The ultimate family friendly experience for wine-loving parents
A unique winetourism experience in Greece with kids for parents to enjoy winetasting – while parents sample Greek wine varieties, children are at the same time immersed in a kids’ friendly theatrical play and grape tasting at the winery in the wine-producing region of Nemea, Peloponnese organized by the MAMAKITA team.
“Beer has been made by people. Wine by God,” my friend Nikos wrote to me, quoting Martin Luther’s words before we began our trip to Nemea. His love for good wine and his profound knowledge of their varieties is inexhaustible. Greek wines, either the better known ones, or the more esoteric, are constantly evolving. Greek oenologists with a love for their land’s products are creating new combinations that invite us to a wine tour from all over the breadth and scope of Greece. But how can you participate in winetasting with kids? Is winetourism with kids feasible? The MAMAKITA team has found the way!
At the Nemea wineries: winetourism with kids
If you are in the Peloponnese with kids, Nemea is a fabulous place to visit any time of the year! Its endless vineyards laden with their dark grape Agiorgitiko variety and dozens of wineries will fascinate wine touring parents and interest kids with all the additional products on offer made from grapes. Only an hour away from Athens, near Corinth and its Canal and in the middle of the distance between Athens and Nafplio, Nemea also offers fascinating sites for the whole family, like Nemea’s archeological site, its ancient stadium, where they hold the Nemean Games (a version of the ancient Olympics) and Hercules’ Temple at Ancient Kleones.
Touring the wineries will fill your senses with the musty aroma of freshly pressed grapes and oak barrels. “But you won’t just find barrels! Amphorae have also made a comeback. In French wineries their use has already become common and here in Greece we are starting to use them quite often,” explains our guide Elena who enthusiastically reveals all the secrets of their vineyard and winery.
After a tour of the sorting area, the wine processing and bottling facilities we all sit around a huge wooden monastic table in the cellar to listen to the tales of yore from the soft and seductive voiced storyteller Maria. Myths that reminded us that wine is not only grape juice, but so much more. Like the story of the vineyard and Dionysus who was born twice, once by his mother Semeli and once by his father Zeus. Of the Christian scriptures where Jesus says of himself that he is the true vineyard and all of its symbolic glory. Stories of the importance of wine in Greek traditional lore and in their daily lives today.
The time for our palates to be amazed has come. For the adults and the kids. The kids gathered in the courtyard with a view of the vineyards and under the direction of experienced child-friendly theatrical performers created a unique grapevine play. Yes! They performed with – who else? – Dionysus, the god of wines, vineyard and theater. They tried all the varieties of raisins, moustalevria (a traditional Greek pudding made of grape must mixed with flour) and moustokouloura (traditional Greek cookies made of grape must). They experimented with vinegar and made crafts with vine leaves.
At the same time, we adults were trying out five distinct wine labels: Nemea, a wine made 100% of the dark Agiorgitiko grape variety, with aromas from four forest passion fruit; Salto, made 100% of Mavrofilero grapes with a hint of citrus; Viognier, 100% from the same named white grape variety with its fruity undertones; Peplo, which has a mix of Agiorgitiko, Syrah and Mavrofilero blending together with aromas of cherry and strawberry; and, finally, Synoro, which smells “like the grass of a garden on a rainy day,” as said surprised one from our group.
A table was laid out with a selection of accompanying delicacies and we were able to fully enjoy all the wine varieties and aromas without competing child distractions. After about an hour and a half, our small expert tasters started coming towards our table and also munching the delicious snacks and thus, we became a big happy company that decided to discover…snails… But that is a story for another day!