ΒΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΟΣ ΟΙΝΟΣ ΛΕΣΒΟΥ

METHYMNAEOS Organic Wines of Lesbos, Greece

ORGANIC WINES OF LESVOS, GREECE


Ancient Roots

Stone phallus (ca. 5000 BC),
exhibited at Methymnæos Winery
and found at its premises.
The phallus was a main symbol 
of the cult of Dionysus,
Greek god of wine. 

The wine of the Greek island of Lesvos was the most expensive in the markets of ancient Athens, Rome, the Byzantine Constantinople, as well as the only wine in the Turkish harems. According to Archestratus (4th century BC), an ancient poet and connoisseur, the wine of Lesvos was the best of antiquity:


I can praise the wines produced in many places
And their names I do not forget
But no wine is compared to the wine of Lesvos

                       (quoted by Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, A, 52d)


Unfortunately, the famous, age-old winemaking tradition of Lesvos came to an end in the beginning of the 20th century because of phylloxera, the infamous vine-root eating bug that had spread the world over from the Americas. The remedy against phylloxera in other parts of the world at the time was to graft vines on rootstock resistant to the pest. However, Lesvos by then had specialized in ouzo, so vineyards on the island were abandoned when hit by phylloxera.


Modern Revival

In the beginning of the 1980s, the Lambrou family discovered the last remaining vines of a traditional grape of Lesvos in the surroundings of a forgotten village of the island called Chidira. The grape, named after the village Chidiriotiko, was replanted in 1985 by the Lambrous in their private estate, situated near Chidira inside the crater of the extinct volcano which, millennia ago, had created the Petrified Forest of Lesvos.

Lambrou Vineyard,
lying majestically
in the creater
of the extinct volcano.

In 1997 the Lambrou family completed construction of Methymnæos Winery, located, too in Chidira. The first bottles of Methymnæos Organic Wine came out of the winery's production line in 1999. This wine, of the harvest of 1997, was the first bottled wine in the history of Lesvos. 


Nowdays Yannis Lambrou, son of the family, processes, too, the grapes of other local farmers, who, following the steps of the Lambrou family, have decided to replant and recultivate the Chidiriotiko grape. Production is steadily increasing, as the people of Chidira and neighboring villages are still continuously replanting.