UPDATE (2022): Unfortunately, until further notice the Melmar Winery is closed.
The only winery in Samothraki is hidden among the olive orchards of Dafnes, a small village in the south.
It was established in 2013 and in 2014 its first wine, called Saos, was made available to the public in a limited edition.
In the meantime, Melmar Winery grew into a local brand, expanded its production and diversified its portfolio of wines.
Giorgios, a young oenologist from Crete, is in charge of everything. He showed us around the modern facilities, told us about the wines, the story behind and what the future has in store for the winery.
The Melmar wines
The best-known range of Melmar is Mistiko Monopati. The name translates to "the hidden path" and alludes to the island's mysterious nature and the way it reveals itself little by little, making you come back time and time again to discover another "vathra", waterfall or secluded beach.
The range is comprised of both red and white wines. The red is a Syrah and often wins awards at various competitions. In 2018 and 2020 it won the gold at the Thessaloniki International Wine & Spirits Competition.
The white wines from the range Mistiko Monopati are produced out of Malagousia, a local grape.
At the end of the 19th century, there was a great phylloxera epidemic in Greece that destroyed the local varieties. Consequently, the wines produced after that unfortunate event were based on varieties imported from France. The struggle to recover the old Greek grapes never died though, and nowadays there are still 300 local varieties growing throughout the country.
Another range is Adyton ("sanctuary" or "altar" in Greek). The white wine is made out of the Assyrtiko (a Greek variety), the rose one is made out of Mavroudi (a Thracian variety) and the red one is a mix of Mavroudi" and "Syrah". There's also a special edition of Assyrtiko, which is aged for 12 months in oak barrels.
In the past few years, the young vineyards have started to be productive, but they still have some way to go until they reach their full potential, so while some of the grapes are grown on the island, the rest are brought in from the mainland (only from the area of Thrace).
The wines produced here are dry with an alcohol content of 12-14%.
In the future, there will be accommodation at the winery among the olive trees and the vineyards.
There's also a plan to build a distillery for tsipouro - the traditional Greek spirit.
Visiting the Melmar winery
Add Melmar Winery to the list of things to do in Samothraki! For now, there's no entry fee and at the end of your visit, you can purchase the wines you liked. The prices range from 6.5 to 12 € / bottle. If you're into red wines I highly recommend you taste the Syrah from the Mistiko Monopati range.
You can also experience the Melmar wines in the coffee shops and tavernas of Samothraki or even in the supermarkets (although, not so much lately).
Contact Melmar Wines - Dafnes, Samothraki
To get to Melmar, follow the road from Kamariotissa to Pachia Ammos beach, through Lakkoma. As you exit Dafnes, watch out for a road on the right (there's no sign). The road descends through an olive orchard towards the main gate.
Location: Google Maps
The winery is open in the morning between 10:00-14:00 and the evening between 17:00-20:00, but it's better to call ahead.