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The constant of the Meltemi winds, infused with Greek mythology and also home to Chrysoloras Winery, Serifos is the Xeric isle of natural beauty - an under-the-radar authentic Greek island hotspot. Sights on Serifos are blissfully low-key but one not to be missed is Chrysoloras Winery, located on a hilltop in Flaskos near the monastery of Taxiarches in the northeast of Serifos.
Specialising in organic and natural wines, the winery is run by husband-and-wife team Christos and Eugenia Giannopoulou. Christos is a Serifos man through and through; he was born on the island, only leaving for short periods of military service and studies. It wasChristos’ father who had a passion for vines, with plots of land to tend to his vineyards around Platys Gyalos, Korakas, Firivolada in the north of the island but it was Christos who nurtured the winemaking.
Eugenia talks of how father and son combined their interests, allowing the wine to flow: “Christos' father was a nature lover, and had his own vines but making wine was not his main profession. So Christos shared this love with his father and made it his profession.”
With the tradition of vine growing sadly diminishing on Serifos; Christos began to slowly buy up portions of vineyards from 2004, reviving the wine-making production and indigenous vines, with special emphasis on the Cycladic wine customs, non-irrigation vineyards and minimal use of machinery – practically every step of the way done by hand.
Slow-paced, traditional and with epic views over the Aegean, wine tastings and tours wisely start at 6pm, when the heat off the day turns down a notch. Tours tend to start outside with a look at the vines with some historical context before learning about the journey of grape to wine in the production area. Afterwards, the stone terrace with sea views is the perfect placeto try the wines.
With a clutch of organic wines to taste, you feel like you’re drinking in the culture of Serifos – salty, strong and infused with a deep mysticism that stretches back to Perseus and Medusa – the wines are epic to say the least and matched with the endless blues of the Aegean and some local cheese and olives, this is an experience that is irrevocably placed in the Cycladic island of Serifos.
Dry whites headline the natural selection of wines from the indigenous serifiotiko vine including ksiro chorio and a natural, macerated amber wine aged in clay amphora (oranz). Other dry whites include Cycladic varieties monemvasia and assyrtiko. There are also a few blended dry rosés to enjoy including a semi-sweet variety.
Being on Serifos means sliding easily into a rhythm of late mornings, strong coffee, wild beaches, long swims and evenings in the whitewashed chora, and now you can add to your list a visit to the Chrysoloras Winery.