La Tour Melas
Greece | Central Greece, Achinos
La Tour Melas is a young and dynamic winery who create well made, textural and interesting wines in Achinos, Central Greece.
On an altitude of 300m, the property is surrounded by ancient, untouched oak forests, overlooking the Aegean Sea. The eponymous tower in Achinos overlooks and guards the vines that produce wine in its name, all managed with biodynamic and organic techniques. Kyros Melas planted his 11ha of vineyards, on slopes that run down towards the expanse of the Sea, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines imported from France. This allows the sea breeze to cool the vines during the day, while the rocky terrain keeps the vines warm at night, thus creating an ideal micro-climate.
Uncompromising standards result in vines producing only 30-50 hectolitres per hectare – A scarce yield, especially considering the dense planting. This density combined with the steepness of the vineyards results in less water per vine, hence more concentrated grape juice. Rigorous pruning (guyot simple) further increases concentration. Their vines are hand-picked, then fermented and turned into wine with as little intervention as possible through the underground gravity-flow winery of the property. To finish, each wine is bottled by hand, bringing to an end a truly artisanal process.
The winery also practises biodynamic organic methods and treat the vineyard as a unified organism. This balances the interrelationship of soil, plants and animals as a self-nourishing system without external input. Flocks of geese and sheep graze the vineyard in winter to keep weeds in control, and our bees begin pollinating the surrounding flowers in spring. In harmony with the astronomical planting calendar, we choose the precise phase of the moon for cultivating, pruning, harvesting, and even for filling bottles and racking barrels.