The Nestor Winery is located at Pyrgos Trifyllias, one of the most fertile districts of southwest Messinia. It occupies a strategic position on the top of a hill with a panoramic view of vineyards and olive groves and, beyond them to the south, the bay of Navarino, the island of Sfaktiria and Pylos. A few (6) kilometres from the ancient palace of the Mycenaean King Nestor and near Costa Navarino, one of the biggest resort complexes in the country which has turned Messinia into a prime tourist destination, the winery aspires to contribute to the development of wine tourism in the area, offering a unique experience with a tour of their premises and an intitiation into the special wines of the region.
The history of Nestor Winery dates back just a few years to 2015 and is the fruit of a pioneering joint venture between the Nestor Agricultural/Wine Producers Cooperative of Messinia, and the Spyros Lafazanis family, owners of the Lafazanis winery, one of the largest in Greece, at Ancient Kleonai near Nemea.
We met with Spyros’ daughter, Athina Lafazanis, a young winemaker in her own right, who has devoted her energies since 2015 to the reestablishment of the Cooperative’s winery and overcoming the problems that had emerged to begin a new era.
“The installations of the winery imitate the architecture and colours of King Nestor’s ancient palace. Our ‘Nestor’ constitutes one of the largest wine-producing units in Greece; its roofed spaces cover 10,000 sqm, of which 3,000 sqm is given over to the cellar with the barrels. The winery is capable of producing 10,000,000 litres, while its daily record of grapes received is 680 tonnes. The winery collaborates with 200 growers, members of the cooperative, who cultivate more than 2,500,000 sqm of land with various popular international varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Grenache Rouge, Grenache Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Tempranillo. But emphasis will be placed on Greek varieties like Moschofilero, Roditis, Fokiano and Mandilaria and especially Fileri, which is considered the ancestor of the most widely grown and popular varieties like Moschofilero. And we have also applied to the EU to have Fileri recognised as a PDO product so that Messinia may have its own PDO characterisation.”