Wine Escapes to Montofoli
If you are looking for another excuse to go to Evia, on top of the dramatic landscape, welcoming locals, delicious food, sweeping sandy beaches, thermal springs, thriving wine culture and rich history, then Montofoli Wine Estate it is, Tom Hall recommends.
Set back in hills from the town of Karystos, which has played a key role in a surprising amount of European, let alone Greek, historical moments, the estate commands majestic views down a wide valley to the islands of Chersonisis and Megalonisos. With four acres under vine they specialise in an award winning sweet wine whose closest relative would be a vin santo. A blend of four Greek grapes, the wine is wonderfully complex and balanced with notes of creme caramel, armagnac soaked prunes and crystallised orange peel.
They also make a delicious dry white with grenache blanc, a rose and a red with grapes bought in from surrounding growers. They have four villas to stay in, with more planned. The villas have been renovated to a high standard while keeping the rich history of the estate in mind. We stayed in the Dovecote which has a storied past as a Roman bath, an Ottoman stable and even the estate bakery.
Sleeping in what would have been the rafters with the traditional Evian slate ceiling and the births for the previous feathery occupants was incredibly soothing. The estate is run by a lovely husband and wife team with a background in medicine and oenology respectively. This intriguing combination of interests and experience has made its way into the ethos of the estate which has relaxation and pleasure at its heart.
They served a delicious breakfast made by the ever smiling Xaroula which is a rounded and satisfying start to the day and will set you up to lounge by the pool or explore the local shops/castle/beaches (delete based on preference) or even do one of the many experiences that the estate has to offer, including a mosaic workshop. Nikos’ historical tour of the estate is a must as he traces a clear thread of the estate’s history from evidence of bronze age smelting to a leading role in Greece independence.
Even with everything on offer one of my fondest memories of our stay was sitting on a bench under a tree with the friendly estate cat, Caillou on my lap and a glass of chilled white in my hand surveying the sweep of history laid before me and contemplating the nature of timelessness that Nikos and Alkmini have managed to conjure.
For reservations and more information, please visit: www.montofoliwineestate.com