“THE ART OF WINE IS THE ART OF LIFE ITSELF”
“My dream is to make the history of Messenicolas village, the local varietals and particularly the ‘Black Messenicola’ grape known in all corners of the world.”
4 GENERATIONS OF HISTORY
The Karamitros family. Four generations dedicated to wine making.
More than a century ago, the foundation for the future put down deep roots in fertile soil. The roots grew into tall trunks, looking to the future.
The future is now fourth-generation winemaker George Karamitros' “WINERY MONSIEUR NICOLAS”, a springboard for innovation and the international recognition of its wines.The starting point of the journey of the local varieties and the village of Messenicolas near Karditsa to the rest of the world.
While still under Ottoman occupation, the Greeks moved around constantly in search of better living conditions.
Among them was the Karamitros family, which left the Evrytania region to settle near the Agrafa mountain range, in the tiny village of Messenicolas.
The family put down new roots and began to cultivate grapes, an occupation that would shape the life and history of the family for four generations and to the present day.
After the liberation of Greece, Giannis Karamitros began to barter the fruit of the vineyards, converting grapes, must, wine and tsipouro (pomace brandy) into the wheat and corn necessary for survival.
During the Balkan Wars, great-grandfather Giorgos Karamitros fought for the liberation of Thessaly.
After the end of the war in 1913, he returned to Messenicolas to take over the grape cultivation and winemaking from his father as the next link in the family’s history.
At the end of World War II, the Karamitros family did what it could to regroup. During this difficult period in Greek history, all they could do was dream of the future.
The year 1959 was perhaps one of the most important years in the history of Messenicolas and the region.
That was the year that the idea of Nikolaos Plastiras to create an artificial lake in the area was completed. The lake that was named after him, this gigantic body of water, created a favourable microclimate in the region that turned out to be ideal for viticulture.
Giannis Karamitros (the younger) takes up the thread of the family’s history around 1960 and begins to unravel it in his own way.
With new ideas generated by his unique talent for identifying market demand, he added new vineyards, replacing aged vines with newer ones and testing new varieties.
The 1970s and 1980s were a prosperous period for Giannis and his wife, Giannoula. The wine and tsipouro they produced was very popular with wine-lovers both in the region and beyond.
In 1990, Giannis and Giannoula Karamitros handed the business over to their son, George Karamitros, though they remained actively involved. They were present from dawn to dusk every day, checking on the vineyards, monitoring fermentation, imparting their knowledge and, at the same time, being kept abreast of every new development in wine consumption, trade and technology by their son, Giorgos.
MODERN WINEMAKING AND BOTTLING
CREATING A NEW TRADITION
For history to continue, it must take a step forward. Create a new tradition. That is exactly what George Karamitros is doing. Raised in Messenicolas, “fermented” in winemaking and finally “matured”, he relies on his childhood memories to fuel his creativity.
WINE-MAKING IN FUTURE TENSE
George Karamitros established the winery in 2000 out of a desire to make his own mark on the family history.
What would that be?
Modernisation with respect to tradition, the character of the winery, andthe history maker and and unique features of the land.
With new ideas and inexhaustible passion for perfection and innovation, he created the only modern and fully vertically integrated winery in the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) zone in Messenicolas, Municipality of Plastiras, with an annual production capacity of 500,000 bottles.
The winery owns 70 hectares of vineyards and collaborates with about 100 grape growers in the region.
The technological equipment has been carefully selected and meets all required standards, while the vats are stainless steel with controlled-temperature maturation vinificators.
George Karamitros has always been restless. His love for the art of winemaking led him to take the first steps towards creating wines that would reflect the history of his birthplace.
The first bottles of MESSENICOLA OPAP came on the market in February 2000 and were soon followed by other wines. The winery’s products quickly acquired a wine-loving following that extended well beyond the region.
Nevertheless, George Karamitros did not stop there. He continued to learn and branch out. He travels abroad and participates in international wine competitions. The first awards he received reaffirmed what he had always believed: that with his passion and the quality of his wines, he could conquer foreign markets.
In 2013, he embarked on a coordinated strategy of actions to expand further. The winery’s brand was updated and the wine labels were redesigned and given a more powerful exportive profile.
Meanwhile, he created new wines that won over even the most demanding oenophiles, both in and outside Greece.
Since that time, Giorgos Karamitros has developed 15 labels, and earned dozens of awards yearly for quality and innovative design at both domestic and international competitions
With carefully planned steps, and consistent respect for customers and the environment, he has managed to conquer foreign markets and is still going strong, as he makes his dream a reality: to make the village of Messenicolas, the local varieties and particularly the “Black Messenicola” varietal known all over Greece and the world.
The winery already exports to the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Cyprus and elsewhere.
AGEING ROOMS AND METHODS
SILENCE AND DARKNESS
In the winery’s underground cellar, in natural conditions and naturally controlled temperature far from noise and intense lighting, the wines are allowed to reach their full potential and highlight the varietal bouquet.
The maturation process begins with their placement in French oak barrels of 225 and 300 litres which are used no more than three times. In silence and darkness.
SHHH... THE WINE IS SLEEPING
Blessed by the terroir of the region - the geomorphological and climatic conditions specific to the area - the wines take the time they need before reaching the consumer’s glass at just the right instant.
A HEARTBEAT BEFORE THE MOMENT OF PLEASURE
The journey of the wine that began in the vineyard does not end with the moment of pleasure.
If you close your eyes and allow the flavour and aroma to create their own images, you will see just how the journey continues...
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
CONTRIBUTING TO THE COMMUNITY IS NOT JUST AN IDEA - IT’S A WAY OF LIFE.
Every enterprise represents an entity that is integrally linked to the community in which it operates.
As living organisms, businesses impact on and are impacted by the conditions of the times and their area of activity - just as humans are.
The WINERY MONSIEUR NICOLAS believes in the principles and values that are the hallmark of our civilisation, such as respect for people and human dignity, the need to provide equal opportunities, respect for the environment and making ongoing efforts to improve the standard of living and quality of life on a local level and beyond.
As such, it acknowledges the weight of its responsibility towards society.
That is why we have made it a part of our operating philosophy to regularly provide the practical means to support social organisations in our region.
SOME OF OUR WINERY'S ACTIONS
Sponsorship of the Karditsa Cycling Club, which holds the annual “WINERY MONSIEUR NICOLAS” cycling race starting at the Karditsa Metropolitan Church and finishing in Messenicolas.
Sponsorship of “ANAGENNISH KARDITSAS”, the local Football League team.
Sponsorship of the “NIREAS” Swim Club of Karditsa.
Donation to the Karditsa Children's Rehabilitation Centre (KEPEP).
Gift of three air conditioning units to the “Smile of the Child” facility in Larisa.
Sponsorship of numerous cultural events, workshops and seminars held in the Prefecture of Karditsa.
Deeply aware of its moral obligation to support the area in which it operates, the WINERY MONSIEUR NICOLAS will continue and expand its funding activities in future.