Spend a half-day visiting two different Ikarian wineries and learn about Ikaria's millenium old wine making history and heritage from two of the island's most prominent wine makers. Taste several different varieties of Ikarian wines and discover some of the secrets of Ikarian wine making while getting a first hand look at the wineries' methods and facilities. And don't miss the chance to buy your favorite wine at a discount direct from the winery, as gifts or to be enjoyed during the rest of your stay in Ikaria!
The tour starts in Armenistis where we drive 15 minutes via interior mountain roads to reach the first winery located in the village of Pigi. George and his wife Eleni, the owners, will be our hosts and also offer us homemade organic Ikarian "mezedes" (appetizers) along with their delicious wines. The winery is also an organic farm and the whole place is built from stone and has a wonderful traditional village feeling and beautiful views of the sea and mountains.
After our visit here and before proceeding to our second winery, we visit the nearby Monastery of Theoktisti. The monastery features a main church with its impressive 17th C frescoes and a separate and hidden 15th C Pirate Era chapel built under a huge boulder. Explore the old buildings and monks' cells and enjoy the monastery's courtyard areas and natural setting with is breathtaking views. The monastery's caretaker, Mrs Maria, is an expert on traditional Ikarian cooking, herbal remedies and spices. She also runs a small Ikarian natural products boutique and refreshment area in the courtyard. We will enjoy a complimentary traditional drink and sweet from her hospitality before continuing on our way.
Our second winery is located higher up the mountain in the village of Profit Ilias at an altitude of around 610m. The scenic drive through the pine forests will take us about 25 minutes. The traditional winery, besides its internationally awarded wines, features a small museum showcasing Ikarian wine making history and village folklore. A recognized wine history and wine archeology expert, Nikos the owner, together with his wife Maria, will lead us on a tour of this established family winery and guide us during a wine tastings session while answering any questions. Of special interest here is the "pythostasi" - place of traditional underground wine jar storage and the large stone basin traditional grape press ("Patitiri"). The winery also features a vintage cellar and traditional ancient type stone amphitheatre where performances are periodically held
After leaving the winery we will enjoy a traditional Ikarian meal at a nearby mountain taverna which is located in a unique natural forest setting and features local Ikarian grilled meats and other homemade specialites. Our return to Armenistis is in the mid-afternoon just it time for your trip to the beach!