The area’s great vinicultural tradition dates back to ancient times. The Phoenicians, who were seafarers and merchants in antiquity, came to the Pangeon region in search of precious metals. As travellers, they were instrumental in distributing vine cultivars and the art of wine-making, and they brought to the region a vine known as “Biblia”, from which they made the renowned “Biblinos Oenos” wine. The ancient Greeks continued to cultivate the variety along the foothills of Mt Pangeon, and the region eventually became known throughout ancient Greece as the “Biblia Chora” wine-making centre. It is by this name that Hesiod, Theoktitos and the monk Michael Psellos refer to the area in their writings.
It was not chance that gave rise to the region’s vinicultural tradition. The vineyards lie along the southern foothills of Pangeon Mountain. Here, the rocky soil and local climate, influenced by the cooling Aegean breezes, are key to growing the grapes used to make such premium wines.
With this in mind, the two oenologists selected the location and planted the estate’s first vines in 1998 over an area of 7 hectares. Construction on the modern winery began in June 2001, and the first wines were made that very same year.
The estate’s own vineyards have grown to encompass about 48 hectares, at an altitude of 380 metres. The regional Mediterranean climate is marked by mild winters and cool summers, as it is influenced by the mass of Mt Pangeon and the sea breeze blowing from the Aegean. The sizeable difference between daytime and night-time temperatures is advantageous in allowing the grapes to mature slowly. Although the soil is a rocky mix of limestone and clay and relatively barren, it offers good drainage. The vines are cultivated according to organic farming standards, with great respect for the environment, the flora and fauna of the area and for human life. Nowadays, Ktima Biblia Chora cultivates the Greek varietals of Assyrtiko, Agiorgitiko and Vidiano, as well as the foreign Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Gewürztraminer, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
Ongoing experimentation with the Greek varietals at the estate aims to assess how well they have adapted to the region and to evaluate their wine potential. Significant emphasis is also given to cultivating some lesser-known Greek varietals endemic to the Mt Pangeon region, with hopes of reviving them.
The impressive winery building is surrounded by the estate vineyards. The colours of the vineyard and of Pangeon Mountain rising behind the building change with the seasons to create a tableau in which the winery, colours and sounds create a harmonious whole.
The winery’s interior includes areas for production, bottling, ageing in oak barrels, ageing in bottles, tasting rooms, a reception and visitors area and a multi-purpose room. All of the spaces express the aesthetics and philosophy of the owners who strive for utmost quality in all aspects of wine-making.
Visit to the estate
Ktima Biblia Chora is open to visitors who would like to see it first-hand. Tours take visitors through the vineyards around the winery, where they learn about the vine-growing history of the region and about modern-day organic cultivation practices. A tour of the state-of-the-art winery offers a look at the areas where production, bottling and ageing take place, as well as through the cellars and the reception and conference room. Tasting of the Ktima wines takes place in the wine-tasting room which looks onto the ageing area.
As part of an endeavour to familiarise wine-lovers with the wineries and wines of the region, Ktima Biblia Chora is an active member of the Wine Producers Association of the Northern Greece Vineyard (ENOABE) and takes part in a number of activities for this purpose. Sharing their knowledge and appreciation for premium wine is the ultimate goal of the joint effort undertaken by the wine-makers of the region.
Vangelis Gerovassiliou was born in Epanomi, Thessaloniki.
He completed his studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Agriculture in 1975 with a degree in Agronomy. He then attended the University of Bordeaux, where he earned a diploma in oenology, wine-tasting, viticulture and technology of wine-making.
From 1976 to early 1999, he was the oenologist at Domaine Porto Carras, where he and viticulture professor Vassilis Logothetis were able to revive the older Greek varietals of Malagousia and Limnio (Thrapsathiri).
In 1981, he embarked on restoring the family vineyard in Epanomi. On the vineyard grounds, he built the state-of-the-art winery, where the estate’s first wines were bottled in 1986.
In 2001, he and fellow oenologist Vassilis Tsaktsarlis established Ktima Biblia Chora in Kokkinochori, Kavala.
He is a founding member and president of the Wine Producers Association of the Northern Greece Vineyard.
He lives in Epanomi with his wife, Sonia Tziola, and their three children.
Vassilis Tsaktsarlis was born in Epanomi, Thessaloniki. He studied Chemistry at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and completed his degree in 1988. He then attended the University of Bordeaux in France, where he earned a diploma in oenology, wine-tasting, viticulture and technology of wine-making.
After returning to Greece, he worked at Domaine Costas Lazaridis as an oenologist and head of production for 10 years.
The idea to create Ktima Biblia Chora came in 2001, when he joined forces with Vangelis Gerovassiliou to make it reality.
He lives in Drama with his wife, Aleka Karachristou, and their two children.