Greece's legendary winery looks to future to China

( ) Updated: 2014-03-10 16:06:25

On a green hill at the outskirts of the city port of Patras at Peloponnese peninsula, some 200 km west of Athens, are the headquarters of Achaia Clauss, a legendary winery in Greece with a history going back to the 19th century, which has conquered the hearts of both Greek as well as foreign wine lovers.

Amidst the economic crisis which has hit all sectors of the local economy in recent years, the company founded in 1861 by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss and run by Greek entrepreneurs for decades today looks to the future going East, as far away as China, Tonia Rapti, our tour guide, told Xinhua during a visit on Saturday.

With a 6-million-liter annual production and 70 percent exports in over 40 countries and regions worldwide so far, the vast Chinese market seems the next reasonable step for the winery, the retired PR officer explained.

"We are currently making efforts to export to China. Our future undoubtedly lies there," she stressed.

Rapti talks like she is still working at the stone-made castle like facilities set up in 1861 by Clauss, who is considered as a pioneer in the industrialization of wine production in Greece.

After a business trip he fell in love with the beauty of the natural landscape and a local girl. He created a company and a big family.

After 33 years working at the winery, Rapti feels as a retired member of this extended family. Her younger colleague Yorgos is a fourth generation worker at Achaia Clauss.

One of his predecessors worked for the production of the first wine produced in modern Greece in 1873: Mavrodaphne, she explained while showing us the barrel which still contains it.

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