Perched on the slopes of Mount Othrys, a few kilometres outside Domokos, the Gkirlemis Winery offers magnificent views of the Thessalian plain, where the Ancient Estiaotida once stood.


The winery’s story goes like this. In 2004, Ioannis Gkirlemis, a customs broker by profession, who came from the region, bought a significant area of land in Prosilia, in the village of Polydendri.

Here, the altitude, which ranges from 400 to 550 metres, the orientation, the composition of the soil and the area’s particular mesoclimate, which is favoured by Enipeas River, create very good conditions for the production of quality produce.

Shortly afterwards, following a thorough analysis of the soil and other parameters, the first vine plantings took place in order to select the most suitable vine varieties for each vineyard plot. This gradually resulted in a single, linear vineyard of about 550 acres, which hosts ten different types of vines, both Greek, such as Assyrtiko, Malagouzia, Mavroudi and Limnio, and more cosmopolitan ones, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

All of the above is supported by a well-equipped winery, built in 2011 mainly with stones from the vineyard landscaping. With the experience and oenological care of Grigoris Skopelitis, all these different vine varieties are “transformed” into ten sophisticated labels, eight of which are monovarietal.

Today, Girlemis winery –in which the family’s younger generation, Dimitris and Fanikos, with studies in marketing and economics respectively, now participate- is an emerging force in the region of Central Greece, with remarkable achievements in its 10 years of existence. We highlight the most recent one: 95/100 and a Gold Medal in the prestigious competition of the English magazine Decanter.

The harvest

The harvest, without a doubt, is the peak moment –or rather period- in the 12-month cycle of the vine. All the choices, manipulations and decisions of the winegrower are reflected in the characteristics of the grapes. The yield per decare and the way it is controlled –for instance, at Gkirlemis winery it is kept low, around 800-900 kg per decare, avoiding green harvesting- along with pruning, foliage care, watering and many other actions or omissions will determine the quality of the produce that the oenologist will receive to turn it into wine.

Together, of course, with the selection of the right harvest season for each variety and for each individual vineyard, when all the grape components – for example sugars, acidity, phenols and aromas – are at their optimum point, depending on the type of wine for which the grapes are intended. Difficult business, requiring measurements, experience and scientific knowledge.

At Gkirlemis winery the harvest lasts more than a month, as each variety has its own ripening time, as does each vineyard, mainly due to altitude and orientation.

However, harvesting is always done by hand, so the hygiene of each bunch is thoroughly checked, while the grapes are collected in small plastic boxes to avoid any damage and are quickly transported to the winery.

“This summer was not easy,” says Dimitris Gkirlemis, “mainly because of the prolonged heat wave. We had to use the underground irrigation system that we have installed in the vineyard from the beginning, in order to be able to deal with the water stress that the plants were under. But fortunately, thanks to the altitude of the area, the quality of the grapes was not affected and so we can count on a very good year”.

Let’s wait and see.

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