From Amyndeon to the global wine market

From Amyndeon to the global wine market

ALPHA ESTATE is located at the northwest part of Greece, the Amyndeon, in Florina region. Near the historical Nymfaio and the popular winter destinations, Bigla and Saint Athanasios.

A third generation viticulturist, Makis Mavridis, and the chemist-oenologist Angelos Iatridis with post graduate studies in oenology at the University of Bordeaux, combined their passion and love for vinery and wine in an ideal soil and climate ecosystem, at Amyndeon.

The vineyard was acquired and restructured in 1995 and in 1997 the legal form of ALPHA ESTATE was formed.

2000 was the year of the first test of the 1999 crop of the estate which took place in the cellar of the American Farm School, where the three barrels barely fitted. The total production was 600 bottles! That little place was visited by the most important Greek entrepreneurs and future colleagues. After all the tests and trials, our first barrel was already finished.

The 2003 crop was the first commercial crop of the estate and was released on the market in 2005.

The vineyard

The privately owned vineyard of the ALPHA ESTATE is located at the heart of the Amyndeon region, at the “Ampelia” location of Saint Panteleimon and Vegora, at an altitude of 620-710 m. It is surrounded by the mountains Vermio, Vora and Vitsi.

This region presents many changes in the soil with low gradients, ranging from 5% to 15%, with a northwest exposure.

The local climate is semi-continental. Additionally, two neighboring lakes contribute to the mildness of the climate, favoring the cultivation of  great Greek and foreign grape varieties.

During the summer period, the favorable climatic conditions are met, while almost all year, variant speedsof north-west winds blow. Thevineyard region is characterised by low rainfalls, especially in summer, with low fertility chalky sandy alluvial soils and rich in metallic micronutrients on a plateau at an altitude of 620-710 m. which is protected by large mountains, with steady north winds and with the combination of the two lakes, it works as a temperature regulator, creating the ideal difference in temperatures during day and night.

The lands are divided into 3 large categories, light sandy soil, sand-clay soils and finally clay-loam with neutral pH. The texture of the soil contributes to a complete fruit ripening thus offering the possibility of producing wines of exquisite quality and rich aromas, as well as the rich color for the red wines.

The estate’s weather station records on an hourly basis all the data (moisture-ground temperature, wind, foliage, wind speed, sunshine) and transmits them through 4G to the diagnostics center, which sends the decoded to the Estate with information about the possibility of disease outbreak. Then the necessary measures are taken accordingly. Additionaly, the level of water management of the vineyard are calculated so that it will be able to function at a level of controlled water stress (Regulated Deficit Irrigation). This mild management delivers to the winery grapes of high quality.

The wine producing ecosystem of the region of Amyndeon combines all the great characteristics of a unique vineyard. The goal of the ALPHA ESTATE is to demonstrate the dynamic and the uniqueness of the 1.200 acres vineyard, with total respect in the highest specifications of the vineyard industry and the quality results that have been set by its founders.

The winery

The production facilities were completed in the middle of 2005. The modern winery has been based upon the experience and expertise that has been achieved by its founders, with respect to the best raw management principles.

The winery is located in the heart of the vineyard, minimising the transportation of the grapes to installed special cold rooms to preserve the their qualities intact.

For the first time in Greece, BMS (Building Management System) is applied in a winery, in order to have the best surveillance and quality checks of all the conditions that can affect the quality of the production, the quality of the final product and the functionality of the whole winery.

At the R&D department of the winery, new viticultural and oenological techniques are examined with the objective of either creating new products or the qualitative development of the existing ones.

The structure and the operations of the vinery have been designed with the goal of predicting the future storage of very old crops as well to ensure high quality standards.

PHILOSOPHY: The challenge of creation

The process of making wine, by its nature, crosses paths with art. There is love for the vineyard and its surroundings, the knowledge is conquered, the inspiration is born and you are driven to a constant creative process that constantly adds fractures of experience, formed by the collaboration with the natural environment but also with the people you meet along the way.

It is the place that brings the inspiration. The advantages that are presented by the Amyndeon ecosystem act decisively to safeguard the need of creating special wines with an absolutely distinct identity compared to any other wine region of the world.

The specific word “ecosystem” contains, not only the land and climate interactions of the vineyard with people but also gives a dimension through time for developing this relationship.

The complexity of the vineyard matched their personal choices with the land, climate and wine-growing demands of these varieties, having always in the tip of the spear, the Xinomavro.

The thing which defines Alpha Estate from the rest of the wine producers is that they design our wines through our imagination. They transfer their imagination to the vineyard. And yes, the finest wine is born at the vineyard, but you need to master the art and technique of the grower/winemaker, to have the courage, the patience and the perseverance to act without compromising with easy solutions. Each vineyard is a special being and has personal care.

The appliance of modern techniques in wine making as well as the “surgical” hygiene in production areas is chosen aiming in the total respect of the “fruit”and the group effort in the vineyard that takes many months and is the only condition to lead to the coveted result, a wine worth labeled ALPHA ESTATE.

The creation and the development of a standard wine farm in this blessed place, contains the element of “magic” that is bottled in all our wines. In this excellent environment of Amyndeon, human factor plays a regulatory/key role in forming and displaying the dynamic that is represented by the vineyard ecosystem of the region. The main characteristic of our work is the “soul” of the people involved daily to conquer the dream.

Extraversion – Exports

Right now, the wines of the estate travel from Amyndeon to 31 countries as they have “fans” across the world. This year the Estate had such a high demand during the first quarter, that they now have a serious short supply of products. The Estate waits for the new crop to normalize our exports.

The high quality of the ALPHA ESATE wines has created awareness in the global wine market and especially to the wine industry. The company has succeeded in its short time of operation to arrange imports and distribution agreements in North America (USA and Canada), Europe (United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Russia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Cyprus, Romania, France, Albania, Serbia, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, Poland), Bahrain, Far East (Japan, China, S. Korea) as well as Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.

The changing international economic conditions, in combination with the economic size of the global wine market, define the markets in which ALPHA ESTATE gives priority. These are USA, Germany, United Kingdom as well as Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg in combination with the emerging markets of Russia and China.

Our commercial goal is to export 50% of our turnover.

Our goal is to promote the Greek vineyard and especially the ecosystem of Amyndeon but also, at the same time, ALPHA ESTATE wines to be defined by awareness and by demand of the largest markets of the world.

Alpha Estate chooses to talk as less as possible for the winery of the estate and invite all of you to visit in order to comprehend and feel the efforts as well as to meet the unique beauty of the region.

Every moment is important at the ALPHA ESTATE. But, the most important moments and wines are those that follow. The Estate’s dream will continue through many generations.