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Malvazia Wines
The Renaissance of the Byzantines’ Treasure

Address: Velies village, Monemvasia Telephone: 0030.27320.53096 Website: Malvasiawines.gr

Since the twelfth century, and for the subsequent three-hundred years, this wine ruled the European world. No other wine has such a historical pedigree from the Middles Ages and the Renaissance. Malvasia’s history is perhaps the most interesting history of all wines, since its name was given from the Franks to the Byzantine town of Monemvasia and its wine. Its reputation reached far beyond the confines of the region and was to be found in the most reputable ‘salons’ of European noble magnetism. It was inevitable not to reach its peak! The vines of Malvasia were located on the so called “land of the Dorians, in the region of Epidaurus Limera, which was favored for its ideal weather conditions for the cultivation of vines. The coastal climate along with the promising soil created perfect conditions for the qualities of Malvasia wine, which was shipped out of the harbor of Monemvasia up until the 13th century. During the Byzantine era, the economy of the fortress town of Monemvasia was based on maritime trade. Not long after the 14th century, Monemvasia acquired considerable privileges, and as able to trade freely with the major commercial centers. The trade of Malvasia wine was enormous, as the fortified city served as a trading center for wine produced in the eastern Peloponnese. Merchants from Monemvasia used to trade the local wine under the name of Monemvasio, Monemvasioti or Monemvasia, which was sold from the Genoese and the Venetians under the name Malvasia. Indeed, the fame of Malvasia was worldwide, since the presence of this wine in the East and the West lasted for five centuries, from the 13th century under the Byzantines in Monemvasia until the mid-17th century in Venetian-occupied Crete. When the Ottomans conquered Monemvasia, the vineyards were destroyed and Malvasia wine was no longer produced. Nonetheless, local grape varities had been preserved in the mountainous area up until today, as it distinctive aroma has intoxicated local wine producers who dedicated their lives in order to reborn this reputable recipe. Through an extensive research of the characteristics of the local varieties, setting up experimental vineyards and holding international scientific symposium on the Malvasia wine, the research resulted in a sweet white wine from sun-dried grapes and a liqueur which has been awarded with a Protected Designation  of Origin, and was officially released on July 23, 2010, the anniversary of the liberation of Monemvasia.Malvasia wine achieved world fame for 300 years from the 12th century, the time when it was a national export and is still produced in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Madeira, Croatia and California, and, of course, Monemvasia, the mysterious land that gave its name to this exquisite wine variety under the Monemvasia Winery!


Monemvasia Winery, G.Tsibidis & Co, was founded from Tsibidis on September 20th, 1997 in Monemvasia of Lakonia with one clear object; the revival of the Malvasia wine in its birth place. The  winery covers a number of activities from historical research to vine search, vine growing, wine making, bottling, distribution, promotion and trading. Monemvasia Winery began to operate as a meeting base in the framework of the European Research Program of PABE along with the Agricultural Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki, the company VITRO, a company for the Production of Plant Propagating Material, and the National Agricultural Research Foundation. Fourteen varieties of grape vines were recorded in the region, and it is rather possible that some of these varieties were used in the production of the ancient Malvasia wines. For twelve years, Monemvasia Winery studied the features of local grape varieties, persistently and consistently, an adventure marathon with many battles on the way.  The Winery in cooperation with the Wine Institute, were involved in the creation of experimental vineyards and experimental vinification. They also conducted international scientific symposiums on the wine of ‘Monemvasia-Malvasia’.  Finally, in the issue 1125  of the official Government Gazette, dated 23 July, 2010,  the wines ‘Monemvasia-Malvasia’ were given the classification “protected designation of origin” (PDO) for a sweet white wine and a wine liqueur both from sun-dried grapes. Armed with the research results and experimental vineyards, Monemvasia Winery, has produced, experimentally, ‘Malvasia’ sun-dried sweet wines with exceptional results.


Monemvasia Winery created the first privately owned three-hundred acres of vineyards with local varieties such as Monemvasia, Kidonitsa, Asyrtiko, Asproudes, Mavroudi, Agiorgitiko, Limniona, Mosxofilero, Roditis, Malagouzia.Surrounded from the Myrtoan Sea and Laconian Gulf, the area of reference geomorphologically forms the peninsula of Maleas, which naturally leads to the mountain range of Parnonas. The soil analysis has shown that there are areas characterized by acidic soils and low organic matter without calcium carbonate, or neutral soils without calcium carbonate, from which the wine produced has high or satisfactory level acidity, respectively. All these factors above constitute a particularity for the area because they contribute to the creation of an ideal raw material for the production of high quality wines, as the grapes ripe early and they are high in content of sugar and acidity. These climatic conditions present an ideal environment for the health of the vineyards whose cultivation is achieved with minimal plant protection interventions (sulfur and copper). The vine and wine are inextricably tied to the cultural, social and economic life of the people of the region of Monemvasia from the ancient times till today and they are interwoven with all the social events and its traditions.

Important historical sources found from the Municipality of Monemvasia