Vine harvesting in Zitsa, Ioannina
Only 35′ away from Central Zagori is the wine zone of Zitsa where it is almost vine harvesting time and the area has a couple of very interesting Vineyards: Domain Glinavos & Zoinos Winery. They are both open to visitors but please call them for more information:
The tour around our vineyards at Zitsa, Ioannina, Greece and the initiation to the fascinating world of wine and tsipouro lasts approximately one hour. The winery is open to visitors daily from 10:00 am until 14:00 pm. Weekend tours are also possible solely after appointments made over the phone (tel.: +30 26580 22212). The tour sets off from our vineyards, so that our visitors get the chance to have a direct introduction of our unique grape varieties and also to get a first taste of the natural beauties of our land. The winery comes next, where we guide the visitor through the wine-making areas, the aging caves (cellars), the bottling facility and finally to the wine-tasting salon where the guests taste the wines and our traditional delicacies.
Being part of the “Wines of North Greece” Association, Domaine Glinavos has an active role in the activities of the “Wine Roads of Northern Greece” program. This is a popular and integrated wine tourism and cultural action. In this framework, U.S. journalists visit our winery each year and they taste our wines paired with local dishes.
Three of Glinavos Estate’s premium wines: Aspra Homata, Primus Zitsa, Vlahiko:
Zitsa, Ioannina 44 003, Greece
Τ.: +30 26580 22297
F: +30 26580 22500
SOME WORDS ABOUT ZITSA
Zitsa is known as a wine growing region rather than as a tourism destination. The broader area around the village is cultivated with the Debina grape variety, which is used to produce a naturally sparkling wine with a distinct aroma and taste that is marketed under a Protected Designation of Origin label. The fizz in the wine is due to the climate: Fermentation in the barrels is interrupted by cold weather brought on by the prevailing northerly winds in mid-autumn and resumes in the spring, along with some carbonate gases that have accumulated. Vintners learned over the ages how to trap the bubbles in the wine.
Source: KATHIMERINI newspaper
While in Zitsa you can visit the Zitsa Book Garden, the first bookstore in the village in it’s 800 year history!
LORD BYRON ALSO TASTED THE WINES IN ZITSA … A FEW YEARS AGO
Lord Byron made his first trip to Greece in 1809 when he was 21 years-old. He first set foot in Patras on the 26th of September 1809 and subsequently traveled by ship to Preveza. From there he continued to Yiannena and Zitsa which was praised for its beauties in his letters and in his famous poem “Childe Harolds’s Pilgrimage”. Lord Byron was enchanted by “Monastic Zitsa”.
Following is an excerpt from a letter Lord Byron wrote to his mother Catherine Gordon Byron while staying in Preveza during November 1809 in which he mentions “Zitza”:
My dear mother,
… I rode out on the vizier’s horses, and saw the palaces of himself and grandsons: they are splendid, but too much ornamented with silk and gold. I then went over the mountains through Zitza, a village with a Greek monastery (where I slept on my return), in the most beautiful situation (always excepting Cintra, in Portugal) …
AN ENLIGHTING ARTICLE FROM THE WINE ROUTE OF EPIRUS
“Epirus, found in the north-west corner of Greece, is known mainly for its mountainous areas, picturesque lakes and peaceful gulfs. The largest part of its land is mountainous with wild mountains that seem to touch the sky. Geographically speaking, the Epirus route belongs to the Ioannina prefecture and includes the wine producing regions of Zitsa and Metsovo. The wineries of the Wine Route of Epirus are: Zinos S.A., Estate Glinavos in Zitsa and Katogi & Strofilia S.A. in Metsovo.
Visitors coming to Metsovo by car go via Grevena or Trikala. Metsovo is a listed traditional village built 1160 metres above sea level and boasts hotel infrastructure and, among other sites, the E. Averoff Art Gallery that exhibits many works of art by distinguished creators. The winery of Katogi & Strofilia S.A., Averoff Estate, is close to the Metsovo village square. The area constitutes a centre for winter tourism, it is ideal for winter skiing and boasts two wonderful slopes. The mountains of Peristeri and the Metsovitikos and Kalaritikos rivers form beautiful mountainous landscapes, while the man-made Aoos lake is another one of the wider region`s gems. From the Aoos canyon, visitors can enjoy the view of the Valia Calda National Park, a protected monument of nature. Also, Metsovo is known for its tradition in stock breeding and the production of quality dairy products.
Descending west from Metsovo, at a distance of 55 km, the visitor will come across the picturesque city of legends and traditions, the capital of Epirus, Ioannina, which extends to the western shore of the splendid island of Pamvotida. Its focal point is the legendary castle of Ioannina with its two acropoles which gaze at the uniquely beautiful island of Pamvotida, where a notable monastic state with monasteries and hermitages which have survived till today, developed in the late Byzantine period.
North-west of the Ioannina basin, having the Kalamas River on its west, is the Zitsa region. Zitsa was praised in the verses of Lord Byron who lived there, in the famous monastery of the Prophet Elijah. The wider region is famous for its wines. Here one will find the Zinos winery and Estate Glinavos, visiting stops for travellers along the Wine Roads of Epirus.The theogefyro, a natural bridge made of rocks in Kalamas is a rare monument of nature, while not far off, is the well-known Pateron Monastery and before that is the Paliouri Monastery, known for its festival.
The route goes up towards the Zagori region, to the Vikos – Aoos National Park, the most distinct features of its unique beauty being the Vikos gorge and the natural pools of Papigo, as well as the Drakolimni (Dragon Lake) of Gamila. In the wider region, one will find villages and traditional settlements with guest houses and restaurants. The last stop along the Wine Route of Epirus is the area of Konitsa that is renowned for its unique natural beauty that can be discerned in the massifs of Grammos, Smolikas, Gamila and in the passing of the Sarantaporos, Aoos and Voidomatis rivers. The area is ideal for alternative forms of tourism (hiking, rafting, kayaking, parachuting, winter skiing in Vassilitsa, etc.).”