The Holy Monastery of Panagia Akrotiriani and Agiou Ioanni Theologou TOPLOU of Sitia was built during the 14th century and has ever since been active in the social and viti-vinicultural history of the area. Vines and olive trees are grown organicly producing wine, olive oil and tsikoudia, which are bottled and distributed in the domestic and international market.
Except for the white Thrapsathiri and Vilana and the red Merlot and Syrah which are already well known, the sweet red from the sun dried Liatiko grapes is a very interesting wine to taste. The monastery has always been making wine for the needs of the church for social and religious purposes, and the poor dry and windy areas around the monastery are ideal for grapevine growing.
As a result, the abbot Filotheos Spanoudakis restored and put into value the old vines of the monastery in the nineties. The philosophy of the vines management is always respecting the environment and aims into the production of pure, healthy products. On this philosophy the whole production process is based, up to the merest detail: The land and its preparation, the choice of the plots that were planted, the organic farming that is controled and certified by well known certification schemes, the choice of the varieties that was done based on the specific caracteristics of each area, the microclimate, the soil and its humidity for each grapevine separately – everything was carefully studied. On the years that the grapes are of exceptional quality, we can produce sweet wine.
The grapes are layed down under the sun, so that most of the water of the berry is evaporated and thus the concentration of every constituent of the berry is concentrated. The grapes are then taken to the monastery to be fermented. The yeast does not manage to ferment all the sugars because of the big amounts of alcohol produced and consequently the wine remains sweet. The wines of the monastery are already popular, but we are always making an effort to improve the quality. By reducing the yield of the vines and constantly improving the techniques of winemaking, we try for even more fine wines for the most demanding wine tasters!
Please see HERE the Toplou Monastery website.
Please click HERE for prices & retailers of Toplou wines near you.