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Study on local wine production processes in Epirus

July 2013

INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................ 3

THE BEGINNING OF THE HARVEST ................................................................... 9


WHITE VINIFICATION .................................................................................... 11

3.1 Modern Techniques ............................................................................................... 11
3.2 Traditional Practices .............................................................................................. 17


RED VINIFICATION ........................................................................................ 18

4.1 Modern Techniques ............................................................................................... 18
4.2 Traditional Practices .............................................................................................. 22


SPARKLING WINES ......................................................................................... 27

5.1 Modern Production Techniques .............................................................................. 27
5.2 Traditional Practices .............................................................................................. 30


LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON WINE ....................................................................... 31

6.1 Community Legislation ........................................................................................... 31
6.2 National Legislation ............................................................................................... 32


SPIRITS .......................................................................................................... 35
7.1 Tsipouro and Grape Spirits ..................................................................................... 35
7.1.1 Traditional Production of Tsipouro ................................................................... 37
7.1.2 Modern methods for the production of tsipouro ................................................ 39
7.1.3 Tsipouro and its ingredients ............................................................................ 39
7.1.4 Alcohol in human body ................................................................................... 43
7.1.5 Legal framework on distillation ........................................................................ 44
7.2 Vinegar ................................................................................................................. 45
7.2.1 Historical Data ................................................................................................ 45
7.2.2 Vinegar & health ............................................................................................ 46
7.2.3 Methods of acidification .................................................................................. 48
7.2.4 The ingredients of vinegar .............................................................................. 50
7.2.5 Legal framework on acidification ..................................................................... 51


DELICACIES .................................................................................................... 53


LIQUEURS ....................................................................................................... 58


LEGISLATION IN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ..................................................... 59

10.1 Applicable european legislation in alcoholic beverages ........................................... 59
10.2 Applicable national legislation in alcoholic beverages ............................................. 62


REFERENCES ................................................................................................ 70

The project entitled Cross-border Network for the Promotion of Wine Products is intended
to the establishment of joint actions aiming at the promotion of cultural and natural heritage
on one hand, and the development of tourism at the cross border region between Greece and
Italy on the other, with wine and vine as the main axis. The corporate structure for this
specific project, which bears the acronym WINENET, consists of the following five bodies:
Development Agency of Epirus S.A. (Coordinating Partner), Regional Unit of Ioannina,
Municipality of Konitsa, Municipality of Cellino San Marco (Brindisi, Apulia) and Municipality of
Guagnano (Lecce, Apulia).
The present study-project is part of the Work Package 3 Studies/Researches of the project
and aims to study the processes of wine production in Epirus and the recording of relevant
Apart from the introduction chapter, the current study consists of ten additional chapters. In
the first chapter these is the wine description of the region of Epirus where a record of the
areas with vineyards, wine production in the country and presented the produced wines.
The second chapter presents the launch of vintage and the factors that shape it.
In the third, fourth and fifth chapter present respectively modern and traditional
techniques for white, red and sparkling wines. Respectively for each category of wine it is
presented typical wines of the region and wine-growing regions where it is produced.
In the sixth chapter it is presented the legislation governing the wine, both Community and
The next chapter deals with spirits and specifically tsipouro and vinegar. Regarding tsipouro it
is presented modern and traditional preparation methods, analyzed its components and
examined the effects of alcohol on the human body. Regarding vinegar, it is presented
historical data and methods of acidification, analyzed its components while there is also a
record of the legislative framework governing acidification.
In the eighth chapter there is a record of traditional dishes of Epirus directly related to the
wine tradition and culture of the wider region and the ninth chapter presents liqueurs
prepared with tsipouro like rakomelo.
Finally the tenth chapter concentrates the current European and national legislation on
alcoholic beverages. This chapter is the listing of references.
The working group
Ioanna Papaioannou, Project Manager, Agronomist of Agricultural Economy, Aristotle
University of Thessaloniki, MSc
Vasilios Tsekeridis, Assistant Project Manager, Engineer of Planning and Regional
Development, Master in BA, MSc in Finance
Argyropoulou Kyriaki, Engineer of Planning and Regional Development, MSc
Purpose and Methodology of the Study
The present study has as main purpose the recording of traditional and modern methods of
production of vine products. The production procedures are studied and described, starting
from the delivery of the grapes till the production of the final vine product (wine, distilled
vinegar & food). Simultaneously, the legislative framework related to the aforementioned
production is presented which, on the one hand is an extremely complex and involves the

production of alcoholic beverages, and on the other hand ensures that the final product
quality and public health.
The data presented in this study are mainly from primary census survey conducted in
collaboration with all the production units in the region (wineries, vinegar factories,
workshops manufacturing of local products, producers) , but also from all the persons
involved within these authorities (Region of Epirus, Regional Unit of Ioannina, Directorate of ,
Agriculture and Veterinary, State General Laboratory ) .
One of the main goals of this study is the presentation of those processes that are supported
by the global literature and lead to legitimate existing products, with further prospects for
development and growth. For this purpose, appropriate laboratory tests are conducted, with
respect to the relevant legislation, demonstrating and documenting the accuracy of secondary
sources used .


In the wine map of Greece, Epirus vineyards, with 0.993%, are placed last among the nine
Prefectures, having as criteria both the growing areas of wine grape varieties (Table 1), and
the annual quantity of produced wine (only 1.36% of the total quantity produced, Table 2).
Nevertheless, wine producing activity is quite widespread in Epirus, since the special
microclimate of its regions in combination with its soil characteristics favour the cultivation of
indigenous grape varieties and their subsequent vinification.
Table 1. Inventory of wine grape varieties by Prefecture (2006-2009, in Ha)




















Ionian Islands




West part of




Central Greece












North Aegean




South Aegean












Macedonia Thrace
West Macedonia

Source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food in: ICAP (2010)

Table 2. Geographical distribution of wine production in Greece* (2001-2007)

l region
















Attica &











Macedonia Thrace
West &
























































1,469,500 38.03

*: Quantity in HL
Source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food, in: ICAP (2010)
Historically, there is evidence indicating that the wine activity in the region of Epirus, Zitsa in
particular, has a long tradition dating back to at least 600 AC. At the Regional Unit of
Ioannina, the cultivation of varieties for the production of wine started during the 16th
century. During the 19th century, travellers mention Zitsas vineyard, sparkling wines in
particular, which are produced by the local variety Debina1 (Ministry of Rural Development,
However, the appearance of phylloxera in the area (mid 20th century) and the invasions of
conquerors during the Second World War brought enormous destruction of Epirus vineyards.
A significant obstacle to the revival of the wine activity in the region is the aging of the local
population, as a result of the massive emigration of young people from Epirus. The cases of
local people attempting to be involved in viticulture again is extremely limited, which is largely
due to the high demands of this manual job (Vakalis, 2003).
In 1954, the first attempt to regenerate Epirus vineyard is made through the establishment
of the Viticultural Cooperative of Zitsa, which, during the first years of its operation, had
limited facilities (Ministry of Rural Development, 2013). At the same time, at the end of the
1950s, Evangelos Averoff contributed decisively to the replanting of Metsovo, through the
planting of the first vines of the French variety Cabernet Sauvignon and bottling successfully
the first wine bearing the name Katogi Averoff at his place of residence. During the
following years, stumps of vines of local varieties are also found, which are under
investigation by the Averoff Foundation (
In 1973, the first organised winery of the region is established in Zitsa, following the initiative
of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Ioannina. A year before, under the threat of
complete extinction of Debina variety, the Viticultural Zone of Zitsa was institutionalised as a
wine of High Quality Appellation of Origin (VQPRD, D 183, G.G. 40//17.03.1972 and

According to other reports, Debina is cultivated in the region of Epirus since the 7th century AD
(Ministry of Rural Development and Food, 2013).

228173, G.G. 287/b/27.04.72). This particular region includes the vineyards of six settlements
of the Municipality with the same name (Zitsa, Karitsa, Ligopsa, Gavrisioi, Protopappa,
Klimatia)2. During the same period, in the context of an organised attempt of both
governmental and cooperative bodies for restructuring and modernisation, replanting of the
region is carried out using pest-resistant rootstocks grafted with cuttings resilient to
phylloxera as well as through the introduction of linear cultivation practices (Ministry of Rural
Development, 2013). These efforts paid off, which is evident today by the production of
certified wines of exceptional quality.
Table 3. Produced wines of the Prefecture of Epirus



amendment G.G.

PDO Wines



4 0/A/ 1 7 .3 . 1 97 2


2 87 /B/ 2 7 .4 . 1 97 2
6 17 /B/ 1 2 .1 0 . 19 9 2
7 47 /B/ 3 0 .0 8 . 19 9 5



PGI of Epirus

6 57 // 2 3 .5 . 2 00 0

(Local wine of Epirus)

Regional Unit


PGI of Ioannina
(Local wine of Ioannina)

1 26 // 2 6 .2 . 1 99 7
2 62 // 7 . 4. 1 9 97
1 90 // 2 0 .2 . 2 00 2

PGI of Metsovo

1 40 // 3 . 3. 1 9 97

(Local wine of Metsovo)

1 12 5 // 2 3. 7 . 20 1 0

Source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food, 2013

As shown by the data in Table 3, at the Prefecture of Epirus, wine production activity is
mainly conducted at the Regional Unit of Ioannina, in which about 600 hectares of vineyards
are cultivated nowadays. The greatest part of vineyards is situated at the region of Zitsa
(approximately 150 hectares, Prefecture of Epirus, personal communication) 3. Vineyards are
also situated at Metsovo, Grammenochoria, the valleys of Kalamas (region of Pogoni) and
Aoos (region of Konitsa and Mastrochoria) rivers, as well as at the plateau of Ioannina
(Prefecture of Epirus, personal communication).
According to the Ministerial decision 247771/04-03-2010 of the Ministry of Rural Development
and Food, the wine grape varieties within the viticultural unit of Epirus are those presented in
Table 4. Below are the main local vine varieties of Epirus included among them:
Debina: A variety that is mainly found at the Viticultural Zone of Zitsa and used for
the production of both dry white wines, as well as sparkling and semi-sparkling
wines. The vast majority (95%) of cultivated vineyards are situated within the
Regional Unit of Ioannina (Makris, 2013). More specifically, Debina is used for the

The largest part of the Zone is situated at the plateau of Zitsa (average altitude:650 m.), and the rest is situated
either at higher altitude, at the slopes of the surrounding mountains (up to 800 m.), or at lower altitudes, at the
slopes of the mountain leading to the riverside of Kalamas river (up to 550 m.) (Makris, 2007).

Historically, apart from Zitsa, wine regions that are also referred include Grammeno (Municipality of Passaronos),
Abelochori (Municipality of Pramanta), Metsovo and Votonosi (Municipality of Metsovo), Kalaki (Municipality of
Pogoni), Aristi (Municipality of Zagori), as well as the region of Konitsa (Vakalis, 2003, Makris, 2007).

production of dry white wines of Protected Designation of Origin Zitsa, as well as

the Local Wine of Ioannina, which is a mixture of Debina and local varieties
Vlachico and Bekiari (Ministry of Rural Development and Food, 2013). It is also
worth mentioning that certain wines, such as sparkling white PDO wine or semisparkling rose wine produced by Debina, constitute just 1% of the total wine
production in Greece (Makris, 2013).
Vlachiko: A red variety that is mainly cultivated in the Regional Unit of Ioannina, as
well as other regions of Epirus, to a lesser extent. It is used in the production of dry
red wines (Local Wines of Metsovo and Ioannina), which are usually aging in barrels
(Spinthiropoulou, 2000; Ministry of Rural Development and Food, 2013).
Bekari or Bekiari: A red variety that is used in the production of light red and rose
wines (Local Wine of Ioannina) and it is cultivated in small areas, mainly at the
Regional Unit of Ioannina (Stavrakas, 2010; Ministry of Rural Development and Food,
Table 4. Wine grape varieties within the viticultural unit of Epirus


Recom m ended

Allow ed



Malagouzia , Rhoditis Rs



Debina , Cabernet Franc N,

Cabernet Sauvignon N,
Chardonnay B,
Gewrztraminer Rs (1)4, Merlot
N, Riesling B

Vlachiko , Bekari
Xinomavro (Xinogaltso,
Popolka), Sauvignon Blanc B
Syrah N

Tem porarily allow ed:

Agiorgitiko (2007) Pinot
Noir N (2007)


Agiorgitiko , Asproudes
(3)5 Mavroudia (3), Debina
, Cabernet, Sauvignon N,
Chardonnay B


Asproudes (3), Kontokladi

, Mavroudia (3), Debina



Asproudes (3), Vertzami ,

Korithi , Mavroudia (3)

Source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food (247771/04-03-2010)

Exponential number 1 indicates that the variety is indicated in regions where the altitude is 350 metres or more.
When the altitude is lower it is allowed. Exponential number 2 indicates varieties of double and special use.
Exponential number 3 indicates groups of white or coloured varieties under study and identification, e.g. Mavroudia
are included in the varieties named Mavraki (Lakonia), Mavrostyfo (Argolida) etc.


The quality of grapes and, thus, of the products produced by them, depends on many
factors. Soil characteristics and climate conditions of each region and each year in
combination with the applied measures and techniques for the protection of the vineyards
aim at getting the best possible raw materials from the viticulturist. Grapes' ripening period
varies, too, depending on cultivated variety and the region where each vineyard is situated.
There are two types of grapes ripening, natural or organic ripening of pips and industrial
or ripening of the berries flesh. The first method is characterised by the pips ability to
germinate, while the second corresponds to the maximum absolute amount of sugars of the
mature grapes. Nevertheless, none of the above mentioned methods is that interesting in
oenology. What is interesting is the third process of technological ripening, corresponding
to the point when the grape of a variety produces must, with the appropriate chemical
content for a particular type of wine to be produced (Soufleros H. 2000).
One way to define technological maturation is using the content of grapes must in sugars
as a percentage or in grams/litre, as well as the percentage of acid content expressed as
tartaric acid. A prerequisite for the accurate definition of the date of harvest is the regular
sampling of the grapes after the beginning of ripening and the measurement of the
concentration of sugars and acids. Therefore, generally speaking, for each type of wine,
these links are formed correspondingly.

Red wine: 21-23% sugars and 5-7gr/lt acids

White wine: 19-21% sugars and 7-8gr/lt acids

Table wines: 17-19% sugars and 8-9gr/lt acids

Spirits: 16-18 % sugars and more than 9-10gr/lt acids

Dessert wines: 24-26% sugars and 5gr/lt acids approximately

( ., . , . (2000)).
During the process of ripening, sugars' quantity (mainly glucose and fructose) on grapes
berries is increased, while the levels of acids are decreasing. The link between the two
ingredients is determined by the level of grapes degree of ripeness and it is expressed using
the equation
Degree of ripeness = Total sugars / Total acidity
In order to establish the exact harvesting time various maturity indicators are used by wine
makers, which are usually numerical ratios of sugars to acids or individual acids
concentration, such as tartaric acid to all of them, as well as other parameters (Tzitzi M.,
Kyparissiou, P., 2008).
Measurements of sugars percentage of grapes in the vineyard is carried out using a
refractometer for measuring sugar content in Brix, while acidity measurement requires
laboratory environment (titration using 0,1n NaOH). To determine the musts content in
sugars a densitometer is used calibrated based on Baume degrees - 0Be. In both cases the
results are matched through certain tables of sugars content per litre (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou,
P., 2008).
When grapes are ready, harvesting period begins, which is carried out either manually or
using machines. In cases of manual picking, it is also desirable to sort the grapes. This means
the avoidance of collecting rotten or infected bunches while taking care not to hurt the plants
and not to pick up leaves, stalks, and helices, which later affect negatively the produced
wines quality. Mechanical gathering automatic harvesting machinery, becomes more and

more famous, as it is the most economic and efficient method. However, in order to be
applied, vineyards should be appropriately designed to allow the movement of the machine.
Therefore, it will never be possible for it to replace human in vineyards situated at slopes or
terraces, or to be used for the harvest of infected grapes. (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008).
The beginning of the harvest should delay 2-3 days in case of rainfall, to allow the grapes to
regain their natural yeasts, which are responsible for alcoholic fermentation. In rainy weather
quality characteristics of grapes are downgraded, while if harvest is quite delayed there is a
risk of fungal growth (rotting) and deterioration of raw materials health status (Politis G.


3.1 Modern Techniques
In principle, white wines are produced by the fermentation of the must of white grape
varieties, which takes place exclusively in this must, without the grape marc necessarily
included in that. The fact that during white vinification it is not necessary to include must and
grape marc constitutes its most important difference to red vinification and, thus, the
separation of must should be performed as soon as possible. There are also cases in which
white wine is produced by red grapes, such as Kabanitis wine, as well as cases in which
fermentation may be carried out with white varieties grape marc. (Soufleros . 2000)
White varieties vinification is a quite sensitive process, requiring particularly careful handling
by the wine maker and the separation of the must as soon as possible. The absence of
tannins in white varieties grapes, protecting the must from oxidation, as well as the typically
delicate nature of their aromas often create risks to the successful outcome of vinification
(Konstantinou G. 2009).
In the case of white wines, a prerequisite is the harvesting of grapes on the right time
depending on their ripening, which is when their most intense aroma is achieved, since, as
usually said a white wine without aroma has nothing. In our case, the word aroma is used
to refer to the aroma of grapes mainly, not the secondary aroma developed during a
successful alcoholic fermentation process. (Soufleros . 2000)
The said appropriate time is just before grapes get to the stage of full maturation, since early
harvesting gives equally delicate and usually cleaner and more discrete wines compared
to late harvesting. (Soufleros . 2000).
Grapes are taken to the winery and, straight after that, the berries are crushed, while the
stage of destemming is not essential. The objective of crushing the berries is to crush the
skin of the berry and take out their juice and flesh. In the case of white vinification, the
presence of stems facilitates the separation of the must during the process of pressing the
grape mash, and no special problems occur, since grape marc is removed from the beginning
and there is only must left for fermentation. (Soufleros . 2000).
In certain cases - white vinification through skin contact maceration, the process of
destemming, i.e. separating the stems from the berries.
When the grapes quality is excellent, grape mash (must, skin and seeds) may stay for some
hours at low temperature, so that to enrich the aromas and flavours of the must. There are
characteristics of aromas and flavours on the skin, which are released in the must, after a
short period that they are together, a process called skin contact maceration. This is
carried out at low temperatures, which ensure to a great extent that the above mentioned
astringent and bitter characteristics will not come out, while preventing the process of
alcoholic fermentation. This way, the maceration of water soluble substances is achieved,
without alcohol, since fermentation has not started yet. If this process is carried out at
temperatures around zero and/or below zero, then it is referred as cold maceration. The
application of the above mentioned technique called cold maceration requires appropriate
equipment, i.e. tanks with cooling system, preventing the rise in temperature of the mixture
and, ultimately, the beginning of alcoholic fermentation. (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008;
Konstantinou G., 2009; Soufleros H. 2000).
The next stage of processing includes the separation of the must from the rest of the grape
mashs ingredients (skin and seeds) at the wine press. The modern, so called pneumatic

presses work through the filling of an inner tube lying within them, with air or water. This
way moderate pressure of the grape mash is achieved, avoiding the transfer of the grapes
skin in the must. The percentage of must from each filling of the wine press depends on the
variety, grapes condition and the desired result of each vinification. Usually low pressures are
applied on high quality wines, to get first-press must only, i.e. the first part of the must from
the wine press. (Konstantinou G. 2009)
Before the beginning of alcoholic fermentation it is many times necessary to correct the
must. In theory, having specified the appropriate time for the beginning of the harvest,
balance of the must is already achieved at the vineyard in a natural way and without the
involvement of the wine maker. However, unfavourable weather conditions may lead to
incomplete as well as excessive and hasty ripening of the grapes. Therefore, in regions with
dry and warm climate it is usually necessary to increase the musts acidity, as it is reduced
with the ripening of the grapes. This is achieved by adding tartaric acid before and/or during
alcoholic fermentation process, something that should be done very carefully, since if the
required amount is exceeded the wine will become bitter. On the other hand, in regions with
cooler climate and, thus, less sunshine, vineyards show problems related to grapes ripening.
In such cases, certain countries allow the addition of sugar at the beginning of alcoholic
fermentation, a process known as chaptalisation, aiming at increasing the alcohol content of
the produced wine, not its sweetness, since during alcoholic fermentation that follows, all
added Sugar is converted to alcohol (Konstantinou G. 2009).
Another important process during whine vinification is sulphitation. White must does not
have adequate phenolic compounds for protection, while at the same time oxidation effects
are more intense and profound on the colour and primary aroma. The quantity of SO2 that
will be used depends on the grapes condition, the musts acidity, its pH and its temperature.
Therefore SO2 protects the must from oxidation by binding oxygen, and inhibits the growth of
microorganisms, as it is much more active against bacteria than against yeast. (Soufleros .
After the wine press, the must is placed in stainless steel tanks, where it is left to stand at
low temperature for about 24 hours. During this time, precipitation of solid particles of the
must by the action of gravity takes place - static debourbage, while sediment, called wine
lees is formed, and then removed (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008; Konstantinou G., 2009).
The cooling of the must may be also applied for this purpose (Soufleros H. 2000). Wines
produced after debourbage are clearer, with a more stable and less sensitive to oxidation
colour. (Konstantinou G. 2009). The process of debourbage may be carried out using other
methods, such as floatation (suspended particles use inert gases to get to the surface
forming foam), centrifugation and filtration (using special filters) (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P.,
2008; Soufleros, H. 2000).
Alcoholic fermentation is a process during which the musts sugars are converted to
alcohol using yeasts while temperature is released simultaneously. A typical process is the
addition of readymade yeasts to the must that are sold in the market, replacing natural ones,
thus ensuring a much more confident and expected outcome. If yeasts are not added by the
wine maker, fermentation is called natural, while in other cases controlled. Alcoholic
fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks under controlled temperatures. Temperature
at this stage is maintained at low levels, usually not exceeding 18 - 20 oC, since above this
limit primary aromas of the wine are lost and its freshness is reduced. Whether oak barrels
will be used at this stage or not depends on the desired result and the variety of the grapes.
For example Chardonnay can be fermented and matured in oak barrels. During maturation

within the barrel batonnage process takes place, during which the wine is mixed with its
wine lees and yeasts, resulting in the enhancement of its aroma and flavour. Wines vinified
using the method of batonnage are usually more expensive than those vinified in tanks,
have more intense aroma, richer body and greater aging potential. (Konstantinou G. 2009).
After alcoholic fermentation malolactic fermentation takes place, during which malic acid that
has intense and acid taste is converted by lactic acid bacteria of wine (or added too) into
lactic acid, thus reducing the wines acidity. This fermentation strengthens the richness and
fullness of the wines aroma with mild aromas resembling those of dairy products, such as the
aroma of butter (Konstantinou G. 2009). It is an optional process for white wines and it is
usually desirable for those intended to be consumed after the process of maturation and
aging in barrels (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008).
After the completion of alcoholic fermentation wines are transferred to clean tanks, where
they are left to stay so that to separate the wine lees they have additional debourbage.
Each tank has its own aroma and flavour and, after repeated tastings the most appropriate
mixture is determined, expressing the best possible final product every time. Any problematic
vinification will be identified at this stage and it will not be included in the final blend.
(Konstantinou G. 2009)
Following this, the wine is stabilised in terms of its content in both tartrates tartaric
stabilisation and proteins proteinic stabilisation. The wines tartrates that come from
the grapes, despite being harmless to humans, make it cloudy and should be removed. This
is why in tanks with a temperature control system, temperature should be below 0 oC so that
tartrates precipitate and, subsequently, removed from the wine through another transfer.
Suspended particles are also removed using a similar process. Usually bentonite is added to
wine, which aggregates suspended protein particles and drifts them in the form of sediment
at the bottom of the tanks. Last remaining undesirable substances (yeasts, salts, amount of
sediment) are removed through filtering. Soon after that most white wines are bottled and
distributed in the market while maintaining their freshness. (Konstantinou G. 2009)






Diagram 1: White Vinification






Diagram 2: White Vinification


By applying the methods of white vinification in the Viticultural Zone of Zitsa (as defined in
the relevant legislation) quality dry white wine is produced exclusively by the indigenous
variety Debina, bearing the geographical indication Zitsa Protected Designation of Origin
(PDO). These are wines with a bright lime-green to pale yellow colour, and the aromas of
citrus fruits, green apple, pear and white blossoms. Wines with a balanced taste, full body
and the characteristic acidity of the region, as well as discrete aromatic and long lasting
aftertaste. Their alcohol content is very low 11.0% vol.
To use the indication Reserve for Dry White P.D.O. Wines of Zitsa, they should be aged for
at least one (1) year, of which it should be for at least six months in oak barrels and for three
(3) months in bottles. Correspondingly, to use the indication Grande Rserve they should
be aged for at least two (2) years, of which it should be for at least twelve (12) months in
oak barrels and for six (6) months in bottles.
Debina, as well as the rest of allowed and recommended white varieties cultivated in the
region (Gewurtztraminer, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Rhoditis, Malagouzia)
excellent dry and semi-dry white wines are produced bearing the relevant geographical
indication from strictly demarcated areas production zones (as determined by the
corresponding Ministerial decisions) and meet the exact specifications every time. Thus wines
bearing the following indications are produced:
PGI of Epirus Protected Geographical Indication Epirus Pict. 1
PGI of Ioannina Protected Geographical Indication Ioannina Pict. 2
PGI of Metsovo Protected Geographical Indication Metsovo Pict. 3


3.2 Traditional Practices

The process of white vinification is traditionally different from the above mentioned
techniques, mainly due to the much smaller amount of grapes vinified and the lack of
technological equipment at domestic level - domestic vinification. The pressing of the grapes
used to be done with the feet on stone-made or wooden wine presses, which were slightly
elevated structures, with a small inclination to one side to allow the musts flow.
The must is collected in bigger barrels, where, after being debourbaged through natural
sedimentation initially, fermentation takes place, while mechanical wine presses are used to
remove the rest of it remaining in the grape mash. The oldest wine presses still used today in
recreational, domestic vinification, are the manual, vertical, non-continuous operation
presses. The pressure is achieved through the rotation of a manual screw from the top down.
This wine press allows the smooth application of pressure and the must contains very small
amount of wine lees. Nevertheless, too much manual work is necessary for their operation
and long pressing time (Soufleros, H. 2000).
Another important point is that the must used in vinification should as clear as possible,
which is why some wine makers skip the stage of pressing the grape mash, allowing its
separate fermentation, since it is the traditional raw material for distillation and the
production of tsipouro.
Throughout the fermentation process that was taking place in wooden barrels, their upper
part was not hermetically sealed in order to remove the generated carbon dioxide. The most
beneficial fermentation temperature for white wines is, as already mentioned, 18oC, which is
why underground and semi-underground cellars were used for this purpose. In this case,
fermentation lasts between 5-20 days, depending on the prevailing conditions and it is worth
noting that the slower it is performed, the more intense the aromatic character of the wine
Oxygen of the cellar is controlled traditionally, with a lit candle in the room. While the candle
burns there is oxygen in the room, which has not been replaced by carbon dioxide (Tsetouras
P. 1998).
Following this, the wine is removed from its lees a few days after the end of alcoholic
fermentation transfer. The barrels are then filled and the wine stays there to mature. At this
stage, the barrels are hermetically sealed, since the contact of wine with air is undesirable. A
second transfer may also be performed, traditionally in the end of January, since the winters
low temperatures form a new sediment due to the lower level of tartrates (Tsetouras P.
If the wine is still cloudy a clarification process is applied next. This is the reason why,
traditionally, 1-2 egg whites for every 100 litres of wine, which favour the creation of lees and
clean the wine. Further transfers are then carried out to remove wine lees, very carefully and
allowing the least possible contact of wine with air (Tsetouras P. 1998).
Afterwards, the wine may be bottled, and it would be a good idea to consume it relatively
quickly in the following months, since these wines can remain within the bottle for extremely
limited time.



4.1 Modern Techniques

Red vinification differs markedly and on many points in relation to white vinification, with the
main difference being that grape marc (skin and seeds) is left for some days within the must,
so that to achieve the maceration of the grapes pigment. This is the main point
differentiating the criteria for the beginning of the harvest of red varieties. In this case, apart
from the level of grapes ripening it is also necessary to take into account the ripening of the
berrys phenolic components, i.e. the quality of the skins tannins.
During red vinification, crushing and destemming of the grapes constitute the first
procedures applied on the grapes. Through crushing part of the grapes juice is released, and
decantation of the grape mash is induced, which is beneficial for yeasts development and
enhances the maceration of the grapes pigment, while space saving of 20% is also achieved.
Destemming is the removal of the (stems) from the wine marc, so that to keep only the
berries and juice for vinification. Today these processes are carried out using machinery
called destemmers. Therefore, with the destemmers and the above mentioned procedure,
apart from reducing the grape mashs volume, the taste of the produced wine is improved
since its astringent taste and grassy nature are minimised, while the colour of the final
product is more intense. One of the main disadvantages of destemming is that it hinders the
normal development of alcoholic fermentation. The removal of stems makes the grape mash
poorer in nitrogen and restricts its decantation (Soufleros H. 2000).
The correction of the musts composition is a practice that is then applied to the grape mash,
depending on the region, year and variety. Among the chemical treatments of grape mash
the following are included:

Increase of the sugar content

It is achieved with the addition of sugar - chaptalisation (where permitted by law),

concentrated grape must or rectified must.

Reducing or increasing acidity

In areas and during years that grapes ripening is not appropriately completed and they are
sour, reduction of acidity is required. To achieve this, calcium carbonate or neutral potassium
tartrate is used. In the other case (increase) tartaric acid is used.

Addition of sulphur dioxide - sulphitation

The last process, which is essential in red vinification too, the maceration of the grapes
pigment in the wine is facilitated, while allowing its long maturation in oak barrels (Soufleros
H. 2000). The sulphitation of wines should necessarily be indicated with the statement
contains sulphites on the label of bottled wines, in accordance with current legislation.
For alcoholic fermentation various rooms and containers have been used over the years.
Initially carved stones and clay pots were used; then successively tanks made of wood,
cement, coated cement, coated steel and, finally, stainless steel (Soufleros H. 2000).
In recent years, the most widely used tanks in vinification are called vinificators in the form
of closed stainless tanks equipped with a cooling jacket for better temperature control and a
pump system for mixing the must. (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008).
Alcoholic fermentation of red varieties takes place at temperatures that should not exceed
30 oC and the musts sugars are gradually converted to alcohol while heat is released. While
the grape marc (skin and seeds) is within the must, the maceration of the grapes

pigment takes place, which will gradually pass on to the must. Initially the maceration of
anthocyanins (red pigments) takes place, which are more water soluble, and then, during
alcoholic fermentation, the maceration of tannins (phenolic compounds) takes place, since
both the presence of alcohol and the temperature increase are necessary for them to dissolve
and pass on to the wine. This process is intensified through the mixing of the must, as it is
pumped from the bottom of the tanks and transferred to the top, from where it wets the
grape marc, which are gathered there floating during fermentation, creating the so-called
hat. The duration of maceration depends on the desired final type of wine, the variety and
the quality of the vinified grapes. In the case of rose wines, maceration will only last some
hours, between 12 and 24, in order to limit the maceration of the grapes pigment and create
its pink colour. If vinification is intended for the production of mild red wines, maceration
lasts up to five days, while if it is intended for the production of excellent aged wines this
process can last up to one month and go on after the completion of alcoholic fermentation post-fermentation maceration. (Konstantinou G. 2009).
The separation of must and grape marc is carried out in two phases. The first one includes
the removal of the must-wine from the fermentation tank allowing it to flow freely and its
transfer to another tank unpressed wine or first-press wine. The second phase includes
the removal of the must-wine from the grape marc pressed wine, which is considered
qualitatively inferior than unpressed wine. (Soufleros . 2000).
There are several types of wine presses - machines that make the separation and from where
pressed wine is taken, which, in most cases, is not mixed with the remaining wine
(Konstantinou G. 2009).
Malolactic fermentation takes place after alcoholic fermentation, and is a process relevant
to the majority of red aged wines, as the conversion of malic acid to lactic acid is desirable for
the improvement the wines flavour. It is called fermentation despite the fact that it is caused
by bacteria and, during this process the unripe character of wine is reduced. In the case of
light red wines with fruity character intended for immediate consumption, the stage of
malolactic fermentation is usually omitted. (Konstantinou G. 2009).
Red wines intended for aging will be left for a period of up to 24 months in oak barrels. That
is the place where the wines rest and mature slowly and steadily, taking advantage of the
little oxygen that passes through the pores of the wood - oxidative aging. The
aggressiveness of fresh wines tannins is tempered, while at the same time the aromas of
wood, vanilla, spices or tobacco are transferred to it, under the beneficial influence of the
oak. At different times many types of wood have been used by wine makers to make barrels,
which did not deliver the desired results so oak was never finally replaced. They either had
high porosity, allowing a great amount of oxygen passing through them, or intense aromas
covering the wines original aromas. Therefore, for the production of barrels for vinification,
mainly white oak is used, (Quercus alba) from the forests of U.S.A. and brown oak (Quercus
robus and Quercus sessilis) from the forests of Northern Europe. French oak is considered the
top one, which grows slowly, especially from the forests of Troncais and Nevers and has the
smallest pores. (Konstantinou G. 2009).
Aging as a process may be linked to both the presence of oxygen, as already mentioned
above, and its absence reductive aging that takes place in the bottles. (Tzitzi M.,
Kyparissiou, P., 2008).
Despite the fact that oxygen is one of the main enemies of wine, in recent years its artificial
and controlled use at various stages of viniculture is steadily gaining followers. The technique
of micro oxygenation is carried out through the slow ingress of oxygen from the wine

barrel woods pores, during its maturation. Therefore, it is a system for enriching red wine
with small amounts of oxygen, intended to improve its colour stability as well as its aromas
and flavours, while the use of barrels is not necessary. Of course this method can only
partially replace the use of barrels, for the process of oxidation only (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou,
P., 2008).
The transfer of wines from one tank to another or from one barrel to another at regular time
intervals is necessary for all red wines and it is intended to their natural cleaning
debourbage. This allows the removal of foreign substances, yeasts, bacteria etc from the
wine (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008).
Of particular significance for the final product is the clarification process for red wine
fining. Then is the process of tartaric stabilisation before the filtering and bottling of
wine. This is why temperature should be below 0 oC so that salts are precipitated and,
subsequently, removed from the wine through another transfer. Filtering removes the last
remaining unwanted ingredients from the wine before it is bottled. Wine makers, who are
against both processes, insist on using traditional vinification methods, since both the flavours
and the aromas of the wine are affected negatively. In this case the creation and presence of
a small amount of sediment within the bottle is preferred, especially for aged wines.
(Konstantinou G. 2009).
By applying the classical methods of red vinification dry red as well as dry and semi dry rose
wines are produced in the region of Epirus, bearing the following indications:
PGI of Epirus Protected Geographical Indication Epirus
PGI of Ioannina Protected Geographical Indication Ioannina
PGI of Metsovo Protected Geographical Indication Metsovo
For the production of the above mentioned red wines the following varieties are used
Vlachico, Xinomavro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Syrah, which grow within
demarcated viticultural areas of Epirus. These are included in the produced wines at different
proportions and combinations, as defined by the relevant Community and national legislation
in each case. These are wines with a deep red colour and some glints of purple violet and
cyan nuances, which may be transformed to terracotta after long aging. Complex spicy
aroma, with hints of red fruits, typical of the varieties from which each wine is produced.
They are characterised by their long lasting aromatic aftertaste and may be aged for a long
For the production of rose wines the following varieties are used at various combinations:
Vlachiko, Bekari, Debina, Gewurtztraminer, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot, Syrah and Xinomavro. They are also from demarcated
areas of Epirus. These are wines with a bright pink colour and complex fruity aroma, which is
characteristic of the varieties used each time. Its flavour is balanced, with quite rich body,
pleasantly sweet and the characteristic acidity of the region.








Diagram 3: Red Vinification


4.2 Traditional Practices

Traditionally, at the level of domestic vinification, this process essentially starts by the
removal of the stems from the berries and the crushing of the berries. For small amounts of
grapes, destemming is still performed nowadays in many villages of Epirus manually, while
crushing is traditionally performed with the feet at small wooden wine presses or using handheld crushers.
Grape mash is then transferred to the fermentation container, which is called kadi. This
container is filled up to the 3/4 with grape mash and it is wide open on its top so that to
release the produced carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. During fermentation, wine marc is
pushed to the top of the container forming the so-called hat. During the first days when this
phenomenon is more intense, the mixture should be mixed and homogenised twice a day,
usually in the morning and in the evening. This way grapes skin comes in contact with the
must, and the maceration of the grapes pigment is achieved. The concurrent presence of
must and grape marc depends on the variety being vinified, the desired type of wine to be
produced and the prevailing conditions. According to the tradition, the duration of this period
is between 20-30 days, resulting in the production of red, brusco wines with intense
presence of tannins that can be aged.
Subsequently by the action of gravity and using free flow from a spigot at the lower part of
the container, must is separated from the grape marc and is placed in another barrel
complete its fermentation. The wine produced by this separation corresponds to 80% of total
produced wine (Tsetouras P. 1998). Some must is left with the grape marc which is
defermented and it usually constitutes the raw material for distillation and the production of
The barrel in which the wine is placed is not sealed, so that to allow the outflow of produced
carbon dioxide CO2, and alcoholic fermentation is completed there. Subsequently is the
sulphitation process, by adding and using metabisulphite at doses of 20-30 gr per 100 litres
of wine (Tsetouras P. 1998). The barrel is then filled and hermetically sealed.
The wine is usually transferred 1-2 times until it is bottled, so that to remove wine lees that is
deposited at the barrels bottom. Transfers should be carried out when the weather is cold
and dry (according to the tradition on days with northern winds. Winters cold temperatures
favour the formation of sediment due to the decrease of tartrates, while a second transfer is
desirable at the end of January. At this stage, it is also good for the wine to have the least
possible contact with the air (Tsetouras P. 1998).
In case of a non satisfactory outcome from the transfers, many wine makers are still adding
egg whites in order to improve the wines clarity. Usually two to five egg whites are used for
each barrel of 220 litres, which allow the natural clarification of wine and remove part of the
tannins contained in it.
After the completion of the above mentioned processes, the wine matures within oak barrels
and it is slowly oxygenated through the oaks pores. Temperature constitutes an important
factor in relation to wines maturation, which should be stable and relatively low, between 12
and 15 oC, and can be achieved naturally at underground cellars of houses. Subsequently the
wine is bottled and consumed within the following months.


Picture 1: Map of P.D.O. production zone of Zitsa


Picture 2: Map of the production zone of P.G.I. EPIRUS


Picture 3: Map of the production zone of P.G.I. IOANNINA


Picture 4: Map of the production zone of P.G.I. METSOVO



5.1 Modern Production Techniques

Sparkling wines are those that contain carbon dioxide, so they are foaming. The easiest way
to produce them is through the artificial addition of carbon dioxide; however the result is not
particularly remarkable, since in this case the bubbles disappear very quickly. The wines
produced by the application of the above mentioned process are called carbonated, not
sparkling. In most cases, the majority of natural sparkling wines are the result of double
fermentation. During the first fermentation the base wine is produced, while during the
second one the bubbles are formed. The second fermentation is carried out within the bottle
or, alternatively within a pressure resistant tank. (Konstantinou G. 2009)
In this category Champagne is included, which is a P.D.O. wine produced at the homonymous
French region. This name is enshrined in 1891 for the first time, under the Madrid Agreement
and validated with the Agreement of Versailles after the First World War (Tzitzi M.,
Kyparissiou P., 2008).
Champagne is traditionally produced through the fermentation process in the bottle, a
method that has been gradually adopted by other wine producing areas, too. However, the
use of the Protected Destination of Origin Champagne as well as the use of the term
methode champenoise is prohibited for wine makers outside Champagne. The term that
prevailed throughout the world for the rest of the wine makers, implying the method used in
Champagen, i.e. the second fermentation within the bottle is called methode traditionnelle
(traditional method). (Konstantinou G. 2009)
The Method of Champagne
Champage is definitely the best sparkling wine on earth and, as already mentioned, it is
protected by the European Legislation. Varieties cultivated in Champagen for this purpose are
three in total. Two red varieties, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white one,
Chardonnay. The term blanc de blancs (white by whites) and blanc de noirs (white by black)
indicates its varietal origin, while it is evident that the majority is produced using red varieties
(Soufleros H. 2000)
During harvest the selection of grapes is rigorous, removing all grapes affected by rot.
Furthermore, to avoid the maceration of the grapes pigment both the harvesting and the
transfer of grapes is carried out using baskets of 60-80 kg in a short time. For the production
of champagne, pressing the grapes is carried out without the prior stage of crushing and
destemming, at the special wine presses of Champagne. These wine presses are
characterised by the large area they occupy and their small height. Thus the must can be
delivered using small pressure and it does not contain many pigments (Soufleros H. 2000)
Champagnes production included six key stages.
The first alcoholic fermentation aims at the production of base wine. The wine
from various tanks, which has been vinified through the classic process of white
vinification, is mixed by the wine maker at specific proportions, so that to have the
best possible desired outcome, reflecting the wine makers style and character each
time. The mixing process is considered one of the most important stages during
sparkling wines production. During this process wines from different tanks and of
different years may be used, resulting in the production of non-vintage champagnes,

while the wines of different tanks of the same year, produce vintage champagnes
(Konstantinou G. 2009). The term cuvee prestige is used to indicate the special
selected wine of the winery, that is of high quality and is the basis on which the final
sparkling wine will be created (Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008). The desired alcohol
content of the base wine is between 10% and 12% vol. A lower alcohol content than
10% vol. leads to problems in relation to the wines preservation, while a higher
alcohol content than 12% vol can lead to difficulties regarding the progress of the
second fermentation that is carried out within the bottles. (Soufleros . 2000)
Then sugar is added in the produced base wine (24-26 gr per litre) as well as
yeasts, followed by the bottling in durable bottles. Yeast starts consuming the added
sugar so a second fermentation takes place within the bottle, while carbon dioxide is
also produced, that cannot escape, since the bottles are hermetically sealed using a
special stopper.
The wines alcoholic content is increased during this phase by 1% approximately, to
produce a wine with final alcoholic content between 12 and 12.5%. The produced
quantity of carbon dioxide is increased by the pressure within the bottle up to 5-6
atmospheres and it is gradually integrated with the wine, thus loosing this tension.
(Konstantinou G. 2009).
The bottles are stored in underground tunnels for the completion of the fermentation
and after that stage, where the temperature is constant at about 11 oC and relative
humidity at 80% (Soufleros H. 2000).
When this second fermentation is completed, yeasts are precipitated at the bottles
walls in the form of sediment wine lees. Wines are left for some months between
15 months and 3 years on the said wine lees, so that to mature, be enriched in
terms of aroma and flavour, become softer and more balanced. (Konstantinou G.
In the next stage bottles are shaken so that to allow the removal of sediment and
allow the wine to have the desired clarity. They are placed in a more inclined than
the initial position, with their necks facing downwards, so that the sediment is
transferred to the top of the bottle. Specialised workers rotate them slightly almost
every day for 3-4 weeks, so that any residues from fermentation are gathered on the
neck of the bottle. This process is very expensive as it is hard, time consuming and
personnel is required. Today it is possible to do this electronically, through the control
of a computer, since bottles are placed on special metal frames, on which the desired
inclination may be selected each time. (Konstantinou G. 2009).
To remove the sediment, the bottles neck is immersed as the bottles are placed
upside down in a cooling liquid at -20 oC. The sediment becomes solid forming an
ice cube on the top of each bottle, which are then opened carefully and the
sediment is pushed out of the wine by the pressure of carbonate. During this stage a
small amount of wine is lost, which is then filled just before final bottling.
(Konstantinou G. 2009).
The full filling is carried out by adding a special liqueur that balances the wines taste,
compensating for its strong acidity. Usually the liqueur used to fill the bottles is
produced by old champagne and sugar, but the recipe is the secret of each wine
maker. (Konstantinou G. 2009).


The filling liqueur gives the final taste of the wine and its type in relation to its sugar
content. So there are:
Brut Nature or Brut Zero: Almost zero sugar content (0-3 gr/L)
Extra brut: Sugar content up to 6 gr/L

Sugar content up to 15 gr/L

Extra-Sec: Sugar content between 15 - 20 gr/L


Semi-dry or semi-sweet champagne with a sugar content between 17 - 35 gr/L

Demi-Sec: Semi-dry champagne with a sugar content between 35 - 50 gr/L


Sweet champagne with sugar content above 50 gr/L

(Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P., 2008).

After the final filling, the permanent closure of bottles is carried out using a special cork
stopper, as well as the placement of the clasp.
If tanks that are resistant to high pressures are selected instead of bottles, all the above
stages are carried out much quicker, at a larger scale and lower cost.
Apart from the region of Champagne a considerable number of sparkling wines are produced,
which do not bear the name Champagne but another one. In France sparkling wines are
produced in many regions bearing the name Cremant, such as the region of the Loire with
Cremant de Loire, and Alsaces Cremant d'Alsace. In Italy, prosecco and spumante are
produced through a second fermentation that takes placed in closed tanks under pressure,
not in the bottle. The regions of Valdobiabene and Conegliano of North Venice are production
zones for Prosecco of protected destination of origin, with the grapes of prosecco variety as
its raw material. Furthermore, the region of Asti, in the province of Piemont in particular, is
also a production zone for wines of protected destination of origin with the variety called
In Spain they firstly made their own sparkling wine in 1872. Their cava implies sparkling
wines vinified following Champagnes method, and it is the second exported product after red
wine. The region of northern-east Catalonia and some other communities, 159 in total
throughout Spain are entitled to the Controlled denomination of origin CAVA for the sparkling
wines produced there. Cavas wine varieties are the white ones Macabeo, Parellada, Pansa
blanca, Chardonnay and the red Garnacha, Pinot noir. (Konstantinou G. 2009)
In Greece there are two regions producing sparkling PDO wines, Zitsa and Amyndeo. In the
region of Epirus, the viticultural zone of Zitsa and the variety Debina are responsible for the
production of unique dry and semi-dry white sparkling PDO wines, through the use of the
classic method of fermentation within the bottle. The regions special climate enriches Debina
with a unique freshness and the aromas of green apple, citrus fruits, pear and white
blossoms. In sparkling wines, this original aroma of the variety is enriched and becomes
sweeter with the aromas of brioche and biscuits. Wines with a bright lime-green colour and
intense acidity highlighted by the presence of CO2.


5.2 Traditional Practices

Sparkling wines have always been produced in the broader region of Zitsa. Following the
methods of traditional white vinification, the region's residents were making wine from the
local indigenous variety Debina. A characteristic of traditional vinification differentiating the
final product and leading to the production of sparkling wines was the fact that the
completion of the musts fermentation was achieved in two phases, since it was stopped
during winter due to the cold weather. In the beginning of spring, the 2nd phase of
fermentation would start, during which the containers remained sealed retaining the dioxide
formed within them. The latter was gradually integrated with the wine. According to some
reports, many times the containers or bottles used in domestic vinification would explode due
to the pressure within them.
Many times local people used to make wine using smaller amounts of grapes from the
varieties of Vlachiko and Bekiari together with Debina. The final product was, thus, getting a
soft pink colour, which was desirable traditionally by local wine makers.
This tradition is still employed today in Zitsas wineries, which is improved and modernised to
produce excellent sparkling and semi-sparkling wines.



6.1 Community Legislation

Council Reg (U) 203/2012 of 8 March 2012 amending Regulation (EC) No. 889/2008
laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No.
834/2007 of the Council as regards detailed rules on organic wine.

Council Reg (U) 314/2012 of 12 April 2012 regarding the amendment of Regulations
(EC) No. 555/2008 and C No. 436/2009 as regards the documents accompanying
consignments of wine products and wine sector registers to be kept.

Reg (U) 606/09 laying down certain detailed rules for implementing Council
Regulation (EC) No. 479/2008 as regards the categories of grapevine products,
oenological practices and the applicable restrictions.

Reg (U) 607/09 laying down certain detailed rules for the implementation of Council
Regulation 479/08 as regards protected designations of origin and geographical
indications, traditional terms, labelling and presentation of certain wine sector

Reg (U) 702/09 amending & correcting Reg.

rules for implementing Council Regulation
organisation of the market in wine as regards
countries, production potential and on controls

Council Reg (U) 491/09 of 25 May 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No. 1234/07
establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets & on specific provisions
for certain agricultural products (single CMO Regulation).

Council Reg (U) 436/09 of 26 May 2009 laying down detailed rules for the
application of Council Regulation (EC) No. 479/08 as regards the vineyard register,
compulsory declarations and the gathering of information to monitor the wine
market, the documents accompanying consignments of wine products & the wine
sector registers to be kept.

Council Reg (U) 479/08 on the common organisation of wine market, amending
Reg. (C) No.1493/99, (C) No. 1782/03, (C) No. 1290/05, (C) No. 3/08 &
repealing reg. (EC) No. 2392/86 & (C) No. 1493/99.

Reg (U) 555/08 laying down detailed rules for implementing Council reg. (EC) No
479/08 on the common organisation of the market in wine as regards support
programmes, trade with third countries, production potential and on controls in the
wine sector.

Council Reg (U) 423/08 laying down certain detailed rules for implementing Council
Reg. (EC) No. 1493/99 & establishing a Community code of oenological practices &

Council Reg (U) 1601/91 laying down general rules on the definition, description
and presentation of aromatized wines, aromatized wine-based drinks and aromatized
wine-product cocktails.

Council Reg (U) 884/01 laying down detailed rules of application concerning the
documents accompanying the carriage of wine products and the records to be kept in
the wine sector.

(EC) No. 555/08 laying down detailed

(EC) No 479/08 on the common
support programmes, trade with third
in the wine sector.


Council Reg. (C) 753/02 laying down certain rules for applying Council Regulation
(EC) 1493/99 as regards the description, designation, presentation & protection of
certain wine sector products.

Council Reg (U) 1282/01 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council
Regulation (EEC) No. 1493/99 as regards the gathering of information to identify
wine products & to monitor the wine market & amending Reg. (EC) No. 1623/00.

Council Reg (U) 1607/00 laying down detailed rules for implementing Regulation
(EC) No. 1493/99 on the common organisation of the market in wine, in particular
the Title relating to quality wine produced in specified regions.

Council Reg (U) 2676/90 determining Community methods for the analysis of wines

Consolidated Text of Regulations

Reg (U) 1234/2007 of 22 October 2007 establishing a common organisation of

agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products
(Single CMO Regulation).

Council Reg (U) 555/2008 of 27 June 2008 laying down detailed rules for the
implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 479/2008 on the common
organisation of the market in wine as regards support programmes, trade with third
countries, production potential & on controls in the wine sector.

Council Reg (U) 607/2009 of 14 July 2009 laying down detailed rules for the
implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 479/2008 as regards protected
designations of origin and geographical indications, traditional terms, labelling and
presentation of certain wine sector products.

Council Reg (U) 606/2009 of 10 July 2009 laying down certain details for the
implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 479/2008 as regards the categories of
grapevine products, oenological practices and the applicable restrictions.

Council Reg (U) 436/2009 of 26 May 2009 laying down the details for the
implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No. 479/2008 as regards the vineyard
register, compulsory declarations & the gathering of information to monitor the wine
market, the documents accompanying consignments of wine products and the wine
sector registers to be kept.


Directive 45/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules
on nominal quantities for pre-packed products, repealing Council Directives
75/106/EEC and 80/232/EEC, and amending Council Directive 76/211/EEC.

Directive 13/2000/C of the European Parliament and of the Council on the

approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation
and advertising of foodstuffs.

6.2 National Legislation

Controls in the wine sector

M.D. 388052/08.08.2001

G.G. 1089/21.08.2001 Implementation of Council Reg.

(EC) 2729/00 laying down detailed rules of application concerning the controls in the
wine sector.


Monitoring the Wine market

M.D. 398581 27.09.2001 G.G. 1293/8.10.2001. Specification of detailed

implementation rules as regards the gathering of information to identify wine
products & to monitor the wine market & amending Reg. (EC) No. 1623/2000.

Test Strips

R.D. 423 G.G. 136/19.6.1975. On the recognition of the wines' designations of origin

J.M.D. 242059/1445/28.04.1975 G.G. 505/19.5.1975. On the strips for testing wine of

designated origin.

Accompanying documents

G.G.1372/8.9.2004 Determination of necessary additional measures for the

implementation of Council Reg. (C) 884/2001 concerning the documents
accompanying the carriage of wine products and the records to be kept in the wine

285870//1.9.2001 (G.G. 1372//9.9.2004) on the necessary additional measures for
the implementation of Council Reg. (C) 884/2001 concerning the documents
accompanying the carriage of wine products and the records to be kept in the wine


G.G. 179/19.2.2002 Approval of traditional indications for wines. Amendment of

Ministerial Decision 213850/1572/11.2.1972 on Designation of Origin of Superior
Quality (A.O.Q.S.) wines

G.G. 1609/12.8.2008 M.D. 320080/28.7.2008. Amendment of Ministerial Decision No.

235309 /7.2.2002 Approval of traditional indications for wines

G.G. 818/15.6.2005 Determination of maturation, aging and distribution for

consumption times of wines of Designation of Origin of Superior Quality, Local wines,
as well as the indications included in their labelling regarding the production and
preparation methods.

G.G. 512/22.9.1987 J.M.D. 352347/6670/1.9.1987. Laying down the general rules for
the use of the indication Cava to describe table wines

G.G. 584/23.8.1988 J.M.D. 326182/6268/27.7.1988. Laying down the general rules

for the use of the indication RESERVE and GRANDE RESERVE as descriptive terms
of wines of designation of origin.

G.G. 875/28.6.2005 J.M.D. 280580/21.06.2005. Amendment of Joint Ministerial

Decision No. 326182/6268/1988 Laying down the general rules for the use of the
indication RESERVE and GRANDE RESERVE as descriptive terms of wines of
designation of origin, as well as Joint Ministerial Decision No. 352347/6670/1987
Laying down the general rules for the use of the indication Cava to describe table

G.G. 420/20.4.1999 Determination of prerequisites regarding the use of the indication

name of wine growing holding or group of wine growing holdings on Greek wines


Oenological Laboratories

Circular 4619/99242/25.09.12 Application of Law 3919/2011 The Principle of

professional freedom, eliminating unjustified restrictions on access and pursuit of
professions(G. G. 32 A), as amended by Article 4 par. 16 of Law 4038/2012 (G. G.
14). According to Model of the Circular, among the documentation referred to

in point 3 a degree in oenology is required, according to par. 10 of art.9 of L.D.

243/1969 (G.G. 144) as amended by art. 4 of Law 1697/1987 (G. G. 57).

G.G. 144'/25.07.1969 L.D. 243 On the improvement and protection of wine


G.G. 217'/15.10.1970 ..641 On the establishment and operation of oenological


G.G. 230/31.08.1976 L.427 Licensing of oenological laboratories (article 7)

G.G. 119/08.09.1983 P.D. 332 Delegation of responsibilities from the Min. of

Agriculture to the Prefects

G.G. 57/28.04.1987 L.1697 Definition of Oenologists (article 4)

G.G. 32/02.03.2011 L.3919 Principle of professional freedom


J.M.D. 331058 G.G. 2001/26.09.2008 Defining modalities for the specific support
measure use of grape must to increase the natural alcoholic strength by volume of
certain wine products

M.D. 331083/02.10.2008 Increase the natural alcoholic strength by volume of fresh

grapes, grape must, partly fermented grape must, new wine in the stage of
fermentation and wine for wine period 2008-2009.

M.D. 4716/101137/01.10.2012 Increase the natural alcoholic strength by volume of

fresh grapes, grape must, partly fermented grape must, new wine in the stage of
fermentation and wine for wine period 2012-2013.

Community database E-Bacchus on Wines

E-Bacchus includes:

Protected Designations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications of the EU in

accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007.

Non-EU countries' geographical indications and names of origin protected in the EU in

accordance with bilateral agreements on trade in wine concluded between the EU
and the non-EU countries' concerned.

Traditional indications protected in the EU.

Statistical data.

Source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food


Distillation is the separation process that is accomplished by the vaporization of a liquid and
the collection of the steam, which is usually condensed into liquid. The distillation can be
used to separate liquids of solid components of a system, but more often it is used to
separate components of liquid mixtures (Asimiadis Man. 2002).
The initiation of the use of a pot still for the process of distillation is not known. According to
bibliographical sources, the pot still was already used for the distillation of rose water in
Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium BC (Salle et Salle, 1982), but there is no sufficient
evidence to confirm this. Without evidence that they are the same discoveries, during the
archaeological excavations of Tepe Gawra (20 km east of Mosul in northern Iraq today) clay
containers holding 37 litres were found, similar to small pot stills. Discoveries, dating from the
Neolithic period (3500 BC) and possibly associated with distillation efforts (Soufleros, H.,
Rodovitis, B. 2004).
In our country, the edge of the Mycenaean civilization in the 16th century BC onwards and the
remarkable achievements of the Greeks of that time contributed to the attribution of the pot
stills invention to them. Furthermore, it seems that in ancient Egypt the use of the pot still
was very widespread in the 13th century BC (Salle et Salle, 1982). Although many people
consider that distillation was introduced by the Arabs, Alexandrias chemists seem aware of
the pot stills long before the conquest of the Arabs. The technique of distillation was not
known for the production of alcoholic beverages; it was known for the production of drugs,
mainly, as well as cosmetics used for the embellishment of women. As far as Greece is
concerned, Hesiod mentions the use of still pots (7th century BC), Hippocrates (5 century
BC) and Aristotle (4th century BC) (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Another fact further strengthening the view that pot still was invented by the Greeks, not the
Arabs, is the etymology of the term. The word alambic used by the French, as well as the
almost identical word alembic used by the English come from the Greek word
(ambix), after being changed to a more Arabic word through the addition of the article al ( al
ambic alembic). The ancient Greek word indicates a type of pot with a wide round
base ending in a narrow neck (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
The earliest written reference to the distillation of wine was found in an alchemical
manuscript of the 12th century A.D, known as mappa clavicula, while Arnau de Villanova,
born in Madrid in the 14th century, was the first alchemist who concocted almost pure alcohol
(Manoudis N. 2011).
7.1 Tsipouro and Grape Spirits
The spirit from the grape marc, which is known with the name tsipouro, is a traditional
Greek product. Its method of preparation, experience and education required or arising from
it survived in time and were spread by tradition exclusively, from mouth to mouth and from
the grandfather to grandson, since written texts about this are only rarely found (Soufleros,
H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Tsipouro and grape spirit are two wine products with significant differences among them,
both in terms of production method and in terms of their organoleptic characteristics. Grape
spirit is produced following the fermentation and distillation of the entire grape mash, which
results from the pressing of the berries and the destemming of the berries. According to Reg.
(.C.) 1576/1989 as well as national legislation (L. 2969/2001), grape spirit belongs to the
category of fruit spirits.

Its production is very widespread in Epirus and it is often confused with the production of
tsipouro. Traditionally, in the context of spatial distillation, small two-day distillers in Epirus do
not separate the wine from the wine mash most of the times, either because they do not
have presses, either because they believe that the product is of higher quality, or for various
other reasons. Therefore the raw material of the distillation contains more than 40% of the
wine, which could have been omitted.
For the production of the spirit, after the grapes get to the desired level of technological
ripening without being infected, they are harvested and transported to the winery as soon as
possible. Following this, they are lightly pressed, destemmed and led to fermentation.
To avoid oxidation and given the fact that sulphur dioxide is not used (it is transferred to the
spirit concentrated, downgrading its quality), alcoholic fermentation should start as soon as
possible. Avoiding oxidation enhances the balance of the grapes aromatic compounds
(Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004). When alcoholic fermentation is over, distillation should
start immediately to produce a high quality spirit. Otherwise, the preservation of the grape
mash until the beginning of distillation should be a constant concern of the distiller.
Following this, grape mash is transferred to the pot still for distillation. At the beginning of
distillation it is important to avoid overheating of the raw material, as it leads to the damage
of its aromatic constituents (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004). Sharp rise in temperature at
this stage leads to opposite results. Distillation process is carried out as described below for
the distillation of tsipouro same precautions, removal of heads and tails, re-distillation, etc.
The produced product should be placed in stainless tanks or glass containers for six months
approximately, while it is being frequently diluted with distilled or rain water, until the desired
alcoholic strength is achieved. According to the legislation, Reg. (EC) 1576/1989, the
minimum alcoholic strength for fruit spirits is 37.5% vol. while usually it is between 40% vol.
and 42% vol.
Then the spirit is cooled at -10 to -15 oC for at least 12-15 hours, and filtered at the same
temperature (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004)
The produced spirit has an excellent aromatic character, which is due to and formed by the
grapes terpene compounds, the primary aroma, as well as the esters formed during
alcoholic fermentation, the secondary aroma. These aromatic constituents may be
preserved almost unchanged for a long time, which is due to the rich in alcohol environment,
as well as to the absence of oxidative catalysts within the spirit. According to certain research
studies (Paunovic, 1991), the grape spirits ageing and maturation in oak barrels improve its
quality while giving its special organoleptic characteristics (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
The research outcomes of Sensidoni et al. (1992), suggest that, unlike grappa (Italian name
for tsipouro), grape spirit is almost free from undesirable constituents, methanol in particular.
This is due to the small percentage of the solid part (15%) of the total grape mash, while in
the case of grape marc spirit (tsipouro) the corresponding percentage is 50-60% (Soufleros,
H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
As far as the constituents of the primary aroma (varietal aroma) are concerned, those of the
grape spirit seem to be better than those of tsipouro in terms of terpene compounds quality,
but with less aromatic characteristics (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Therefore, it is evident that grape spirit and tsipouro are two distinct wine products, each of
which has its own special characteristics. Moreover, according to the legislation they belong
to two different categories of alcoholic beverages.


7.1.1 Traditional P roduction of Tsipouro

Tsipouro is the product resulting from the distillation of wine marc, i.e. after the extraction of
wine from the wine mash. As already mentioned, there is still some wine in the grape marc,
so if not transferred to the wine press for its extraction, the process of fermentation is
completed, forming the raw material for tsipouros distillation and production.

According to the relevant legislation, traditional (dom estic) distillation is defined as

distillation of low capacity performed by wine growers, who have a particular type of pot stills
with a capacity of up to 130 litres.
The distillation period for each municipal district lasts for a two-month period only, which is
determined by the head of the relevant customs district (L. 2969/2001). Within this twomonth period, the relevant rights for domestic distillation are granted to wine producers,
which usually last 48 hours for each of them. This explains the terms two-day licences and
two-day distillers. The total number of 48 hours that may be taken by each wine grower
depends on the vineyard area he owns and cannot exceed 4. For this type of distillation there
is a special taxation scheme for the final product, while a special fee is also paid for granting
the right to distil.
Therefore, when the ripening and harvest of grapes is complete, they are transferred to the
place for vinification houses basements. All stages of white and red vinification processes
that have already been discussed are followed respectively, up until the separation of the
wine from the grape marc. When grape marc is not pressed, there is some wine left and its
fermentation is completed together with the grape marc. This quantity of wine is usually 30
to 40% by weight. When alcoholic fermentation is over, grape marc is hermetically sealed in
their tanks and may be preserved for 2 to 4 months, depending on their health status
(Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
When the grape mash is for distillation, sulphitation is avoided both in white and in red
vinification, since sulphur dioxide is transmitted to the spirit due to its volatility (Soufleros, H.,
Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Wine marc is placed in the cauldron of the pot still, in which water is added, corresponding to
25-30% of the total volume if they do not contain similar amount of wine. In addition to this,
the head and tail from any previous distillation are added.
The cauldron is hermetically sealed with a domed lid, the duct connecting the lid to the
condenser called loulas is placed and then boiling starts gradually. While boiling is taking

place, the formation of the first vapours starts, which are transferred to the condenser
through the duct (loulas), where they are cooled, condensed and flow out as spirit. The
boiling point of alcohol is 78.5 C, while the boiling point of water is 100 C. Consequently,
the vapor above the boiling mixture contains initially a higher percentage of
alcohol.(Manoudis N. 2011)
The initial quantity of the spirit is called head or protoraki (first tsipouro), the second
one heart or body and the last one tail or aporaki . The first and last distillation
fractions are gathered separately, being of lower quality, and they are added to the next
cauldron for a second distillation. The separation of distillation fractions is done quantitatively
based on the distillers experience. Therefore, only the heart is intended for human
consumption, while some of the first tsipouro is collected and used as alcohol for therapeutic
massaging, compresses, etc.
The end of distillation is determined by the alcohol content measurement of the spirit
produced. This measurement is performed using an alcoholmeter, which is calibrated based
on Cartier degrees, which are known as grada in Greek. This instrument is also used
sometimes for the measurement of ethanol using Gay Lussac degrees or % by vol. As a
result, according to the tradition distillation stops when the produced spirit reaches 17
degrees (grada) approximately.
The cauldron is emptied and carefully cleaned, and then it is ready for the next quantity of
grape marc to be distilled. The duration of each distillation is approximately 2 hours and it
depends on the alcoholic capacity of the grape marc and fire intensity.
The produced tsipouro, depending on its degrees, is either diluted with distilled water so that
to regulate its alcohol content in levels allowed for consumption, either redistilled to give the
double boiled tsipouro. According to the legislation, the minimum alcoholic content for
tsipouro must be 37.5% vol.
Traditional alembics - pot stills with which distillation is performed have a capacity between
60 and 130 litres and they are made of copper. The pot still consists of the cauldron or
boiler, the domed lid, the condenser and the duct connecting the lid to the condenser
loulas. Traditionally heating was achieved using wood, while in recent years liquid gas is
also used.
Copper as the raw material from which traditional alembics were manufactured, despite
various experiments, has never been replaced. It is resistant to hammering and corrosion in
various contexts, while its thermal conductivity is good. It is an important catalyst in various
reactions and has a positive effect on the aroma of the product produced. It absorbs
malodorous compounds (fatty acids, thiols, mercaptans) and forms soaps - insoluble
compounds that bind to the alembic and are disposed when it is emptied and cleaned
carefully. For this reason when distillation is carried out using glass or steel devices that do
share the same properties with copper, the spirit's odour is bad (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B.
Special attention is required that no part of the boiler must be made of lead - junctions,
corners or other components. Chemical lead compounds pass into tsipouro and chronic use
of that can cause human central nervous system lesions. (N. Manoudis 2011).


7.1.2 M odern m ethods for the production of tsipouro

The production of tsipouro by distilleries
started around 1990, as a result of the
relevant Greek legislation N.1802/1998,
and the corresponding Community Reg.
1576/1989. Thus the so called tsipouro
from distillery is produced.
Independently of the vinification from
which it is produced, wine marc is distilled
by organised distilleries in bigger, more
expensive and complex distillation devices,
which are called distillation columns.
Distillation columns allow the distillation of
a greater quantity of grape marc, ensure
easier separation of heads and nails,
have lower heat losses and, in general
terms, higher yield.
They consist of the boiler (cauldron), the rectifying column and the condenser. The
boiler has a capacity of 800-1000 litres, it is made of copper and it is usually heated by low
pressure steam fed into the part that surrounds it. The rectifying or fractional column is a
cylinder consisting of 4 to 10 trays, which are interconnected. The vapours from the grape
marc enter from the bottom part, and from the upper part vapours enriched with alcohol and
other volatiles are exiting, while at the same time the greatest part of co-distilled unwanted
substances is separated. Vapours from the rectifying column enter the condenser and they
are condensed. The produced tsipouro exits from the middle part of the condenser, while
some of the heads and tails are collected at the bottom of the unit, and then transferred
again to the upper part of the rectifying column. It can also be collected separately and
transferred to be re-distilled in the end (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
The produced product is stored in sealed tanks, which are under continuous qualitative and
quantitative testing in accordance with current legislation.

7.1.3 Tsipouro and its ingredients

Apart from ethyl alcohol, tsipouro (spirit from the grape marc) contains some ingredients
known as non-alcoholic or co-distilled substances, as they are also distilled together with it
during the distillation process and are responsible for the particular organoleptic
characteristics of the spirit. They are usually from the raw materials and alcoholic
fermentation, while the spirit's content in ethyl alcohol is a criterion for the spirits quality
(REG. (.C.) 1576/1989).
The chemical composition of tsipouro is:


Chemical compound

g/hL AA
(grams per hectolitre of anhydrous alcohol)


42 56


50 88

Higher alcohols

110 330


4 110


21 74


0,4 1,2


131 - 297

(Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).

Water is that ingredient of alcoholic beverages included in the largest quantity, between 44
and 58% by volume. It is derived from the grapes, but it is added in the grape marc at the
beginning or at the end of distillation.
Ethyl alcohol is the main product of must sugars fermentation by the yeasts. Its content in
% by volume at 20 oC is the alcohol content of each drink. It is between 47 and 56 % vol for
traditionally distilled tsipouro, and between 42 and 46% for the tsipouro produced in
distilleries, while its minimum content for the above mentioned spirits is specified both in
national and community legislation.
In general, its content in the final product is determined by the alcoholic content of the grape
marcs wine, the method of distillation and the final dilution of the spirit with water
(Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Methyl alcohol is derived from the grapes and it is not a product of distillation. It is
favoured by grape varieties with thick skin, which are rich in pectins, as well as by the
presence of stems. Its concentration is also increased through if the grape marc is placed
together with the must and the wine for a prolonged time until distillation. It is directly and
indirectly toxic. It tends to be collected at the vitreous part of the eye, and it affects the optic
nerve, while in large concentrations it may cause blindness. Its indirect toxicity is due to the
fact that it blocks the metabolism of ethyl alcohol in the human body. As a result, methanol is
an undesirable ingredient and its concentration is strictly controlled by the legislation
(Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Most of the higher alcohols are secondary products of alcoholic fermentation. What is
interesting in terms of their concentration is that they affect the organoleptic characteristics
of spirits, while some of them can cause ocular itch. Most of them are ingredients of the
head and together with esters they are the only factors forming the spirits aromatic
character, while they are not desirable in high concentrations (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B.
Most of the acids of tsipouro are formed during alcoholic fermentation and they are volatile.
Their distillation lasts throughout the distillation process but they mainly exit at the tail of
the spirit. Their quantity depends on the grape marcs health status and the appropriate
application of distillation (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Aldehydes are carbonyl compounds, which are formed during alcoholic fermentation and
they are transferred to the spirit mainly as ingredients of the head. Among the various
aldehydes, acetaldehyde and furfural are the ones found in higher concentrations. The smell

of aldehyde resembles that of a cut uncooked potato, while it also forms the basis for the
formation of acetal, which has an intense aroma of blossoms and an aftertaste with hints of
hazelnut. Therefore, it is not desirable in high concentrations due to its nuisance odour
(Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Furfural is a colourless liquid which becomes brown when it comes in contact with air. Its
odour is pleasant, with hints of bitter almond and cinnamon. It is not desirable at high
concentrations due to its toxicity, the intense presence of aldehydes, and the alteration of its
colour to brown. It is being distilled throughout the distillation process, mainly together with
the heart products (Soufleros, H., Rodovitis, B. 2004).
Esters are mainly formed during the alcoholic fermentation of wine and during the aging of
wine and spirits. Contrary to the prevailing view, during distillation only a few esters are
formed. In tsipouro, the greater amount of esters is ethyl lactate, which at low concentrations
stabilises the odours and extends the aromas of the spirits. Together with higher alcohols
they are the main ingredients forming the secondary aroma and the flowery fragrance of
The following table contains data on samples of traditional distillation of three grape varieties,
grape distillate and tsipouro, checked in the General Chemical State Laboratory. The samples
are protoraki and aporraki during distillation, according to the above references.


Grape Distillate
0200 ml
Grape Distillate
CHARDONNAY 200 400 ml
Grape Distillate
400 600 ml
Grape Distillate
Grape Distillate RODITIS
0 - 200 ml


Ethyl Acetate





















































Grape Distillate RODITIS

200 - 400 ml










Grape Distillate RODITIS

400 - 600 ml










Grape Distillate RODITIS











































0 - 200 ml
200 - 400 ml
400 - 600 ml
g / HL absolute alcohol
Methods of Regulation (EC) 2870/2000 were

applied for the analysis of the samples.


7.1.4 Alcohol in hum an body

Ethanol is the only one of the alcohols that is potable and passes into the human body
through the alcoholic beverages. As a tranquilizer of the central nervous system can have
serious consequences for health when consumed in large amounts. The extent to which
alcohol can cause damage is proportional to its concentration in the blood. The alcohol passes
through the stomach into the small intestine, where it is absorbed rapidly, and eventually into
the bloodstream. 95% is metabolized in the liver and removed from the body, while the
remaining 5% is lost through breathing secretions, urine, sweat, feces, saliva. Healthy people
metabolize alcohol in a rather steady pace. On average, a person may remove 15ml of alcohol
per hour. The weight and the body type generally play their role in metabolism. Heavier
people will be less affected by the same amount of alcohol than lighter people. This happens
because the body contains more water and the concentration of alcohol becomes
less.(Asimiadis Man.2002)
There are also differences between the two sexes in terms of the maximum blood alcohol
concentration, and the rate of metabolism. Since generally the male body is more muscular
and contains more water, while the female body has more adipose tissue (fat), it is normal
that, when a man and a woman of the same weight consume the same amount of alcohol,
the woman has a higher concentration of alcohol in the blood than the man. Naturally, this
applies to the average, because if we have a muscular woman and an overweight man, we
get the opposite results. (Asimiadis Man. 2002)
The rate of alcohol elimination from the body is inversely proportional to the concentration in
the blood. This explains why the blood alcohol level is lower when digestion starts working, ie
when the stomach is not empty. (Asimiadis Man. 2002)


7.1.5 Legal fram ew ork on distillation


L. 2969/2001

D.M.F.E. F.811/337/2008

D.M.F.E. F.230/111/2008

D.M.F.E. F.1554/811/2008


D.M.F. 3002475/383/0029/2010
D.M.F. 3006682/1105/0029/2010

D.M.F. DEFK5000214X2009


D.M.F. DEFK G 5047848 X 2012


D.M.F. 30/077/2705/21-10-2011

National Customs Code

Reformation of National Customs Code
Ethyl alcohol and alcoholic products
Terms and formalities regarding the exemption of isopropyl
alcohol from the Special Consumption Tax which, after its
denaturation, is intended for industrial or handicraft activities.
Determination of isopropyl alcohol w aste during its storage
and usage.
Terms and formalities regarding the processing and the exemption
of ethyl alcohol that is provided by industries and handicrafts from
the Special Consumption Tax

G.G. 265//22-11-2001
G.G. 142//28-06-2007
G.G. 281//18-12-2001

Operation of distilleries
Denaturing agents of ethyl alcohol
Am ending and supplem enting DM FE F 1554/ 811/ 2008
Terms and formalities regarding the processing and the exemption
of ethyl alcohol that is provided by industries and handicrafts from
the Special Consumption Tax

G.G. 162//19-02-2010
G.G. 528//27-04-2010

B am ending and supplem enting M OFE F 1554/ 811/ 2008

Terms and formalities regarding the processing and the exemption
of ethyl alcohol that is provided by industries and handicrafts from
the Special Consumption Tax
Am ending the DM F 3006682/ 1105/ 0029/ 2010 Denaturing
agents of ethyl alcohol

G.G. 1380//15-07-2008
G.G. 334//29-02-2008
G.G. 2694//31-12-2008

G.G. 13//15-01-2010

G.G. 3455//27-12-2012

G.G. 2553//07-11-20121


7.2 Vinegar
Vinegar is the flavouring substance produced through the fermentation of ethanol in wine,
after a long period of time, without sugar with the help of acetic bacteria. It consists mainly of
acetic acid (CH3COH) and water.
Varieties: There are various types of vinegar, such as balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar, apple
vinegar and white vinegar. Vinegar is used as an essential ingredient both in Eastern and in
European cuisine. It is mainly produced by grape products and by wine, but it may also be
made from fruits, such as apples, tomatoes and coconut, as well as from legumes, rice, sugar
cane, beer and other alcoholic beverages.

7.2.1 Historical Data

The Greek word for vinegar ( ) means acidic, and it is composed from the Greek
words for wine and acid. As it is suggested by its name, vinegar is a wine that became sour
due to the effect of certain bacteria. It has not been invented. Someone had probably the
good idea to try an old wine. There are reports that this happened 5000 ago at least (some
refer to more than 10000 years), in different places probably. Nevertheless, it was known in
the Middle East and China.
From a historical viewpoint, vinegar is the oldest and most popular flavouring substances used
in gastronomy. It probably appeared together with the use of wine, around 6000 BC, as it is
the natural outcome of alcoholic fermentation products. In Egypt it is known since the 4th
millennium, while in Mesopotamia since the 3rd millennium. Both the Egyptians and the
Babylonians used it mainly for the preservation of certain foods.
During the Classical period, it was called Attikon idisma in the region of Attica. Greeks used
vinegar a lot in cooking and they are actually the first ones that realised the differences in
terms of quality depending on the vinegars area of origin. Therefore, according to relevant
reports the best vinegars were from Sfitto (Attica), Kleones (Nemea), Knydo (Doric town in
Asia Minor), Dekelia (Attica) and Egypt. According to Athenaeus, vinegar is the only drink
which was called sweet in Attica, while Ctesias considers vinegar as the best of all
flavourings. In the ancient world, doctors such as Hippocrates and Galen used vinegar in
medicine too.
When Greeks used to distinguish vinegar depending on its region of origin, the Romans used
to distinguish it depending on its nature and the flavouring method used. Latin writers,
including Kolumela, Paladio, Caton, etc. refer quite frequently to both vinegar and its
production method. According to Pliny, in vinegar there are remarkable qualities, without
which we would miss many of the comforts of civilized life. For the flavouring of the various
types of vinegar they used blossoms, herbs and fruits, apart from the grapes, as well as other
fruits, such as figs, apples, mulberries, etc.
For many years, it was the main drink of Roman soldiers, together with water. In the Middle
Ages it is worth noting that vinegar producers had a prominent position in local societies, they
were organised in powerful guilds, while the secrets and methods of production were covered
in mystery. Nevertheless, even producers that knew how to control the production procedure
did not know what caused the acidification (the transformation of alcohol in acetic acid, which
produces the vinegar). This was not clear until 1964, when Pasteur studied the impact of
enzymes and microorganisms.
In modern times both vinegar and acetic fermentation that produces it have been the focus of
study of researchers interested in the phenomena of fermentations, such as Stall, Lympich,
Becher, etc. Stall was actually the first on that called the layer formed on the vinegars surface

mother of vinegar. The problem causing all these phenomena was finally solved by Pasteurs
research studies. This great chemist, who opened the way for microbiology as well as
fermentation science in food, carried out a special study focusing on acidification. In his work
Study on acetic fermentation he refers in detail to the production of vinegar, as well as to
the conditions for its production.
He discovered that acetic fermentation was due to the bacterium Mycoderma aceti, which is
transferred with suspended dust. With the support from this bacterium together with the
presence of oxygen in the air, alcohol is converted to acid. As acetic fermentation progresses,
bacteria are proliferated on the surface to form a thin white film, which is called mother of
vinegar. The traditional method was mainly formalised in the area of Orleans in France, from
which it got its name. In 1880 the method of fast acidification was introduced in the industry,
which significantly lowered the production cost. Nevertheless the quality of the product that is
produced by this method cannot be compared to the vinegar produced through the traditional

7.2.2 Vinegar & health

The link between vinegar and health dates back to the old times. Vinegar has by nature
disinfecting and antimicrobial properties. The Egyptians used vinegar to treat ear infections,
for the disinfection of wounds, gangrene and mushroom poisoning, among others as
mentioned by Dioscorides. The Jews used it as sedative and tranquiliser for the body, and its
use was prohibited in periods of atonement.
Hippocrates used it a lot for a number of diseases. He recommended oxymeli - mixture of
vinegar and honey, for expectoration and the release of breath, for constipation, pneumonia
and pleurisy. He also recommended vinegar for inflammations and swellings, ulcers and burns.
Hippocrates also prescribed vinegar compresses for the dressing of wounds. Oxymeli was also
widely used by Galen.
The Romans used it as a therapeutic aid. Roman soldiers also carried a posca, which was
diluted vinegar, with them. According to Christianity it was, in all probability, from the posca,
that they gave Christ to drink as a pain reliever. This was the last drink He had before he gave
up His spirit on the cross.
The Chinese used vinegar as an enhancement for herbal therapies. In modern Chinese
medicine vinegar is used for hepatitis, breathing problems and for infectious diseases. Many
research studies have been performed by official Chinese Institutions on these subjects.
Similar is the trend in Japan and India. Today in Japan vinegar is highly esteemed and there
are shops selling exclusively vinegar-based products.
A large body of the latest research has justified many of the opinions based on the empirical
evidence of former centuries. It has been proven that vinegar takes part in many metabolic
processes in our bodies. Acetic acid, the main ingredient of vinegar plays an important role in
releasing energy from fats and carbohydrates. It is also involved in the building up of fats,
amino acids, haemoglobin. Acetic acid is transported through blood to the liver and the tissues
and it undergoes full oxidization while releasing energy. Observations have shown that when
foreign substances enter our bodies, acetic acid very often reacts with these foreign
substances and neutralizes them. Vinegar, with an acidity level of at least 5%, is lethal for a
large number of microorganisms. The use of vinegar in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes
is well known. It has also been proven that the use of vinegar affects the suppression of
disaccharidase, resulting in the lowering of bloods glucose concentration. It also increases the
tolerance of people with type 2 diabetes to insulin, which is therapeutic for diabetes.
Moreover, there are many therapeutic treatments in alternative medicine that use vinegar.

Apart from the beneficial properties of the vinegar for our organism in general, it also has
additional beneficial effects due to its production method, which is unique worldwide and
patented. Vinegar contains many polyphenols, much more than any red wine. It is well known
that polyphenols are powerful antioxidants and, according to relevant research studies, they
reduce the risk for cardiovascular problems In addition to this, vinegar contains autolysates of
yeasts, such as amino acids, peptides, nucleic acids, vitamins, etc. Finally, vinegar contains
minerals and trace elements that are found on the skin and seeds of grapes, such as
potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, etc. Similarly to vinegar, it can be used in a diet for
weight reduction. Recent studies have shown that when there is vinegar in food, saturation
comes faster or, in other words, we eat less. The use of vinegar reduces significantly the
required amount of salt as well as the risk of hypertension.
Uses & secrets
It is used in the kitchen as a cooking ingredient, but historically - as the most readily available
mild acid - had a wide variety of industrial, medical, and domestic uses, some of which (e.g.
as a cleanser for the house) still apply today. Commercial vinegar is produced by fast or slow
fermentation process. In general, slow methods are used for traditional vinegars, while
fermentation proceeds slowly and lasts a few weeks or even months. The longer duration of
fermentation allows the formation of a film that consists of bacteria of acetic acid. This film is
called mother of vinegar. In the fast methods, the mother of vinegar is added (bacterial
culture) in the liquid before the addition of air using a special pump or turbine system to
achieve oxygenation and faster fermentation. In fast production procedures, vinegar may be
produced within a period between 20 hours and 3 days.
Vinegar was always one of the most important tools for the housewife in the kitchen. There
are other additives that enhance the foods taste, such as salt and various other spices.
Nevertheless, vinegar contributes in a special way, not only in the flavour but also in foods
aroma, without covering the tastes and aromas of the other food ingredients (which is the
case for spices), but through the modification and enhancement of the tastes and aromas of
those same ingredients of foods. It is thus very effective in cooking, with its great variety of
aromas and its soft taste, in contrast to industrial vinegars with a wilder taste and the harsh
odour of acetic acid only, which are the result of rapid, or even chemical, production method
of these vinegars. Nowadays, vegetables and meat do not have the same flavours that they
used to in the past, so the use of good vinegar increases the quality and results of a gifted
chefs inspiration. Traditionally vinegar has a wealth of aromas and mellow taste that
enhances the possibilities of creating a memorable meal.
It can be added in fresh green salads, tomatoes or cabbage. In all cases it gives a distinct
flavour to raw vegetables. It is also very tasty together with grilled vegetables like
mushrooms, red peppers, etc., if we add a small amount immediately after baking. Finally, it is
very nice with some cheeses, such as anthotyro (fresh cream cheese) if we sprinkle some
vinegar on top. In general, it could be argued that when vinegar is added to vegetables,
whether raw or roasted, the amount of salt used can be reduced significantly.
Vinegar can also be used in cooking when required by the recipe, providing much better
results. In particular, it is used in salads and to extinguish sauted meats. It is also used in the
marinades for meats and fish. As far as fish is concerned, frozen fish and fish from farms in
particular, which are soft and with a neutral taste, marinades with vinegar or, even better,
adding vinegar while being baked in the oven, makes their flesh tighter and gives rich flavours
and aromas.

A significant advantage of vinegar in comparison to balsamic vinegars is that its taste is not
that strong and sweet so it does not make foods sweet necessarily. From this point of view
vinegar is better since, despite being produced through the boiling of the must, it does not
lead to the amount of condensation performed by the Italians, so it is still a normal type of
vinegar that can be used in all aspects of cooking, not only for special sweet and sour foods,
where the use of balsamic vinegar is recommended; balsamic vinegar could resembles more a
dressing than just a vinegar.

7.2.3 M ethods of acidification

The production of vinegar is based on the transformation of alcohol into acetic acid. This
transformation is achieved through the effect of acetobacters, as discovered by Pasteur.
Industrial production of vinegar
Acetic acid is produced both synthetically and by biological means, i.e. using a certain
acetobacter. The second method is used almost exclusively for the production of vinegar,
since legislation in many countries around the world requires both table vinegar, as well as
vinegar used for other purposes in foodstuff to be of biological origin. (J. Bloukas 2004)
Therefore, it is mainly produced through acetic fermentation when the biological method is
employed, i.e. the oxidation of ethanol contained in alcoholic beverages. Specific bacteria help
in this process of oxidation, which carry the enzyme alcohol oxidase that carries air oxygen to
ethyl alcohol. The following reaction occurs:
Oxidation is absent in pure alcohol and it is not converted to acetic acid. This is because it
does not contain the fungi that produce alcohol oxidase. The appropriate nitric nutrients are
necessary for fungi to live, which are not found in pure alcohol. Therefore, to achieve
acidification the wine or any other alcoholic beverages used must have nutrients, so that to
ensure the presence of fungi as well as the proper temperature (usually 18-35 oC). In addition
to this, drinks alcohol should not be below 2% or above 12% because fungi are inactivated.
(J. Bloukas 2004)
Different methods of fermentation have been developed, aiming at the acceleration of the
process and the completion of production in the shortest time possible.
In practice two methods are employed for the production of vinegar.
1. The Orleans Method:
The alcoholic drink is placed within big containers with holes together with some vinegar for a
long period of time. Then some of the vinegar is taken out and the same amount of alcohol is
added. This is repeated as necessary. In particular, in this method the alcoholic drink with an
alcohol content between 8-10% is fermented by the vinegars bacteria at a temperature
between 30 oC - 35 oC under aerobic conditions (good ventilation). Acetic bacteria are the
ones performing the acetic fermentation, forming acetic acid. Ninety percent of wines ethanol
is transformed to acetic acid. This fermentation is usually performed within half-filled barrels,
with the appropriate holes at the sides, allowing better ventilation, in which some white
vinegar has already been added, i.e. yeast from vinegar containing the appropriate bacteria.
Following the completion of alcohol oxidation, there is a risk of further oxidation of acetic acid
(CH3COOH) into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). This is why vinegar is continuously
taken out of the barrel and, at the same time, diluted wine or another raw material is added,
so that fermentation can continue. Under normal circumstances this process may be repeated

for a long time, which however may only be necessary when the container is full of sediment
and it must be cleaned. (Demertzi A., Demertzis P 1999)
2. German Method or the Method of fast acidification:
It was firstly employed in Germany in 1823 and it is considered as the first modern commercial
procedure. It aims at the quick transformation of alcoholic drinks to vinegar, by the increase of
the surface of the solution that is in contact with air, to accelerate oxidation. This is achieved
through the transferring of the solution, mixed with vinegar, from the top in oak barrels
containing wood shavings soaked in vinegar. Air is transferred from the bottom, either
naturally or using a mechanical method. The mixture is separated in drops, so it has a larger
area of contact with the air and this transformation is achieved very quickly, within weeks
instead of months needed for the previous method. Today the greatest amount of vinegar is
produced through a method initially described in 1949 by Otto Hromatka and Heinrich Ebner.
The alcoholic solution is fermented to vinegar in a tank, where it is continuously mixed, while
oxygen is provided in the solution in the form of bubbles. This is how vinegar with 15% acetic
acid content may be produced within 2 -3 days.
More specifically, the vinegar produced through the Orleans method has very nice aroma and
flavour (of higher quality) but this method is very slow. To accelerate the transformation of
alcohol into acetic acid (CH3COOH) in the method of fast acidification special procedures are
followed to increase the area of contact of bacteria with the air. This is why large tanks of 3.5
4 m. height and 1.5 - 2 m. diameter are used, having a perforated false bottom, and full of
beech wood sawdust. Sawdust is firstly boiled and soaked in a thick solution of vinegar. The
purpose of this treatment is firstly to control vinegars bacteria and to increase the contact
surface between air and alcohol. On the top of the fermentation container a perforated cover
is also placed, with yarns passing through its holes, which make the alcoholic liquid being
transferred to fermentation to touch the sawdust in the form of small drops. The air required
for oxidation is transferred from the bottom and outflows from the upper cover, passing
through the glass pipes attached to the cover. The air passing through regulates the
temperature of the system, too, which should be around 300 oC. A lower temperature does
not promote bacterial growth, while higher temperature causes a significant loss due to the
significant evaporation of alcohol and acid. To recover this, air is many times transferred
through water, which retains both the alcohol and the acid. The amount of air transferred
should not be excessive because of the large increase of alcohol lost that occurs. If the
alcoholic liquid has an alcohol content of 4% or less, the transformation into acetic acid is
almost full; however, the vinegar produced, which is collected from the lower part of the
fermentation container, is considered as dilute (weak). To produce a thicker solution, some
more alcohol should be added after acidification, and the mixture should undergo treatment
again, which should have a higher amount of alcohol than the initial one. Nevertheless, in the
latter case this transformation is not complete and the product should be either mixed or
transferred to a second reactor, placed next to the first one.
3. Traditional production of vinegar
According to certain traditional recipes vinegar is also produced by grapes must, so alcoholic
fermentation and acidification transformation of alcohol to acetic acid occur
simultaneously. The traditional method of vinegar production is a slow process, during which
wine (or must), after being mixed with a high quality old vinegar, is left in half-full barrels and,
with oxygens help and the activity of acetobacters, acidification is achieved slowly, during
several months. Later on industrial methods were invented, in which acidification is achieved

very quickly in large reactors with the inflow of hot air. This phenomenon is primarily chemical,
not biological. It is evident that the traditional method is qualitatively superior as compared to
the industrial methods.
For the production of traditional vinegar, the raw material used is the grapes, whose berries
after the destemming and crushing processes are boiled and then the must is separated from
their solid components of grape mash and transferred to acidification.
In particular, the acidification of the must takes place in oak barrels, which contain small
quantities of excellent quality old vinegar. The alcoholic fermentation and then acetic
fermentation take place almost simultaneously at environmental temperature. These
successive fermentation processes take a long time and can last from several months to up to
a year. The transformation is achieved with mixed cultures of yeast and acetic bacteria. The
barrels are half full so that the air can circulate, something which is necessary for the survival
of the acetobacters, the colonies of which are nourished by the layer of polysaccharides which
are formed on the surface (like a layer) of the fermented must.
The quality of traditional vinegars is enhanced through their aging in oak or chestnut barrels,
or barrels made of other types of wood. The process of aging is necessary in traditional
methods of vinegar production because fresh vinegar has a relatively aggressive taste. Aging
increases its aromas and softens its taste.
During the aging by means of the oxygen, which enters through the pores of the wooden
barrel in a controlled way, a series of reactions are performed similar to those that occur in
the aging of wine. These reactions cause a series of changes in the colour, aroma and taste of
vinegar. As a result of the aging process the colour of the vinegar changes from deep red to
deep brownish red in fresh red vinegars and into greenish in white vinegars, which fade out
and finally disappear. Its aroma is enhanced and becomes richer. Finally, its taste becomes
softer and richer as time goes by. After the completion of fermentations, the new vinegar is
transferred to other smaller barrels for aging. The said barrels are made of oak and chestnut.
The vinegar is poured, in turn, into both types of wooden barrels. It is placed in these full,
closed barrels for many years, just as wine is left to mature. The aging process softens the
taste of the vinegar which then acquires a velvety taste. The bottling process of traditional
vinegar is executed without processing and filtering. In this way, the vinegar maintains all the
products of autolysis of the micro organisms both of both alcoholic fermentation and
acidification; it contains many micronutrients which are particularly beneficial to our health.

7.2.4 The ingredients of vinegar

Vinegar mainly contains certain sugars and small amounts of minerals. Depending on the
variety of the grape from which it is produced and on the process it undergoes it may contain
Red wine vinegar
As already mentioned above, the production of vinegar from wine is based on the
transformation of alcohol into acetic acid. This transformation is achieved through the effect of
acetobacters, as discovered by Pasteur. It is also produced by grapes must according to some
traditional recipes, so alcoholic fermentation and acidification transformation of alcohol to
acetic acid occur simultaneously.
Vinegar produced by red wine does not contain fat, but it contains traces of vitamin C and
some minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as

certain antioxidants. It provides minimal calories. Its taste is richer and sweeter than apple
cider vinegar.


SOURCE : USDA National Nutrient data base










Total fat


Carbohydrates, by difference


Dietary fibres


Total sugars


Calcium, Ca



Iron, Fe



Magnesium, Mg



Phosphorus, P



Potassium, K



Sodium, Na



Zinc, Zn



Vitamin C



7.2.5 Legal fram ew ork on acidification

According to the Food and Drink Code: Oxos or pure oxos (vinegar) is the product produced
by the total fermentation of wine only, which was produced by (fresh) grapes or raisins and its
acetic acid content (CH3COOH) is at least 6% if available packaged or at least 4.5% if
available in bulk.
Any other product made of natural ingredients through a different process than the one
mentioned to be used as a substitute of vinegar should be characterised as vinegar
substitute (Article 39 CFD).
Dilute acetic acid solutions (CH3COOH) (4-8%) used as vinegar (oxos) are usually produced
through the fermentation of dilute alcoholic solutions (wine, cider, beer, etc) and they are
characterised by their aroma, taste and smell depending on the ingredients used.




Regulation No.
1493/1999 Appendix paragraph

Regulation Title

Publication in the official newspaper

On the common organisation of the market in wine

EC L 179 of 14/7/1999




On the hygiene of foodstuffs




L. 4586/1930

Decree 5-5-1928

Food and Drink Code, Article 39

Decision of the Supreme

Chemical Council 2056/1961
Decision of the Supreme
Chemical Council 218/97

On the protection of natural vinegar production and its marketing

G.G. 457//1930

On the conditions and obligations under which the processing of dry

raisin, in general, for the production of vinegar is allowed.

G.G. 87//24-05-1928

On the packaging conditions to be met by bottled vinegar available for

retail sale.

G.G. 74//62

Replacement of Decisions 1170/91, 1492/91 and 91/66 of the Supreme

Chemical Council, with which the production and marketing of a vinegar
substitute made of alcohol was approved.

G.G. 453//04-06-1997


Since the ancient years, vine, which is a valuable plant, was always offering its fruits, grapes,
to human beings. Its cultivation has always been a protagonist in the traditional cuisine of
Epirus inhabitants. Sometimes for the production of wine and tsipouro and sometimes for the
production of various delicacies, covering nutritional needs of each family.
From the old times, the environmental conditions of the region made the inhabitants to follow
a simple diet, as well as to find new ways of varying their diet using the particularly small
number of products offered by their land. They were making supplies for the winter. They
were trying to be self-sufficient with their local products because bad weather made it very
often impossible to communicate with other areas. As a result, apart from wheat, corn and
barley, each family used to cultivate necessarily and systematically vines, depending on their
economic potential.
During spring, housewives were picking up the first tender leaves of the vine to make a
wonderful dish, stuffed vine leaves, using rice and plenty of herbs from their gardens. This
habit of wrapping foods in the tender leaves of the vine used to be and is still one of the
most famous and beloved dishes of the region.

Stuffed vine leaves

(Recipe from Mrs. Giannoula Zioga from Drosopigi of Konitsa, 96 years old)
Ingredients for 5-6 persons

300 gr. tender vine leaves

kilo onions

1 cup of medium grain rice

2 cups of olive oil

1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of spearmint, finely chopped

teaspoon oregano

Juice of 2-3 lemons

Salt & pepper

Wash the vine leaves and place them in salted water that is boiling for one or two boils. Take
them out and place them on a platter.
Clean the onions, chop them finely and place them in a colander, wash them with water and
let them drain. Pour 1 cup of olive oil in a saucepan and add the onions until golden. Add the
washed rice and let it for a while. Add half of the lemon juice, parsley, spearmint, finely
chopped, oregano, salt, pepper and cup of water and boil it until the broth is absorbed.
Wrap the stuffed vine leaves as follows: Set each vine leaf with its shiny side looking
downwards and place on top a small spoonful of the stuffing. Firstly fold the two edges
inwards and then roll the stuffed vine leaf into a tight cylinder like a cigarette. Coat the
bottom of the saucepan with the thicker vine leaves and place the stuffed vine leaves in the
pot with their folded part towards the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the olive oil, some
salt and pepper and cover with a shallow dish to hold them. Add hot water until they are
covered, the rest of the lemon juice and let them on low heat for forty minutes
approximately, until the rice is soft.

When the inhabitants of the Municipality of Konitsa were working in their farms, their usual
lunch was skordari i.e. sour grape juice (juice of unripe, green grapes) with garlic, a little
salt and plenty of homemade bread. In some villages, such as Drosopigi, lots of vinegar was
available due to the extended production of wine. Therefore, during the summer they used to
eat bread with vinegar with some water and a pinch of sugar. Garlic was also added to make
it tastier and eat easier the acidic grape juice. During the fasting period of the Holy Week
their meal included red wine diluted with water, sugar and bread toasted on the massena
(woodstove that could be used for baking).
According to testimonies of the regions older women, all families were selecting the best
bunches of grapes, which they hung from the ceiling in a piaule of the house called ontas
(reception room) along with other fruits like wild apples, quinces and wild gortsa (wild
pears). This way they could preserve them throughout winter and the family could eat fruit
up until spring.
Furthermore, the use of wine in cooking was also very widespread. Wild animals were also
present in all houses since in the older times hunting was a means of livelihood for the family,
not just a means of entertainment. Their combination with wine lend them flavour and a
great taste. The most popular delicacy of the region was hare stew with wine. Moreover,
almost all families were keeping poultry and thus, very often, the Sunday lunch included
rooster cooked in wine with handmade frumenty (trachanas).

Hare Stew
(Recipe from Mrs. Alexandra Efthimiou from Oxia of Konitsa, 77 years old)

1 hare of 1,900 gr approximately

1 kilo and 300 gr. small onions

2 cups of olive oil

2 glasses of wine

2 cups of vinegar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2-3 bay leaves

1 garlic

1 cup of crushed walnuts

A pinch of flour

Salt & pepper

Cut the hare overnight, wash it and place it in a clay bowl, where the 2 cups of vinegar, 2
cups water, bay leaves and a few cloves of garlic have been added too. On the next day,
drain the hare add the salt and pepper and the flour. Then add the oil in a saucepan, let it
burn and then saut the hare. Add the onions, the rest of the garlic and tomato paste.
Extinguish with wine. When the wine is evaporated, add warm water to cover the hare and
let it simmer until only a little bit of sauce is left. Finally add the crushed walnuts and serve.


Rooster cooked in W ine w ith frum enty

(Recipe of Mrs. Ifigeneia Dedou from Pyrgos of Konitsa)

1 rooster of 1,300 gr approximately

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 glass of red wine

3 finely chopped onions

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 bay leaf

Salt & pepper

1 cup frumenty

Cut the rooster into big portions, wash it, dry it thoroughly and add salt and pepper. Warm
up the oil in a saucepan and brown the roosters pieces. Add finely chopped onions and saut
for a few minutes. Extinguish with red wine and add the tomato paste and the bay leaf. Add
warm water to cover the rooster and let it simmer for approximately three hours. Try some to
see if it is ready and add some more warm water, if necessary, then the frumenty and
simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
When harvest period was over, which usually lasted for two weeks, all grapes were placed
either in small, mobile buckets, e.g. at Pyrsogianni, or in wineskins, e.g. Drosopigi and
Kastagianni, and they pressed them using a solid pressing device. When the pressing of the
grapes was over, housewives kept some of the must for the house, without its solid
ingredients, and they were making pekmezi, as called in the local dialect. Grape molasses,
pekmezi, was kept into containers in their cellars, and they were using it to make sweet
delicacies, such as moustalevria (grape must pudding), soumpekia and retselia.
Furthermore, in the afternoon the children used to eat homemade bread with grape molasses
- petimezi.

Grape M olasses - P etim ezi, P ek m ezi in local dialect

(Recipe from Mrs. Evagelia Tsima from Oxia, 95 years old)

5 kilos of must

2 handfuls of hot ash

Place 5 kilos of must in a saucepan, without its solid ingredients. Sieve 2 handfuls (one
handful consists of two palms together) of warm ash from wood in a thick cloth, cheesecloth,
and place it in the saucepan. Place the pan over heat to boil. Turn off the heat and let the
must stay for one to two days. Then drain it very carefully using a thick cheesecloth. Boil the
clean must for as much time needed, while skimming, until only half of it is left. It will be a
thick syrup. Taste some to check if it is sweet, otherwise keep on boiling it until the desired
result is achieved. Place the grape molasses in containers and keep it in a cool place.

During the fasting period, housewives used to make moustalevria (grape must pudding).
They were placing it in big baking trays, known as sinia, which is why it was also known as
mustopita (must pie) in some of the regions villages. They used to eat it together with
plenty of homemade bread.

M oustalevria (grape m ust pudding)

(Recipe from Mrs. Evagelia Tsima from Oxia of Konitsa, 95 years old)

1 glass of grape molasses

2 glasses of water

3 tablespoons flour

Place the flour in a small saucepan and roast slightly, until golden. Dilute grape molasses by
adding the water with it in a bowl. When the flour cools down, pour it in the saucepan where
the moustalevria will be cooked and add the diluted grape molasses, while stirring so that the
ingredients become one. Then put the saucepan on heat, stirring continuously until it comes
to boil and moustalevria thickens. Serve in small bowls or on a shallow platter. Sprinkle some
coconut crisps.
(Recipe from Mrs. Evagelia Tsima from Oxia of Konitsa, 95 years old)
Soubekia used to be a sweet as well as nutritious delicacy, which was available all year
round. Its main ingredients were walnuts and moustalevria. The procedure for its production
was as follows: At the edge of a thick thread they tied half shell from a walnut upside down,
which served as the base. Along the thread they were placing with the use of a needle all
fresh walnuts in a row. On the top edge they were placing a small vine branch so that to be
able to hand the soubekia. Following this, they were placing them in warm moustalevria as
many times as needed to cover all walnuts. In the end they hanged them so that they dried.

Another sweet and famous delicacy of the region of Konitsa is retselia. Chopped pumpkin is
boiled in grape molasses and offered as a sweet to the guests of the houses.
Mrs Alexandra Efthimiou-Papachristou from Oxia mentions that the pumpkin was chopped in
very fine slices and left with grape molasses, as a substitute for sugar. They spread retseli on
a slice of bread and they were feeding little children in the afternoon.
In more recent years, the regions housewives were using the must or the grape molasses to
make must cookies as well as bread with grape molasses, as more ingredients and spices
were available.

M ust cookies

1 glass of must

1 glass of sunflower oil

1 small cup of honey

1 vanilla

1 teaspoon soda

1 baking powder

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

A pinch of salt


Pour oil, must and honey in a bowl and stir until honey is dissolved. Then add the vanilla,
cinnamon, salt and soda. Following this, add slowly the flour, in which baking powder has
been mixed, until a soft dough that comes off our hands is formed. Shape the must cookies
on the kitchen table and place them in a greased tray. Bake them in a preheated oven at 180

C for approximately twenty minutes.

Bread w ith grape m olasses

1 kilo flour

1 cup of raisins

1 cup of coarsely crushed walnuts

1 cup of grape molasses

cup of sweet wine

50gr. fresh yeast or sour dough

3 tablespoons oil

Optional 1 even teaspoon cinnamon

Optional teaspoon nutmeg

A pinch of salt

Mix thoroughly in a bowl with lukewarm water 4 spoons of the flour together with fresh
yeast. Cover it and let rise for 10 minutes. In the meantime, pour the rest of the flour in a big
bowl, together with salt and spices and mix them. Then add the grape molasses, wine and
oil. Mix, add a little bit of lukewarm water and start kneading. At the same time add the yeast
and carry on kneading. Add a little bit of water if necessary. When the dough is soft and
comes off our hands, add the raisins together with coarsely crushed walnuts. Knead the
dough until all ingredients are mixed together. Shape a round loaf and coat it with a little
lukewarm water. Cover it and let it rise for 45 minutes approximately in a warm room. Bake
them in a preheated oven at 180 C for approximately one hour.
Delicacies and recipes based on wine and vine, with smaller or larger variations, exist
throughout Epirus, constituting an unprecedented culinary journey.


Wine, tsipouro in particular, is the protagonist in the history of Epirus. It has influenced
greatly its identity. It was present in all houses, accompanying everyday meals of people from
Epirus, as well as happy and sad events.
Housewives, who used to drink less tsipouro than the men, knew how to genuinely use
tsipouro, how to transform this clear and strong spirit in colourful and mellow drinks, liqueurs.
Homemade liqueurs, a word that comes from the French language, was the first treat in
gatherings with family and friends.
Krana liqueur, which is made of European cornel, is the most famous of the region. Large
glass bowls are used to place the red European cornels (naturally growing in many areas of
Epirus) and left below the hot sun for a small period of time so that to allow the mixing of
their aromatic characteristics and flavours with tsipouro and sugar. Sugar was added to make
it sweeter and easier to drink. Rich in antioxidants, with a sour taste, it was used to treat
stomach ache, tiredness and fever.
In more recent years, housewives were more creative in making their liqueurs with more
ingredients, and tsipouro was flavoured with one or more aromatic herbs (peppermint, wild
mint, melissa etc.), while the variety of wild fruits used was more varied. Wild sour cherries,
raspberries, myrtle, walnut are among the wild fruits used for their preparation



1 kilo mature European cornel

1 litre of tsipouro

1 kilo of sugar

Add the European cornel together with sugar in a glass bowl and place it below the sun until
sugar melts. Then add tsipouro and let the mixture below the sun for 40 days approximately.
Then drain the European cornel using a cheesecloth. Place the liqueur in bottles and it is
ready to drink it.
Punch was very often prepared during winter, which is tsipouro boiled with some sugar. It
was used as a remedy to treat colds and several pains, as well as for relaxing the family.
In some villages, wine was used instead of tsipouro, which was boiled together with some


Rakomelo is another variation of alcoholic drink of Epirus. It is traditionally prepared in the
following manner: We mix honey in lukewarm water so as to be dissolved thoroughly and
then we add tsipouro.



10.1 Applicable european legislation in alcoholic beverages
Type / No. Act


Publication in the official journal

Regulation 110/2008
of European Parliament and
Council of 15th January 2008,

Regulation 1334/2008 of
European Parliament and Council
of 16th December 2008

Regulation (EC) No. 936/2009

of Committee of 7th October 2009

on implementation of the agreements between the European Union and

third countries on the mutual recognition of certain spirit drinks

EE L 265
of 08/10/2009,
p. 5-6

Regulation 2870/2000
of Committee of 19th December

on laying down Community reference methods for the analysis of spirits


EE L 333
of 29/12/2000,
p. 20-46

Regulation 2091/2002
of Committee of 26th November

on amending reg.(EC) 2870/2000 for laying down Community reference

methods for the analysis of spirits drinks

EE L 322
of 27/11/2002,
p. 11-27

on the definition, description, presentation, labeling and protection of

geographical indications of alcoholic beverages and repealing Council
Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89

on flavorings and certain food ingredients with flavoring properties for use
in and on foods and on amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1601/91,
Regulation (EC) No. 2232/96, Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 and Directive

EE L 39
of 13/2/2008,
p. 16-54
EE L 354
of 16/12/2008,
p. 34-50



Publication in the
official journal


Type / No Act

Regulation 178/2002
of the European Parliament
and of the Council of 28
January 2002

on laying down the general principles and requirements of food law,

establishing the European food safety authority and laying down
procedures in matters of food safety

EEL 31
of 01/02/2002,

Regulation 852/2004
of the European Parliament
and of the Council of 29
April 2004

on the hygiene of foodstuffs

EEL 226
of 25/6/2004,
p 1-54

Regulation 882/2004
of the European Parliament
and of the Council of 29
April 2004

on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance

with feed and food law, the rules for the health and welfare of animals

EEL 191
of 28/5/2004,
p 1-52

Regulation (EU) No.

1169/2011 of the
European Parliament and of
the Council of 25 October

on the provision of food information to consumers, on amending

European Parliament and Council regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and
(EC) No. 1925/2006 and repealing Directive 87/250/EEC, Directive
90/496/EEC, Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the
European Parliament and of the Council, of the Commission's directives
2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Regulation (EC) No 608/2004


into Greek law

EEL 304
of 22/11/2011,
p 18-63


Directive 2007/45/EC
of the European Parliament
and of the Council of 5
September 2007

laying down rules on nominal quantities for pre-packed products,

repealing Council Directives 75/106/EEC and 80/232/EEC and amending
Council Directive 76/211/EEC

EE L 247
of 5/09/2007

Decision 21750/7-8-2008


10.2 Applicable national legislation in alcoholic beverages


Law ( N).2969/2001
Decision of the Ministry of
30/077/2131/ 23-8-2011
Decision of the Ministry of
(... )
Decision of the Ministry of
(... )
Decision of the Ministry of
Finance (....)
Decision of the Ministry of
Finance (....)

Ethyl alcohol and alcoholic products

Official Gazette 281//18-12-2001

Production and distribution of alcoholic beverages

Official Gazette 1946//31-82011

erms and specifications for the use of the term rakomelo "as a
additional sales brand A)" liqueur (liqueur) or B) "spirit drink".

Official Gazette 95//3-2-2010

terms of use of the term "Mastiha Spirit" as a additional sales brand

a) liqueur or b) alcoholic beverage

Official Gazette 2827//19-102012

Recognition of the geographical indication "Plomari" as a additional

sales brand ouzo

Official Gazette 1283//23-82004

Recognition of the geographical indication "Mytilene" as a additional

sales brand ouzo

Official Gazette 1283//23-82004

& 1680//12-11-2004


Decision of the Ministry of

Finance (....)

Recognition of the geographical indication "Kavala" as a additional

sales name "ouzo"

Official Gazette 2065//249-2009

Decision of the Ministry of Finance

(...) 3023220/3726/292501-2010

Specifications for the recognition of a geographical indication "

Liqueur Apple of Naousa or Liqueur Apple Naousis.

Official Gazette 95//3-22010

Specifications for the recognition of a geographical indication "

Liqueur Peach of Naousa or Liqueur Peach Naousis

Official Gazette 95//3-22010

Specifications for the recognition of a geographical indication

"Liqueur Krano of Naousa or Liqueur Krano Naousis

Official Gazette 95//3-22010

Specifications for the recognition of a geographical indication "

Liqueur Cherry of Naousa or Liqueur Cherry Naousis"

Official Gazette

Recognition of the geographical indication ' GREEK ANIS as

supplementary of the sales brand" liqueur

Official Gazette 95//3-22010

Terms of use of the geographical indication "ouzo of Thrace

Official Gazette 2024//2712-2010





Decision of the Ministry of

(... )
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of










Decision of the Ministry of

Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
(... )
Decision of the Ministry of
(... )
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of

Recognition of the geographical indication "Volos" or "Voliotiko" as

additional of sales name "ouzo"

Official Gazette 2024//2712-2010

Recognition of the geographical indication Naousas or Naousis as

supplementary of sales name "ouzo"

Official Gazette 2024//2712-2010

Terms of use of the geographical indication "ouzo of Kalamata

Official Gazette 76//28-12011

Recognition of geographical indication "Tirnavos" as additional of

sales name "ouzo"

Official Gazette 76//28-12011

Recognition of geographical indication "Lemnio" or "Lemnou" as

additional of the sales name "ouzo"

Official Gazette 145//10-22011

Recognition of geographical indication "Tsipouro of Naousa or


Official Gazette 145//10-22011.

Recognition of geographical indication "Mouzaki as supplementary

of the sales brand" tsipouro

Official Gazette 1150//7-62011

Terms of use of the geographical indication "ouzo of Macedonia

Official Gazette 935//23-52011








Decision of the Ministry of

Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
(... )
Decision of the Ministry of
Decision of the Ministry of
(... )

Recognition of geographical indication "Epirus" or "Epirotiko" as a

additional of the sales brand "tsipouro"

Official Gazette 3211//3012-2011

Recognition of geographical indication "Samos" as a additional of

the sales name "ouzo

Official Gazette 3211//3012-2011

Terms of use of the geographical indication Tentura

Official Gazette 3211//3012-2011

Recognition of the geographical indication "Chios" or "Chiotiko as a

additional of the sales name "ouzo"

Official Gazette 2382//2708-2012

Terms of use of the geographical indication "Mastiha of Chios" as a

additional of the sales brand name liqueur

Official Gazette 2827//1910-2012

Recognition of the geographical indication "Mountovina

Official Gazette 2827//1910-2012



Food & B everage Code & Objects sharing




Ouzo Mytilene

29. Distilled Anis



Official Gazette 1946/ /31-8-2011,

Technical Docum. for the G.I.

. 4 ()


Official Gazette 1283//23-8-2004

Technical Docum. For the G.I.

& 1680//12-11-2004

Ouzo Mytilene

Ouzo Plomari

Official Gazette 1283//23-8-2004

Ouzo kalamata

Official Gazette 76//28-1-2011

Ouzo Thrace

Official Gazette 2024//27-12-2010

Technical Docum. for the G.I.

Ouzo Plomari
Technical Docum. for the G.I.
Ouzo Kalamata
Technical Docum. for the G.I.
Ouzo Thrace


Ouzo Macedonia

Official Gazette 935//23-5-2011

Technical Docum. for the G.I.

Ouzo Macedonia

Official Gazette 1946/ /31-8-2011,

. 4 ()

Tsikoudia of Crete
6. Grape distillate

Official Gazette 1946/ /31-8-2011,

. 4 ()

Tsipouro of Macedonia
Tsipouro of Thessaly
Tsipouro of Tirnavos
Mastiha of Chios

Technical Docum. for the G.I.

Official gazette . 2827//19-10-2012

Mastiha of Chios

Citron of Naxos
32. Liqueur
Koum-kouat of Corfu
5. Brandy

Official Gazette 3211//30-12-2011

Technical Docum. for the G.I.


Brandy of Attika


Brandy od Peloponnese
Brandy of Central Greece



29.Distilled Anis

6. Grape distillate



Ouzo of Kavalas

Official Gazette 2065//24-9-2009

Ouzo of Volos

Official Gazette 2024//27-12-2010

Ouzo of Naousa

Official Gazette 2024//27-12-2010

Ouzo of Tirnavos

Official Gazette 76//28-1-2011

Ouzo of Lemnos

Official Gazette 145//10-2-2011

Ouzo of Samos

Official Gazette 3211//30-12-2011

Ouzo of Chios

Official Gazette 2382//27-8-2012

Tsipouro of Naousa

Official Gazette 145//10-2-2011


32. Liqueur

11. Honey distillate

Tsipouro of Mouzaki

Official Gazette 1150//7-6-2011

Tsipouro of Epirus

Official Gazette 3211//30-12-2011

Liqueur Apple of Naousa

Official Gazette 95//3-2-2010

Liqueur Peach of Naousa

Official Gazette 95//3-2-2010

Liqueur Krano of Naousa

Official Gazette 95//3-2-2010

Liqueur Cherry of Naousa

Official Gazette 95//3-2-2010


Official Gazette 95//3-2-2010


Official Gazette 2827//19-10-2012



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Vakalis, Ch. Th. (2003). Ano Ravenia and West part of Zagorochoria. Militos

Demertzi K Akrida, Demertzis P.G.(1999). Technique of wine

Konstantinou G. (2006). Discovering wine. Metaixmio Publications.

Manoudis N. (2011). Tsipouro and tsikoudia. Psychalou Publications

Bloukas J. M., (2004). Processing and preserving food.

Politis, G. (2002). Making our wine. At. Stamoulis Publications

Soufleros H. E. (2000) Oenology Science and Expertise I.

Soufleros H. E. (2000) Oenology Science and Expertise II.

Spinthiropoulou, Ch. (2000). Wine grape varieties of Greek Vineyard. Olive Press
Publications, Athens.

Stavrakas, E. D. (2010). On Viticulture. Ziti Publications.

Tzitzi M., Kyparissiou, P. (2008). Elementary oenology The art of the Sommelier Le
Livres du Tourisme Publications.

Tsakiris, A. Im producing my own wine. Psychalos Publications.

Tsetouras, P. (1998) The secrets of good wine.


., . , . (2000). .
: &

Paunovic R. 1991. Origine, mode de production et qualite de l eau de vie de raisin

dite Lozovatcha in Bertrand A.,1991. Les eaux-de-vie traditionneles d origine
viticole. 1er Symposium International 26-30 Juin 1990, Bordeaux. Lavoisier
TEC & DOC, Paris.

Salle J. et Salle B. 1982. Larousse des alcools. Librairie Larousse, Paris

Sensidoni A., Da Porto C., Zironi R. 1992. Recherche sur la caracterisation de l eaude-vie de raisin, utilisation de la distillation sous vide in Cantagrel R., 1992.
Elaboration et connaissance des spiritueux. Edition Bnic France


Makris, G. (2013).

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