functions as a natural barrier against the humid winds invading the regions from the Adriatic Sea and considerably contributes to the increased rainfall levels across the whole province of Epirus. This phenomenon, however, is rarely a problem for wine makers.

The soil is clay of a medium lime content, thus retaining enough humidity through- out the year, which consequently renders irrigation unnecessary. The soils of the vineyards carpeting the slopes are poor and dry compared to the rich soil of the vineyards lying lower in the plains.