Introducing Kefallinos wines from Zakynthos⁠


Dionysis Kefallinos’s first vintage was in 2018. He wanted to make wines with the indigenous grapes of his native Zakynthos using low intervention winemaking that would bring out the truest expressions of these varieties in small cuvées of 1,000 – 3,000 bottles. ⁠


The vineyards are all old, ungrafted bush-vines in very small parcels. In total he sources grapes from over 60 separate vineyards. The vines are pruned into 4 spurs, one for each point of the compass. Dionysis calls Zakynthos a ‘paradise’ for indigenous varieties with 25 that are only found on the island and many more that have come from further afield. 



This huge diversity is down to Zakynthos’s position at a crossroads of the Ionian Sea that has seen Venetians, Normans, and mainland Greeks come through over the years, each leaving their footprint on the island's viticulture and winemaking. ⁠



All the Kefallinos wines are allowed to ferment naturally with their own yeasts and only very small additions of sulphur are made.⁠



Verdea is a traditional appellation of Zakynthos that reflects the Venetian influence on the island (the name refers to the green colour of the unripe grapes in the field blend). The Kefallinos Verdea is certainly not co-vinified but rather each variety is fermented separately in old oak barrels (4-6 years-old) and a total of 16 separate barrels are used to make the final blend. Aromas of grass, peach blossom, with hints of green walnuts and golden plums. Full-bodied and complex.⁠




Avgoustiatis (meaning ‘of August’ in Greek) is an early-ripening variety found mainly on Zakynthos. Somewhere between red Burgundy and Cru Beaujolais - strawberries and redcurrants, crunchy fruit and subtle, soft tannin and acidity.⁠




Mentioned in local records that date back to 1500, the variety is mineral and chalky with fresh citrus concentration. Reminiscent of Loire Chenin and Muscadet.⁠


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