The heart of the wine region of Nemea was known in classical antiquity as ‘the Land of Phliasia”, and its wine was popular to an "international" audience who flocked to the ancient Nemean Games, one of the most important events in Greek antiquity. Over the years, Phliasion wine became known as Agiorgitiko, “dark, strong, the best wine in Moria” as found in many foreign travelers’ journals of the 18th and 19th century. Agiorgitiko wine is also known as “the blood of Hercules”, the ancient Greek semi-god who according to Greek mythology came to Nemea to complete his first labor, to kill the Nemean lion. The myth has it that when he was fighting with the lion, the creature scratched Hercules on his shoulder and the blood of Hercules sprinkled the grapes next to them. The fruits turned red and that’s how the first Agiorgitiko grape was born. Today, vineyards of Nemea producing Agiorgitiko wine are as old as 100 years, even older and Nemea is one of the largest zones producing Protected Designation of Origin wines in Greece. Its rich vineyard cultivation proves why Homer called it Ampelóessa, meaning “full of vines”. In this day tour we visit some of the most interesting vineyards and wine estates of the region, we meet with local wine makers and expert oenologists and learn about the history and the wine making tradition of Nemea and we taste awarded local wines.
We start our day from central Athens with a short bus tour around the main sights of the city of Athens: the Syntagma square and the Greek Parliament, the three impressive buildings of the Neoclassical Athenian Trilogy: the Academy, the University, the National Library and the Omonoia square. We continue the tour heading south until we reach the Isthmus of Corinth where we have a short stop to admire the Corinth Canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. After this short break we head towards the archaeological site of Nemea to explore the ancient Stadium and the museum. Continuing our tour we visit two wineries of Nemea where we have the chance to meet with expert oenologists and learn about the wine making tradition of the region. Today local estates have revived the wine tradition of Nemea, cultivating the old indigenous varieties but also adding new ones. We have the chance to taste Agiorgitiko in all its possible versions: red or rose, fresh or aged, sweet or dry and even sparkling, along with other wines of Greek indigenous varieties.
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