A resourceful winemaker and viticulturist
With international experience, a profound love and knowledge of wine, and dynamic enthusiasm, Theodora Rouvali, Angelos’ daughter, has taken over the running of the winery. Theodora studied Enology at TEI Athens and Valencia Polytechnic University in Spain. After that, she attended a post-graduate programme ‘Viticulture and Terroir’ at the University of Burgundy in France. Her passion for vines, wine and different cultures motivated her to travel and work in significant wine-growing zones around the world, thus gaining valuable enological and winemaking experience. She worked with many people renowned in the winemaking business in celebrated wineries: Clos de Tart (Grand Cru Monopole) in Burgundy, Château Margaux (1er Grand Cru Classé) in Bordeaux, Domaine Muré – Clos Saint Landelin (Grand Cru Vorbourg) in Alsace, Villa Maria (Auckland) in New Zealand, Gandolini (Maipo Valley) and Ventolera (Leyda Valley) in Chile and Domaine Merkouri in Greece.
Equipped with this global knowledge of winemaking, Theodora returned to Aigialeia in 2017, bringing a new air to the family-owned vineyard and winery along with dedication and attention to the remarkable terroir of this special wine-growing zone.
ANTONIO RUIZ PAÑEGO
Αntonio Ruiz Pañego was born and brought up in Valencia, Spain, where he studied agriculture and then enology at university. Initially, he settled in Chile to work at the Caliterra (Colchagua Valley) winery and later in New Zealand, where he worked at the Villa Maria Estate. Soon, however, he became interested in French wine culture and ended up in Burgundy. There, he worked at the Domaine Frederic Magnien (Morey-Saint-Denis), one of the most innovative wineries in the region, which produces some of the best Burgundy Grand Cru. Under the guidance of Frederic Magnien, Antonio was initiated into the principles of organic and bio-dynamic cultivation and winemaking.
For Antonio, Aigialeia, with its remarkable qualities, was a challenge. Since 2017, when he settled in the region, he has been responsible for the winemaking and care of the wines, with the aim of expressing this unique terroir with as little human intervention as possible.
An emblematic wine producer, a visionary of Aigialeia
Angelos Rouvalis was born in Aigio in 1952 and began his impressive career in the area of wine, studying chemistry and then specializing in enology in Bordeaux. In 1982, he was the first enologist to challenge the enological status quo in Santorini’s vinicultural zone, bottling the dry white Santorini PDO wine for the first time and bringing to light the forgotten Vinsanto in the tunnelled caves of Theresia (used for storing wine).
In 1990, he built his model gravity-flow winery on the slopes of Aigialeia, realizing the enormous potential of this mountainous vinicultural zone and the old Greek variety grown in the region: Roditis. From the mountainous Roditis, Angelos Rouvalis then created Asprolithi, a wine that marked the re-birth of Greek wine.
He quickly managed to inspire a large group of wine-producers in Aigialeia, who began systematically cultivating important old Greek and international varieties in the region. With a profound knowledge of Greek wine and a powerful vision, he was President of the Greek Wine Federation (SEO) for seven consecutive years (2008-2014). Under his presidency, the SEO laid the foundations for a comprehensive strategic marketing plan for Greek wines, organized the first vinicultural conference, in 2012, and successfully promoted synergies with tourism. Angelos Rouvalis also founded OINOXENEIA, a body to promote wine, gastronomy and quality tourism in Aigialeia.