Alpha Estate is one of the most iconic and, also, the most innovative producer in all of Greece. Situated high at 700m in the Amyndeon Plateau, the estate has brought new life both to Greece's indigenous grapes and its winemaking industry as a whole. The project was founded in 1997 by viticulturist Makis Mavridis and winemaker Angelos Iatridis. It was a perfect match, as Makis is a third generation winemaker, and Angelos had studied oenology in many of the greatest wine regions of the world, including Bordeaux. Together, they set out to bring new esteem to Greece's great diversity of indigenous grapes and also prove that the noble grapes of the world could be grown successfully in Greece. Needless to say they were beyond successful and have grown to be be one of the most prestigious wineries in all of Greece.
Their vineyard holdings are spread across country, with the majority being in the north where it is very dry, cool, and high altitude. An onsite laboratory allows the estate to bring a level of precision to their viticulture that is unrivaled. Alpha Estate is the largest importer of oak in the entire country, with 40% of their oak being new each year. While that sounds like a lot, the oak regimen is thoughtful and never heavy handed, as they use a light toast on the barrels to ensure it's always in balance. Grapes grown vary from indigenous varieties, such as Malagouzia, to international classics we all know and love, like Syrah and Merlot. Wine styles are also broad and range from fresh and floral, like the Malagouzia, to serious red wines that can age for decades. The Alpha One cuvées are barrel selections of each grape that Alpha Estate grows. The SMX is their play on a Greek GSM and is composed of Syrah, Merlot, and Xinomavro. - Kelly Rau