German wine lovers are familiar with the name Tsantali. The fine wines from the holy Mount Athos or Mount Olympus are a wonderful example of the country’s richness in autochthonous grape varieties and the know-how of the sons of Dionysus.
The Tsantali family calls Agios Pavlos on the Chalkidiki peninsula its home, where they are surrounded by picturesque vineyards, silvery grey olive groves, golden yellow wheat fields, green pine forests, and fine sandy beaches. Here, Aristotle grew the first test vineyards planted in the 4th century B.C. to classify the grape varieties that were known at the time. For more than 120 years, the Tsantali family has been caring for its vineyards, expanding them, and distilling grape pomace into Tsipouro and Ouzo. Its roots date back to the year 1890, when the grandfather of today’s Tsantali generation started cultivating his own vineyard. Today, Tsantali is managed by the third and fourth generations.
Evangelos Tsantalis, founder of today‘s company, built his first winery and distillery in Thessaloniki in 1945. The fine wines and the aromatic Ouzo of the estate became quickly known in Greece and abroad. Subsequently the construction of a winery in Naousa and later the winery and distillery in Agios Pavlos followed, the latter being the head office today.
From the family-managed vineyards and cellars in Agios Pavlos in the holiday paradise Chalkidiki, Metochi Chromitsa in the Christian brother community Mount Athos, Rapsani at the Holy Mount Olympus, Maronia in the historic Thraki and Strantza in Naousa, as well as West Macedonia in Northern Greece, the Tsantali family is creating wines full of character, which reflect their respective terroir and are enjoyed in 55 countries due to their excellent price/enjoyment ratio. The Tsantali vineyards are cultivated on the basis of sustainability guidelines, with great respect for the environment and the tradition of the respective region.
Metochi Chromitsa on Mount Athos is the winemaking familys greatest pride. When Evangelos Tsantalis sought refuge from bad weather during a pilgrimage on Mount Athos and knocked on the doors of the Chromitsa monastery, he saw vineyards that the monks were hardly cultivating any longer. Tsantalis offered to help the monks care for these vineyards again on the condition that he could press the wine for himself, too. The monks agreed, and this is how the “Agioritikos” wine came to the outside world.
A growing number of international awards confirm the high quality of the Tsantali wines and distillates every year. These are considered some of the best ambassadors of Greece and show the positive development that winemaking has recently undergone in Greece. The Tsantali wines from domestic and international grape varieties such as Rapsani, Metochi Chromitsa, Tsantali Chalkidiki Organic Asyrtiko, Tsantali Chalkidiki Organic Cabernet Sauvignon, Agathon and Mount Athos Vineyards are available in many Greek restaurants, well-managed wine stores, natural foods stores, and supermarkets in Germany.