As you can imagine, land in Mykonos is a prized commodity that’s hard to come by. So when you think of local wines and investing in a sprawling estate with wine production, it’s a luxury only a few can afford. Luckily, I found one little gem that let us experience probably the only grapes grown on the island.
The winery of Vioma is located near a small village called Ano Mera, 10 minutes drive away from Mykonos town. Set among rolling hills and stunning views, the winery has adopted an all organic approach to producing their wines and other food products offered here. It’s one of the few places left that will let you experience an authentic side of Mykonos, which is very hard to find these days.
We arrived in the early afternoon, having announced ourselves over the phone only the same morning. There are only set times for wine tasting with a tour of the winery so if you don’t want to miss it, call in advance to inquire. The winery wasn’t hard to find with a basic GPS or just following Google maps which you can download to your phone. We were greeted by three jolly dogs and seated under the gorgeous shaded terrace to start our wine tasting session. Wine tasting costs 12 eur per person and you can taste 3-4 different wines. After a first glass or two, we were invited for a short tour of the vineyard and the little farm.
The grapes produced here are Asytriko, Athiri, Monemvasia, Malagouzia, Agiannitis and Mandilaria. The vineyard is relatively small so the production of wine is very limited. The vines are grown in linear lines and no watering is used, the whole vineyard is relying on natural weather conditions. Due to the strong winds on the islands, the vines are cut short to protect them from damage.
In addition to the usual things you might expect to see in a winery, this one is quite unique. First of all, there is no wine cellar. Once the wine is harvested, it’s shipped on the nearby island for production, bottling, and shipping. As I mentioned the land is so expensive that it would not be feasible to build such large facilities for wine processing directly on the island and it’s much cheaper to ship the wine for processing elsewhere.
The soil is free of chemicals and pesticides and the only fertilizer used is produced organically by the animals living on the farm, which are treated as family members. As we were told by our guide, classical music is played throughout the vineyard which is thought to encourage the growth according to studies of plants and grapes.
There are a handful of animals on the farm which includes goats, sheep, donkey, turkeys, and chicken. The farm is also home to bees which produce a limited quantity of honey from their 20 bee hives. You can also book a tour which includes sampling the locally grown food, not just wine tasting.
We spent a few very enjoyable hours here, hidden away from the sun and enjoy our glass of wine. Unlike other places on the island, it wasn’t crowded at all and it felt like our own private retreat. The staff at the winery was super friendly and we couldn’t get enough of their cuddly dogs.
The trip to the winery was the first stop on our road trip on the day. Having seen the size of the island, we estimated a one full day of driving will let us check out most of what it has to offer without spending hours in the car, and we were certainly right. A short drive away from the winery is Ftelia beach club (pictures at the end of the post) – posh beach paradise set on one of the prettiest beaches on the island. Filled with glamorous looking locals and tourists, with the comfiest beach chairs I’ve experienced. The beach club was a lucky find after we were originally aiming to get to Alemagou Beach Club for a late lunch, which was closed for private function. Ftelia was just on the opposite side of the bay and we quickly snapped up seats right by the water to enjoy some time off.
If you’re going to Mykonos, a short road trip will be a lot of fun and you will get a chance to discover hidden beaches and little treasures tucked away by the coastline. Unlike the very busy Mykonos town, in here you will get a chance to soak in those stunning views without feeling like a tourist in a crowd.
Details for Vioma Organic Farm & Winery
tel. +30 22890 71883 & +30 6974 120069, email: [email protected]
address: coordinates – N37.45946° E25.40811°
visiting hours: Daily 11:00 – 16:00
They also respond pretty quickly if you contact them via their Facebook page.