Mavrodaphne Grand Reserve,1979, P.D.O. Mavrodaphne of Patras
Thessaloniki International Wine Competition
Huge Greek wine trading and production company with headquarters in the port city of Patras (with appellation of the same name) in the north of the island Peloponnese. In 1859, the German Gustav Clauss (1825-1908), who had immigrated from Bavaria, bought 60 hectares and started to cultivate black currants for the time being. Two years later he founded a winery with his partner Jakob Klipfel, which he later continued alone. Together with Theodor Harburger, a wine trade was founded in 1872 to distribute his own wines. In the 19th century the winery was a popular destination for the highest circles and was visited by the Greek monarchs and their foreign guests of state, such as the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898). This tradition was then continued from the 1970s onwards, with Omar Sharif (*1932) and Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975) among the most prominent guests.
After the death of the founder, Gustav Clauss, the company was taken over by his compatriot Gudert in 1908. After the First World War it was confiscated by the Greek government as "foreign capital" and in 1920 it became the property of the Greek Vlassis Antonopoulos. It was finally acquired in 1955 by the Greek Konstantinos Antonopoulos, who made many investments in the wineries and recruited a team of specialists. In 1983 a new bottling plant was put into operation. Since 1997, the company has been managed by Nikos Karapanos as its chaired manager.
The first wine from the red variety Mavrodaphne was produced in 1860. According to the tastes of that time, it was aged sweet and slightly fortified with alcohol (spritet). During the maturing process, a system similar to that of sherry was used. From 1869 onwards, the wines were first exported to Germany and then to many other European countries. A wide range of wines from Peloponnese and Crete is produced under a total of 70 different labels. One of the best known and best-selling brand wines in Greece is "Demestica" in red and white, blended from different varieties. In its heyday in the early 1980s, 20 million bottles of it were produced annually and marketed throughout Europe via supermarkets.
Other well-known brands are the white wines Peloponnesiakos (Roditis, Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc), Filambelo (selected Roditi grapes, Chardonnay), Neanikos (Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc) and Melissia (Moscato), and the red wines Mavrodafni (the founder OPAP dessert wine from Patras, also in a reserve version), Epiloyi (Agiorgitiko), Demestika Red (Agiorgitiko), Peloras (Cabernet Sauvignon, Agiorgitiko) and the OPAP wine Leonteias (Agiorgitiko) from the Nemea appellation. Of course, the typical Greek products Retsina and Ouzo are also produced. A total of 25 million bottles are produced annually. A large part is exported worldwide to a total of 40 countries in all continents. Achaia Clauss is one of the largest wine companies in the world.