At the north-west of Athens, in the region of Boeotia, lies the Valley of the Muses, formed on the slopes of Mount Helicon by the short course of the river Permissos on its way to the sea. In ancient times, the idyllic scenery of the valley was home of the 9 Muses, daughters of Zeus, and of Hesiod, one of the greatest poets of ancient Greece, who was born and wrote his works in ancient Askra, a city “rich in grapes” as it was called at that time, the modern Askri. This is the place where the vineyards of the Muses Estate lie.

muses

Old vines.

The sheltered environment of the valley attracted and supported large populations since the very early times. The waters of the river, the numerous water springs found along both sides of its banks and the fertile soils of the valley have always provided abundance to its people, who, having secured a comfortable life, they were able to create a great civilization. During this time, of all the crops that this land raised, the most important has always been the grape, the fruit of the vine. In the beginning, in the valley lived the Pelasgians, the first inhabitants of ancient Greece. After some point they have been replaced by the Thracians, who came from the north and brought with them the cult of the Muses from the area of Mount Olympus. According to Plato, music was born together with the Muses. Their sanctuary was located on the eastern slope of Mount Helicon, near Askra.

It was there that, around 700 BC the nine muses appeared before a young shepherd to offer him the inspiration that would make him one of the greatest poets of ancient times. This was Hesiod, founder of the Greek mythology, and a rich source of knowledge in subjects such as agriculture, astronomy and economy –he is considered by many as the first economist of Europe. In his poems, vivlinos wine is attested for the first time.

It was a wine made from a variety called vivlini, grown in the area of Askra. Ever since then, vine is the main crop in the area and wine a basic component of the local culture. On the slopes of Mount Helicon, grapevines find the perfect soil to grow, while the cold currents of air coming down from the mountain create the right mesoclimate for the production of wines with character and typicity.

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