Efstathios Barbayannis came to Plomari in Lesvos from Odessa, Russia in 1860, bringing with him his experience and knowledge of the distillation process. Many years have passed since then, but five generations later, his descendants are still managers of the enterprise and very aware of their Barbayanni Ouzo company’s reputation and historical significance.
The premises of the company, which goes back more than a century and a half, lies just outside the town limits. There, at the Ouzo Museum in front of the distillery, you can see exhibits of the first tools used to bottle and label the well-known Barbayanni Blue, as well as the first alembic, manufactured in Constantinople in 1858, in which age-old secrets and techniques were tested before becoming the Barbaryannis’ family’s closely guarded recipes.
The production area contains six stills, at least two of which are in constant use. The total annual production amounts to 500,000 litres, 25 to 30% of which is exported.
The Barbayanni distillery offers five types of ouzo, all 100% pure extract.
The best-known is Barbayanni Blue, with an alcohol content of 46% volume. Evzone Ouzo (47% vol.),a highly-scented traditional aperitif first appeared in 1950. Then in 1962 came Aphrodite Ouzo, inspired by the classical beauty of the goddess, which is strong (at 48%) in volume and taste, with a unique aroma, based on the most refined section of multiple fractional distillations. In 1997 the Barbayannis family brought out a new, mild (42% vol.) ouzo, the Barbayanni Green Ouzo.
Finally, the Collectible Barbayanni Ouzo (46% vol.), ‘the extract of extracts’, was produced especially for the company’s 150th anniversary from a series of fractional distillations in a limited quantity.
With such a record and tradition, the Barbayannis family is particularly esteemed in Lesvos. The quality of the company’s products, combined with the active involvement of the sixth generation guarantee its continued upward progress in the future.