Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Grape harvest

Τhe 14th century Byzantine Monastery ‘Virgin Mary of the Rocks’, 
 built on the breathtaking hills in Nemea Valley

September is the month of the grape harvest, synonymous
 for us Corinthians to Nemea. For those who may not know, 
Nemea boasts over 3000 years of wine making tradition,
 making it the oldest continuous wine making region in the world. 
 The Nemea Valley lies on the northeast side of the Peloponnese. 

The wine harvesting has always been a time of celebrations of
 the local communities since the ancient times (Nemean Games
 organised to honour Dionysus-Bacchus, the God of wine). 
Nemea is home to St.George’s grape (Agiorgitiko) the most 
versatile indigenous red variety in Greece. This great blend
 of wine is also nicknamed ‘the blood of Hercules” because of
 the legend that after the Greek hero slayed the Nemean Lion, 
he consumed this local wine.

 In recent years, as well, an annual festival called
 ‘Great days of Nemea’
 showcases a series of events ; almost all wineries open their
 doors, allowing tours to the vineyards and visits to the cellars,
 offering wine tasting experiences and releasing all secrets
 regarding the wine making, from the stripping of the grapes
 to the fermentation of the juice in the vats. 

So, on a sun kissed Saturday in early September, in the beginning
 of the grape harvest period, we were offered the chance to walk
 along the wine roads of Nemea Valley and trod in the footsteps
 of several wine growers taking part in the grape harvesting. 
The thought of the sun blessed land of Nemea, always floods my 
mind with images of fresh cut grapes, golden vineyards
 and the aroma of wine.

All of us, young and old, equipped with pruner shears and harvest
 bins poured into the vineyards delighted to have been assigned
 the duty to cut the grapes and then stomp them with bare feet.
 What an unforgettable workout for the kids especially! 

However, the winemakers with whom we had some friendly talks
 after that, explained to us that smashing grapes is now an 
obsolete practice as  some efficient alternative methods are
 widely used in order to maintain the best possible quality 
of the product. 

Wine tasting 

Vassiliou Domaine

Drying of currants to make raisins

So, pour yourselves a glass of good wine to welcome the chilly
autumn nights and accompagny it with a bit of Beethoven!

'Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes 
and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind
 and makes them spiritually drunken’
 Ludwig Van Beethoven 

Typical local landscape  

I bid you farewell with this sweet girl of mine eager to taste
 her harvest.

Wishing you a mellow yellow autumn full of 
sweetness and happiness. 


  1. Dag lieve Olympia,

    Prachtige foto serie en dat de druiven en de wijn jullie goed mag smaken.

    Lieve groet,

  2. What a wonderful bounty of grapes and in such a lovely setting too - cheers Olympia, it is always a great pleasure to know that you back in this space once more.

  3. The grape harvest is wonderful, Olympia. The vineyards are beautiful, aren't they? I used to live in a town that had wine vineyards, so I drove by them all the time. I love the barrel picture with the wine, that's so cool. I bet the kids enjoyed the special tradition of the "stomping of the grapes." I'm not familiar with the 14th century Byzantine Monastery ‘Virgin Mary of the Rocks." I'll have to read about it right now.

    Wishing you sweet October days.

    love, ~Sheri

  4. What a great tradition , and wonderful landscape ! I am not a drinker myself but I like the process of creating wine and the whole ceremony .

  5. Few places are as beautiful and captivating as vineyards, as you've so skillfully shown with your gorgeous photos,


  6. Wow how great to see this photos. Nice tradition.
    Hugs from here

  7. Wonderful images - I have been picking our grapes and trying to make wine - it doesn't look very successful at the moment! Wish we had your sunshine too! Sarah X

  8. Such a beautiful tradition, dear Olympia, and so wonderful that you and your sweet daughter were able to participate. The photos are so lovely, especially the homes on the hillsides and the deep blue grapes hanging in pretty clusters. Wishing you a beautiful October. Hugs xo Karen

  9. Le Péloponnèse est une terre bénie des Dieux et tu rend magnifiquement cela par tes photos!
    J'aime à savoir que l'on foule encore le raisin avec les pieds.
    Cela me rappelle des souvenirs d'enfance. Un de mes grands-pères était vigneron.
    Je te souhaite un très beau week-end.

  10. In France, it's over now. Grapes harvest were earlier than usual.
    Thank you for your story:)

  11. Such a beautiful post.
    I enjoyed your words and photographs, those fruits look amazing.

    I love this time of year.
    Sending my good wishes

    All the best Jan

  12. This could be a scene in a movie, Olympia, stunning photos. I once had the experience of crushing grapes with my bare feet when I was a young girl, it was wonderful.

  13. Looks like a lovely day out in beautiful surroundings. Enjoy autumn.Hx

  14. Oh next year we will have to participate in the Nemea festival when the wineries open their doors. We've been there twice and LOVE this area but have never found a winery open. Thanks for a beautiful post, Olympia!! xx J.

  15. What a lovely post and so many beautiful and warm pictures!
    Have a great weekend, take care Olympia :)

  16. The most versatile indigenous red variety in Greece.
    meet and greet Heathrow


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