Dry Red Varietal Wine
Characteristics: A complex, translucent red, with deep, attractive highlights. Red-fruit aromas, with notes of spice and leather on the nose. A balanced wine, with a smooth, full mouth feel, culminating in a long, fulfilling aftertaste.
Vinification: Traditional red vinification, with pre-fermentation maceration for the Agiorgitiko and the Merlot, and post-fermentation maceration for the Cabernet. Fermentation at 28°C or lower. The young wine ages for approximately 12 months in French- and American-oak barrels.
Grape Variety: CABERNET SAUVIGNON 40%, MERLOT 30%, AGIORGITIKO 30%
Region: Privately owned vineyards and long-term partnerships in Macedonia.
Harvest: Early to mid-October.
Food Pairing: Roasted meat, red-sauce pasta, charcuterie.
An iconic wine: the first premium wine in Greece. Constantly in production since 1963. Exceptionally food-friendly.
The People behind the Wine
Starting in the late 1950s, Katogi Averoff remains profoundly connected with its founder, Evangelos Averoff, the Metsovo region and our family of vine-growers and winemakers.
“This labour of love started out as a hobby but grew into an expansive vision. If you know what it feels like to have achieved a seemingly unattainable vision, you will appreciate what this means: It makes the soul expand."
Evangelos Averoff-Tossizza "With Reason and Dream"
Katogi Averoff finds inspiration in life and people; in vines, which flourish under difficult conditions; in bears and birds, our companions in the Metsovo vineyards; in people, who overcome all adversities to create. We are inspired by everything that delights the senses and frees the mind and soul – everything that transforms our winemaking pursuit into a true state of mind.
True to its founder’s ideals, Katogi Averoff empowers its team to make their visions come true, to keep alive their smile and creative vision.
In the late 1950s, Evangelos Averoff planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Greece, on the steep slopes of Mount Pindus. In his home cellar at Metsovo, he bottled the first vintage what would become famous as the Katogi Averoff wines.
"Vines of France on the mountains of Greece…," proudly read the label he lovingly designed for that first wine. Yet, it turned out to be more than a hobby. Averoff’s vision to replant and transform the abandoned slopes of the Pindus into vineyards as well as revive the indigenous vinicultural tradition that flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries formed part of a far-reaching effort to boost economic and cultural development in the region.
Indeed, with the help of experts from Greece and France, Averoff developed one of Greece’s most celebrated and highest-altitude vineyards. He also built a small winery on the eastern outskirts of Metsovo. Becoming famous throughout Greece and garnering international awards, Katogi’s red wine became the cornerstone in Averoff’s quest to revive indigenous Greek grape varieties and develop successful blends with foreign varieties. The estate’s vision was also reflected in being one of the earliest to embrace authentic vine-growing and winemaking methods in Greece – an operation model that would become prevalent 30 years later, demonstrating the huge potential of the Greek vineyard.
After Evangelos Averoff’s passing in 1990, Katogi Averoff continued to grow, while remaining true to its founder’s vision, under managing director Sotiris Ioannou. New vineyards were planted in the Metsovo region, experiments with new grape varieties continued, new wine blends were explored. The winery has been constantly updated and expanded, increasing production and expanding national and international distribution.
Managed by Alexander Ioannou, Evangelos Averoff’s grandson, Katogi Averoff today continues to cultivate vineyards in the Metsovo region, focusing on reviving the indigenous varieties of the region and developing wine tourism.
Vineyards perched on the slopes of Mount Pindus
Steeply sloping vineyards perched on the slopes of the Pindus mountain range, battling with wild boars, bears and extreme weather conditions; people who persevere to obtain the best grape possible: This is where our vines grow.
The Yiniets vineyards are Greece’s highest (950–1050m above sea level). On the slopes of Mount Pindus the seasons unfold at their own pace, and the vines take their time ripening.
Yiniets (the Vlach word for vineyard) is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Traminer, Syrah, as well as the region’s lesser-known indigenous varieties, such as Vlachiko, Gudaba and Pyknoassa.
The Katogi Averoff winery is a building of notable architecture. The exterior blends in harmoniously with traditional Metsovo architecture, while the facilities are decorated with unique art work installations.
Metsovo is a picturesque Vlach village of unique architecture and ambiance in the Pindus mountain range. A region of spectacular natural beauty, with forests, rivers and rare fauna and flora, Metsovo has a rich and long history, a sophisticated gastronomy and complex cultural identity, showcased in the exhibitions and events of the Evangelos Averoff Art Gallery and the Metsovo Museum of Folk Art.
The vineyards are situated in the brown-bear habitat in Metsovo. It is hardly unusual to spot the footprints of bears or their little cubs near the vines. In fact, the local bears used to consume almost one third of the white Traminer grape variety production. Even today bears visit our vineyards and enjoy the grapes of their choice. Ursa Trail, a mountain marathon race, is organised every year in Metsovo. The starting line is at the Metsovo village, and the route follows along the mountain paths in the bears’ footsteps.
Metsovo wines have been touched by the bear!