May 10 – it was a sunny Friday and a good day for travelling. The mild, chilly wind sent us to the direction of Lagadas, a municipality in the northeast part of Thessaloniki. We have been to one of its unit municipalities before (Koroneia, where we visited a lake). The municipality is composed of many little towns and some of them are part of the Macedonian Wine Road. How did we end up doing this road trip? I let Mr. hubby search for places he wants to visit. And from his readings online, someone recommended “village hopping” in Lagadas.
On the start of our road trip: we took the highway towards Kavala, and missed a turn. Husband decided to take the highway, in contradiction to the direction given by a blogger, and that is to take the old road of Thessaloniki. So we were on our own quest, hoping that somehow Google Map, in collaboration with the Greek highway signs will be able to guide us. But of course, sometimes you still miss a moment. Or that Google Map is not perfect -hahaha!
Upon entering the municipality of Lagadas (Λαγκαδάς), the vast view of farm fields met us. I was starting to like this common village look of Northern Greece. Especially when you see farmers working on the fields. We kept driving and stopping in small towns once in awhile. On this blog, I will highlight my most favorite part of the road trip. In Vertiskos (the area is called like this because of the Vertiskos mountain), we found the Babatzimopolous Vineyard Estate in Ossa ( Κτήμα Μπαμπατζιμόπουλου). It is a member of the European project in Greece, “The Wine Roads of Macedonia” also known as “The Wine Roads of Northern Greece.”
BABATZIMOPOULOS VINEYARD & WINERY
(Our short tour )
The owner of Babatzimopoulos vineyard estate is no other than Mr. Anestis Babatzimopolous. Read more about him [here]. His family roots were from Constantinople, now Istanbul. His grandfather was a famous Raki maker in Turkey. He owned a vineyard in Deliones, Silivria. In 1875, he produced the wine “Babatzim” and exported them to Russia & Austria. It was said that he started developing other alcoholic drinks, aside from wine, because Turkish do not particularly drink wine. Thus, his Raki became popular for them. During the 30’s and already in his 70’s, he and his family had to go to Greece because of the “population exchange” event. In Thessaloniki, he found his new home, start from scratch and able to make wine and other drinks again. He opened stores in several places around Northern Greece.
Mr. Anestis Babatzimopolous, although he had not met his grandfather, learned from his grandmother about wine making. At the age of 32, he decided to be a viticulturist and wine maker.
IN 1971, Mr. Babatzimopoulos, bought a 27-acre land in the town of Ossa. He left his comfortable life in Thessaloniki to become what he is now.
Mr. Babatzimopoulos dream is to make his estate a Vineyard Park. It has a beautiful view of Mt. Vertiskos , while one enjoys a relaxing walk around it.
Whenever you are in Northern Greece and in Thessaloniki city, you can find Babatzimopoulos vineyard estate just 45 minutes away. In Summer, this would be a great place to bring your family and friends. The cafe area was closed when we visited this Spring. Hopefully by next season we can visit it again as Dionysius Festival will be celebrated all over Greece. Visit their Facebook Page for contact details.
While writing this blog, I was listening to this Youtube Playlist of relaxing instrumental music. You can read more about Greek and Spirit tradition and the differences of Greek spirits (tsipouro and raki) on this [blog].
Have you visited a vineyard during spring?