In 1982, the growers of the Robola Zone, in order to ensure their income, to protect and at the same time highlight the dynamic of Cephalonian Vineyard, armed with experience and knowledge, founded the Robola Cooperative of Cephalonia which currently comprises of 300 members.
The first gathering of grapes was made in 1983, when bottling and marketing began. In 1987 the Cooperative acquired its own winery, located in the center of the Robola Zone, at an altitude of 410 meters, just below the slopes of Mount Aenos and beside the Monastery of Saint Gerassimo, patron Saint of the island.
The families of the Cooperative members individually own all the vineyards. The hardy, mountainous vineyards of the Omala Valley need understanding and hands-on cultivation methods to provide a successful harvest.
Solely amidst the Robola Zone, which lays in the shadow of Mount Enos and extends around the Omala Valley.
100 ha (250 acres) vineyard planted 1900-2012. Majority is the Robola variety, with most of the vineyards planted on their own roots, with a diverse clone range. A small amount of other native varieties such as Tsaousi, Vostilidi, Muscat, Mavrodaphne is planted as well.
Cool to cold and wet winters (1300 mm rainfall). Warm to hot and dry summers. Mean August Temperature 26.6°C. Rainfall is heavily winter dominant with most rain falling between October and March. Frost and hail risk is minimal.
Generally described as duplex red brown earth over clay, with slate and broken bluestone sub-soil. Nutritional status is generally low to moderate in terms of vigour potential and drainage hazard is generally low.
The majority of our older vineyards have a west to southwest aspect (planted on the mount Aenos Slopes) at an altitude of 900-2100 feet. Some of our newer plantings have a more southern aspect.
The microclimates created by the hills and mountains, the anhydrosity of the bedrock, the winter and summer temperatures all combine to provide a suitable home for the Robola Variety. Due to the slope and location of the majority of the vineyards, cultivation by mechanical means is not an option. The majority of our vineyards have the traditional 1.6m times 1.6m vine spacing. This allows for better shading of the ground and better exposition of the grapes.
The vines sit on poor soils, but their strong roots extend into cracks and crevices in the Dolomitic limestone bedrock, fractured by seismic action since antiquity. These cracks are filled with better soils washed in by winter rains. The bedrock is very anhydrous and the vines root systems survive by obtaining water by capillary action. To create a successful capillary, the growers allow the vines to bush out, creating shade. This is one of the reasons for their low appearance.
Hand spur pruning only, leaving an average of 15 buds/vine. Crop levels are on average 7 tonnes/ha (3 tonnes/acre.)
Pest & Disease
Omala Valley is generally regarded as one of the safest, high quality viticultural districts in Greece in respect to the risk of pest and disease of grapevines. The low rainfall and humidity levels which typify this region during the growing season is not conducive to a high risk of fungal disease. Powdery mildew is the most common of these which is normally easily controlled with routine elemental sulphur sprays. Downy mildew and botrytis can be a problem in unseasonally wet years. Insect problems are minimal. Overall the routine spray program is very “soft” and is close to organic status, however we remain pragmatic in our approach to our pest and disease control program
Since 1999, a portion of 10% of the Vineyard has reverted to Organic Cultivation.
Please see HERE the website of Robola coop.
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