Apostolos is the mastermind behind Ktima Kourtis and the man we desperately wanted to find, from the very first moment we tasted his wines. He is one of the most promising young producers, who’s keeping a low profile and letting his work speak. His philosophy, in terms of grape varieties, terroir, experimentation, and blends is so special and "out of the box" that while it initially makes you wonder "what he’s going to do", the result suddenly comes out and it’s stunning.
When did you realize winemaking was an actual thing you could do as a job?
I was persistent in the development of the countryside, so in a few years I made the first vineyard planting and when I made the first experimental wine, I really saw myself changing. Somehow it started like this!
If you were to choose music for your vines, what would you play?
Hmmm… Music, its time is beautiful! At some point I might have thought about it, there was a lot of discussion about the relationship between music and plants or animals. But no, now I wouldn’t do it for any reason. The vineyard has its own music, mother nature has taken care of it, as long as each of us listens to the environment of nature.
Which was the wine you tasted and said "This is it! That's what I want to do!"
At my very first stages, as a new wine lover, a few years ago, I tasted an Assyrtiko in Santorini and I really liked it. I remembered it when I made it. In my first experimental white it was what I wanted to do.
If we get into your own cellar, how many wines will we find? (don't count yours!)
In my personal cellar, I have about 170 double labels, both Greek and international.
What is the most expensive wine you have tasted & the most economic one that has surprised you?
The most expensive wine I’ve tasted was the Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva and the economic that surprised me was the Cabernet Sauvignon Papachristodoulou from Kato Agios Ioannis in Pieria!
What is the variety you would "die" to have but can't? (either because of legislation or terroir)
Due to legislation, of course, I was "dying" for Vidiano! Fortunately, the law changed just in time and now I have it! From what it seems, in the terroir surrounded by Olympus, Pieria Mountains and the sea, my varieties are doing just fine!
The wine trip that changed your worldview & a trip you would go without a return ticket...
I'm always excited about wine travels but the last one in Italy was very strong! Without a return ticket, to New Zealand for sure!
If you could freeze time, work for another producer, and return back to your winery better, who would you choose?
I’d say Vaggelis Gerovassileiou.
Next Big Thing variety;
Liatiko, Sagrantino and Saperavi.
With which Greek producer would you like to co-create a wine?
With Apostolos Thymiopoulos.
What is the chore at the winery that you want nothing to do?
There are no boring chores in the winery. All must be done in turn. So the question is, to start or not to start.
What are your greatest success and your biggest failure as far as wine is concerned?
Your favorite wine and vintage? Do you still have bottles of this?
Xinomavro 2019… is coming!
What's the worst food and wine pairing combination you've ever tasted, just because you were curious?
A nice Syrah with fresh sardines… It just happened...
Which part of Greece do you think is of great interest to see in the future?
As one of the last wine regions in Greece, I’d say Pieria. I believe a lot in this place and in the people of wine. I'm eager, I don't know yet if we will do something new, but definitely, the effort for quality wine is here and that excites me!
What is it that you would like to see change in the wine industry in the following years?
The wine industry in Greece is one of the most organized, compared to other products, however, as our industry is evolving, new difficulties arise. As good wine is made in the vineyard, it is imperative to do more research at all levels. The wine industry is complex, it is not enough for us to know how to make wine, the state has to go deep into the development of the industry vertically, but also consumers to believe in wine! We have a lot of work to do and it's interesting.
Relaxing on a Friday night after a hard day’s work, what do you choose to drink?
Want to see how a producer's character reflects in his wines?
Check out Apostolos Kourtis' wine collection here!