Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by Celeste.
Greece is increasingly becoming a popular destination for wine tourism. The most interesting regions for wine tours and wine tasting in Greece are Santorini, Crete, Athens, and Nemea. In this post, you will read more about wine tours in Greece.
Wine Tours in Greece
Greek wines are getting more recognition and popularity abroad. That is why more wine-loving visitors to Greece, want to visit the wineries and taste quality wines from Greek varieties.
Wine-tasting day trip in Nemea
The Peloponnese is one of the most well-known wine-producing regions in Greece. In May 2017, I joined Travel Bloggers Greece for a day trip from Athens to Nemea for a wine tasting experience.
Nemea is an ancient site in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese. The first reference to the wine tradition of the Peloponnese came from Homer who called it ‘Ampeloessa’, meaning “full of vines.”
The vineyards of the Peloponnese are known for their diversity and complexity. It is therefore an interesting region for wine tours in Greece. Nemea is the most important AOC region in southern Greece for the production of red wines and the Agiorghitiko grape. Nemea is 1, 5 hours away from Athens.
How to go to Nemea?
There are group tours, as well as small private tours, offering one-day excursions for wine tasting in Nemea. We traveled with Greece2Taste. It was comforting to know that we did not need to drive back home after a day of wine tasting.
Our children joined as well, and they had a lot of fun on the bus. During the one and half hour bus ride, our guide, give us an interesting introduction in English on the wine production and the region that we were about to visit.
The first winery that we visited was Domaine Bairaktaris beautifully located at the entrance of Nemea at the foot of a small but impressive mountain range. The children immediately run off to the beautiful enclosed garden at the estate. There was lots of shade there for them to play.
We were welcomed by Yiannis, one of the heirs to the Bairaktaris winery. He explained to us the history of the family business and the way they produce wines. The goal of the Bairaktaris family is to produce wine with original flavors and fragrances, and therefore no yeast or chemicals are being used.
We were guided through the whole process of winemaking and had access to all parts of the production line. We also visited the wine cellar, where the children were impressed to see the large barrels and many bottles.
After the tour, we were guided to a modern patio next to the garden. A table with meze was waiting for us. And we started a very well-organized wine tasting of five wines accompanied by helpful explanations and background information by Yiannis. There was time for questions and taking notes. It was fun and relaxing tasting with my friends while the children were happily playing nearby.
Our second stop was at the Palivou Estate. A table with crayons and paper was waiting for the children to be entertained in the lovely garden of the winery. When the kids were happily drawing, we were welcomed by our host Katerina, a member of the Palivou family. We followed her through the garden to the vineyards. In the garden we saw an actual cork tree!
Our visit to the romantic Palivou Estate was different from the first winery, and I liked that a lot. Palivou Estate had a more traditional character and appearance. The information that we received on both wineries did not overlap but complemented each other. By visiting the vineyard, we found ourselves in the heart of the Nemea wines. We touched the soil and admired the views over the vineyard.
We had a wine tasting here as well. This time inside the traditional wine cellar. The wine that we tasted was accompanied by local mezze. It was nice and cool inside the wine cellar, a welcome break from the heat of the vineyards.
In the meantime, my children admired the old tools and traditional machines at the grounds of the winery. It looked like a small museum!
Family Lunch at Nemea
Feeling happy and a bit dizzy from visiting the two wineries and tasting their wines, we got back on the bus and headed to the center of the Nemea village for lunch at Sofos restaurant. Wine tasting in Nemea had food too!
Lunch at local Sofos restaurant was very good. We were served local Greek dishes to complement the wines of the region. More red wine was tasted during lunch. We had a choice of two salads, a refreshing rusk bread salad, and a green salad, baked aubergine with cheese, tender beef served with mashed potatoes and – my kids favourite – chicken with pasta. The dessert was a caramel custard.
We had plenty of time to eat and to relax. The restaurant was spacious and had lots of daylight. The children of our group were dedicated to their own table. Kids happy, parents happy!
After lunch, there was time for a Greek coffee at the local coffee house on the village square. My children choose an ice cream at the kiosk instead.
Nemea archaeological site with Kids
The lunch break gave us new energy for the second and last part of our trip: a visit to the archeological site of Nemea. Being a huge enthusiast of (ancient) history and archeology, I could not feel happier for this part of the tour. It was very peaceful at the site and the energy could clearly be felt.
I believe that wine tasting in Greece needs to be connected to Ancient Greece. Wine is known to have played an important role in ancient Greek culture, religion, family, and society. The wine was integrated into philosophy, religion, art, poetry, music, and more.
Nemea was a religious sanctuary where pan–Hellenic athletic games, or Nemean Games, were held every two years from 573 BCE until 271 BCE. These Games took place every two years and included music, theater, and athletic events.
The archaeological site of Nemea, has been awarded the 2021 European Heritage Label by the European Commission. The Commission awarded the Label to a total of 12 sites that have played a significant role in the history and culture of Europe and the European Union. This is the second Greek site included on the European Heritage Label list. The Acropolis and its surrounding archaeological sites were the first to receive the label in 2014.
The ancient stadium at nemea was very impressive. My kids felt like an athlete in ancient times running around the track and field. You can also see the long corridor here through which the athletes entered the stadium. We returned to Athens after a long, full family day in Nemea.
Why join a wine tour in Greece with kids?
Wine is an important part of Greece’s (ancient) history, culture, and culinary tradition. If you want to learn more about Greek culture or if you are a wine enthusiast, if you want to have an interesting day out with your family in nature, then an organized wine tour is much recommended.
A wine tour in Nemea is especially fascinating because it combines wines and food, education, and ancient history. Kids will love exploring the winery and running around in nature while parents learn more about local grapes, vine-growing, and wine. Together you can taste, local gastronomy and the bus brings you back safely. Finally, you can purchase some wines at the wineries!
If you want to book a wine tour in Nemea, I suggest:
Nemea Winery Private Tour with Optional Lunch
Disclaimer: I was a guest on this wine tour with Greece2Taste. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. This means that should you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product or make a booking, we will receive a small commission. It costs nothing extra to you but helps us keep the site running. Thank you for supporting us in this way. Featured photo source: Wines of Greece