At the north-west of Athens, in the region of Boetia, lies the valley of the muses, formed on the slopes of Mount Helicon by the short course of the river Permissos on its way to the sea. The idyllic scenery of the valley was home of the 9 Muses, daughters of Zeus, and of Hesiod, onr of the greatest poets of ancient Greece, who was born and wrote his works in ancient Askra, a city “rich in grapes” as it was called at that time the modern Askri. This is the place where the vineyards of the Muses Estate lie.
The sheltered environment of the Valley attracted and supported large populations since the very early times. The waters of the river, the numerous water springs found along both of its banks and the fertile soils of the valley have always provided abundance to its people, who, having secured a comfortable life, they were able to create a great civilization. During this time, of all the crops that this land raised, the most important has always been the grape, the fruit of the vine. In the beginning, in the valley lived Pelasgians, the first inhabitants of ancient Greece. After some point they were replaced by the Thracians, who came from the north and brought with them the cult of the Muses from the area of Mount Olympus. According to Plato, music was born together with the Muses. Their sanctuary was located on the eastern slope of Mount Helicon near Askra.
It was there that, around 700 BC the nine muses appeared before a young sheperd to offer him the inspiration that would make him one of the greatest poets of ancient times. This was Hesiod, founder of the Greek Mythology, and a rich source of knowledge in subjects such as agriculture, astronomy and economy. He is considered by many as the first economist of Europe. In his poems, vivlinos wine is attested for the first time. It was a wine made from a variety called vivlini, grown in the area of Askra.
Even since then, vine is the main crop in the area and a basic component of local culture. On the slopes of Mount Helicon, grapevines find the perfect soil to grow, while the cold currents of air coming down from the mountain create the right microclimate for the production of wines with character and typicity.
His deep love for wine and the millennia-old wine making tradition of his homeland led Nikolaos Zaharias to found a small winemaking facility in 1946 and fulfil his life-long dream. Here, in Askri, in Central Greece, wine has always been essential component of the local economy and an essential part of the people’s culture.
At that time, in a village of about 6,000 inhabitants, 7 wine making units were in operation. In 1967, his son, Athanasios Zaharias, entered the family business and gave it a new impulse by implementing dynamic and forward-looking ideas. With his contribution. The small artisanal winery was gradually transformed into a modern winemaking unit.
New vines were planned, in 1973 a new wine presss was purchased and in 1987, during a thorough renovation, the first bottling machine was added to the equipment. In 2005 is the year when “Muses Estate” was created.
It was time for Nikos, Stelios and Panayotis, the third generation, to take their place in the family business. Their skills, scientific knowledge and youthful ideas combined with the family tradition and experience helped Muses Estate to make a step further into the 21st Century.
During all this time, we have been motivated by our love for wine and our belief in certain basic principles, transferred from one generation to another.
Wines with Character.
The climate and the soi of the Valley of the muses form a unique environment for vine growing. In Muses Estate, through our work in the vineyard and the winery, we want to offer to the consumer a taste fo this idyllic place. In other words, our aim is to close in every bottle of our wines, the sun that ripens our grapes and the refreshing wind that helps them retain their acidity. To make what the French call terroir wines, and what we call wines with Character and typicity.
Focus on Greek Varieties
We have focused on grape varities that have been adopted through out the course of centuries in the climate of our country and more specifically in the climate of the valley of the Muses. Beside the international quality varietals, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Surah, we grom the high profile Assyrtiko, the aromatic Malagousia, the underrated Savatiano and, of course, the rare Mouhtaro, which grows only in our valley and in the Muses estate vineyards.
Quality in the Vineyard and in the winery.
Our wines are made from grapes grown according to the principles of integrated viticulture. They are carefully picked form the vineyards of the Muses Estate and form selected contracted vineyards of the area. The idea is that you can make a bad wine from good grapes but you can never make a good wine from bad grapes. Therefore, after a strict selection in the vineyards, we choose only the best grapes in order to make our wines with the use of the modern equipment of our winery and according to the ISO 22000 and HACCP quality standards.
In our effort for improvement our aim is to keep pace with the contant scientific and technological advances in vine growing and wine making. At the same time, our desire is to express the history and be aprt of the wine making tradition of the valley of the Muses. In this way, balancing between tradition and modern wine making, our activity, from the field until the bottle, is defined by a sense of artisanal care, which is expressed in all our wines.
Above all, what we wish to do in Muses Estate is to produce wines suitable for all tastes and perfect for every occasion. At the same time, we try to expand our distribution network to Greece and abroad, aiming at reaching as many friends of Greek branded wine as possible.
The Muses estate winery compromises temperature-controlled fermentation tanks of total capacity of 1,000 tons, bottling machinery with a capacity of 4,000 bottles/hour, and a 10-ton pre-fermentation soaking tank, which is used for the extraction of more color and better aromas from our grapes.
The whole wine making process is controlled but by the ISO 22000 and HACCP standards, and is manged with the aid of a customised ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. The winery has a total production capacity of more than 180,000 bottles per year.
The winery Products available for Kurasi wines