Image from www.asterasparoswinery.com
Reasons to visit Paros are countless really: Gorgeous beaches, cosmopolitan vibes, whitewashed villages, exciting water sports, important archaeological sites… Also factor in the temptations of the palate for a truly well-rounded experience. Unmistakably Paros wines and food constitute great tourist lures: Delectability element aside, they are also a fantastic way to explore Paros’ history and traditions. With September being harvest month since time immemorial and activity in Parian wineries in full bloom; this Yria Boutique Hotel & Spa blog post aims to pay homage to our island’s time-honoured legacy of viticulture. Here’s all you need to know about Paros Wines, before embarking on your journey to the Parian vineyard.
Paros Wines History
Viniculture in Greece hails from the depths of prehistory; with archaeological findings suggesting that the ancient Greeks have been cultivating grapes as early as the fifth millennium BC. Associated with the cult of the god of harvest and fertility, the wine was as much rooted in our ancestors’ culture as it was embedded in their everyday lives. Drinking wine for the Greeks, on the one hand, meant that they were feasting on the blood of Dionysus, thereby themselves acquiring some of his mirthful qualities. And on the other, wine was a staple of their diet, omnipresent on the everyday table, but also a powerful cure for a host of different ailments. Parians were no exception. Thanks to their island’s favourable climatic conditions and fertile soil, locals have been making wine in Paros as early as the Bronze Age.
Paros Wines Varieties
In fact, evidence demonstrates that some of the nowadays popular varieties –Mantilaria, Aidani, Vaftra, Karampraimi, Asyrtiki, Savvatiano, Malagouzia, Roditis, Maloukato or Potamisi– date back to the prosperous early Cycladic Civilization. Others, like Monemvasia -the indigenous, celebrated malvasia variety that has set the benchmark for all wines of this kind in Greece and abroad- are salvaged from the Venetian era.
Boasting a combination of mild winters with low precipitation and no frost; hot summers with increased nighttime humidity and cool winds; and a dry, sandy, clay-like, marble-rich soil, Paros has always been one of the most prolific wine-producing regions in the Aegean. In fact, Santorini aside, it is the only Cycladic island that boasts Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) wines.
To be sure the older generation still remembers the “bulk” wines of the ’70s and ’80s: Those rich and strong, ruby-coloured vinos in barrels, found in taverns and homes. Yet these days local producers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of techniques and presentation. Sown with tender care and expert attention, the Parian vineyard today yields some exquisite gems which have received international praise and acclaim. Wild and ancient, the wines of Paros are in themselves a reason to visit the island!
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
Paros Wines terroir
But then again so is the characteristic -archetypally Cycladic– image of well-tended vineyards, aligned in rows, in the vast flatlands of Paros or perched on its mountains.
As dictated by weather conditions, the Parian vineyards are xeric, and traditionally employ the “aplotaria” technique: This means that the young shoots grow horizontally and freely in bush-like form. As the vine spreads parallel, almost crawling on to the ground, its leaves and seed get protection from the wind and strong sunlight, but also keep close to the nourishing soil. The Parian grapes then acquire their distinct, sweet floral aromas that have nowadays won the connoisseurs’ acclaim, and palates.
Paros Wines & the potent Souma
Wines are not the only potable temptations in Paros, however. Made from the pulp of pressed grapes (or tsampoura), souma is a clear and potent, typically 50% proof spirit produced all over the island. Its distillation is a cause of celebration in itself, as locals -and friends- gather around the kazania (cauldrons) every autumn to sample the new produce. This is a time of elation and joy, also involving singing and dancing to the sound of traditional organs. But souma-related merrymaking is not confined on this occasion. An integral -very characteristic- part of island life, souma is to be savoured as an aperitif or digestif, at the beginning and ending of meals; in feasts and celebrations; in weddings and funerals; as a welcome to friends and strangers. In fact, in every manifestation of everyday life, as you are most cordially invited to see for yourselves on your next trip to Paros.
We do love our time treasured traditions and customs at the Yria Luxury hotel in Paros. And though your travel plans may be impacted, for the time being, we’ll keep fuelling your appetite for your next Paros adventure with more stories and insights about our island’s wealth of wonders.
About the Yria Paros Luxury Hotel
Set amidst an oasis of vineyards, trees, and wildlife, at the heart of gorgeous Parasporos bay, the Yria Pavilions & Suites and Luxury Villas in Paros, offer the best luxury accommodation in Paros. Βlending Cycladic minimalism with timeless style, the latest amenities and a wide array of bespoke services, the Yria Paros 5 star hotel, sets the bar for the savvy globetrotters. From a host of concierge curated experiences, to the pampering packages of the in-house Astir Spa, or the culinary delights of the sea view Nefeli restaurant, life is indeed very good at the Yria best resort Paros. Feel free to consult us to design your next island adventure!