Yiannis Papargyriou is one of the most distinguished and promising Greek producers. He has managed to make Papargyriou Estate synonymous with a unique, special and remarkable style of wines. To build an identity in his creations, similar to that of an artist. It may seem easy and self-evident, but it's not. In fact, it is admirable. Nevertheless, he remains an amazing guy, authentic, with humor and has a lot to say!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Everything that I am now, viticulturist and winemaker!
When did you realize winemaking was an actual thing you could do as a job?
At the age of 20, while I was studying at the Agricultural University of Athens.
If you were to choose music for your vines, what would you play?
It depends on the season, but definitely classical music. I would start with Vivaldi's Spring, followed by Bizet's Carmen. During the time of the harvest, Beethoven's 9th Agreement, and after the harvest, Strauss's "Unter Donner und Blitz".
Which was the wine you tasted and said "This is it! That's what I want to do!"
Château Lafite Rothschild!!!
If we get into your own cellar, how many wines will we find? (don't count yours!)
What is the most expensive wine you have tasted & the most economic one that has surprised you?
The most expensive is the Château Lafite I mentioned, Chave's Hermitage, and a Barolo Ceretto of 1953. The "economic" wine that surprised me is Roditis from Tetramythos Winery.
What is the variety you would "die" to have but can't? (either because of legislation or terroir)
Roussanne, due to legislation...
The wine trip that changed your worldview & a trip you would go without a return ticket...
The trips to Rhine and Mosel we made when I was a kid. Also the experience of studying at Geisenheim. Without a return, it’s difficult. Life in my own vineyards is incomparable.
If you could freeze time, work for another producer, and return back to your winery better, who would you choose?
I would go and work without discussion with Henri Bonneau.
Next Big Thing variety;
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?
Bureaucracy and paperwork!
What is your greatest success and your biggest failure as far as wine is concerned?
As a success, I would say the wine series Le Roi des Montagnes. As a failure, I would say some vintages that winemaking did not go well (eg Mavrodaphne 2006, when we threw away all the production).
Your favorite wine and vintage? Do you still have bottles of this?
Le Roi des Montagnes Syrah 2012. I still have two bottles!
What's the worst food and wine pairing combination you've ever tasted, just because you were curious?
Fish soup with white wine. Fish soup pairs only with water!
Which part of Greece do you think is of great interest to see in the future?
All cool/mountainous vineyards. Greece has a huge unexplored potential, greater than just the PDO regions.
What is it that you would like to see change in the wine industry in the following years?
To strengthen wine tourism and expand the base of wine lovers.
Relaxing on a Friday night after a hard day’s work, what do you choose to drink?
The "Late Harvest" with my wife Eleni by the fireplace, along with Roquefort cheese.
Want to see how a producer's character reflects in his wines?
Check out the wine collection of Papargyriou Estate here!