Gaia Wines was founded in 1994 by Yiannis Paraskevopoulos (Agriculturalist and PhD in Enology from the University of Bordeaux II) and Leon Karatsalos (Agriculturalist).
They own two modern wineries that are located in two of the most interesting and promising P.D.O. areas of Greece, Nemea in Peloponnese and Santorini. Gaia’s main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties in the wine enthusiasts worldwide.
The company first emerged in the market in 1994 with the introduction of Thalassitis, a Santorini P.D.O. dry white wine that quickly rose to the top in the category of Greece’s finest new wines.
In 1995, Notios White appeared, celebrating a happy marriage between Moschofilero and Roditis, and gained respect by wine lovers for the exceptional quality and reasonable pricing that defines it.
In 1996, Gaia Wines welcomed economist Christina Legaki as a third share-holder and grew bigger. At the same time they bought a 7 hectare private vineyard in Koutsi commune of Nemea, and within that they built a fully equipped winery with a capacity of 3.000hl.
During that period, three new wines Notios Red, Agiorgitiko 14-18h rose and the Ritinitis Nobilis retsina were produced for the first time, thus completing the company’s first goal to determine a strong presence in the Greek wine industry.
In 1999, Thalassitis Oak Fermented, a Santorini wine produced in a very small quantity, and their most prestigious wine, Gaia Estate vintage 1997», were born. It would be true to say Gaia Estate was the wine that changed the perception of the Nemea wines and brought a more sophisticated dimension to Agiorgitiko grape, that of deeply aged wines. In the same year, they also decided to produce a unique and rare vinegar from Assyrtiko grape, aged for 5 years, that had been released in 2004.
The following year they introduced the missing link in our Agiorgitiko chain by producing Agiorgitiko by Gaia. This wine is the bridge between two wines that are polar opposites, Notios Red, a young fruity red and Gaia Estate, a wine with great potential of ageing. Agiorgitiko by GAIA could be described as the exemplar of a classic Nemea.
In the same year, in 2000, an old, long-forgotten Nemean recipe for a sweet dessert wine produced from Agiorgitiko grapes dried in the autumn sun, returned to the forefront. The first bottles of «ANATOLIKOS» from their 2000 crop were introduced in 2006, after five years of ageing.
More recently, wanting to complete their «adventure» with the Agiorgitiko grape, they decided to combine it with a foreign variety. The charismatic Syrah, which is cultivated in Koutsi, participates at around 30% in this rich and mature blend. This wine was named Gaia and they like to believe it augurs the dawn of a new era in Nemea winemaking.
Lately, in 2008 an unconventional wine sprang to life in our Santorini winery. Assyrtiko by Gaia Wild Ferment is produced exclusively from a carefully gathered Assyrtiko, which ferments in small tanks and barrels processed by the reaction of indigenous yeast strains existing in the vineyard where the grapes were picked. Every new crop of this very special wine is characterized by the ecological structure of the yeasts that take the overpowering role.
Today, the 9,800 bottle production figure of 1994 is quite significantly surpassed by some 350,000 bottles, which they produce with the highest degree of quality in mind, in honour of those who show their trust in us.