Presentation of Maras Winery in Taste Wine & Dine magazine

A garage winery in Naoussa

The Mara brothers continue the family wine tradition

Sokratis and Thanasis Maras, natives of Naoussa, grew up with stories and experiences of wine. They still remember their neighborhood smelling of fermenting wine, since almost all the houses made their own wine, and small grapes being crushed. Their father, Thomas Maras, 65 years old today, worked as an oenologist at the Agricultural Viticulture Wine Cooperative BAENI from 1984 to 2009. He passed on to them the love for the vine, the passion for quality wine, and most importantly, the adoration for Sour black. Sokratis, 27 years old, has studies in oenology and beverage technology, while his five years older brother, Thanasis, has a degree in Food Technology. In 2021, the two decided to make their first vinification, which took place at the Fundi Estate, since they did not have their own facilities. The first labels released were the 2021 Naoussa and the Merlot of the same year, which even came from old family vines. Essentially, these are the same acres of Merlot that made the family's wine.


In the same year they started to shape their own winery, an old site of their father's which at times had different commercial uses. Although the area was small, only 100 square meters, it was all they needed to get started. After ensuring all the necessary hygienic conditions and acquiring the necessary equipment, they proceeded with their first vinification in their own unit. In addition to Merlot and Naoussa, they produced two other labels, also from Xinomavro. A Blanc de Noir label and a gastronomic rosé under the name " le premier pas " (the first step). "In 2019 when I was experimenting to see what I could do, I made this particular rosé, that's why we called it the first step. We settled on this particular style of rosé, which is quite dark in colour, with a rich body and tannins from the skin, because it expresses us more. We believe it highlights the variety better," notes Sokratis, who informs me that their winery's production currently reaches 9,000 bottles. "Of these, 50% are PDO Naoussa, this is a symbol of our country", he concludes.


According to his words, they currently manage 30 acres, with the majority of them located in their place of origin, Strandza. "In five years, we want to have utilized another 50 sq.m. bordering our winery to reach a production level of 20,000 bottles. Our main goal is to create quality wines and improve year by year", says Sokratis while showing me the five hundred French oak barrels where Naoussa matures. While he was showing me around the family-owned winery, I was thinking that this is how Naoussa will move forward, with new efforts that enrich the wine landscape. In one of the most famous wine destinations in Greece, with great vineyards and a centuries-old wine tradition, these two young winemakers do not only offer new expressions of Xinomavros , which are essential. They show the way to other aspiring winemakers to follow the love they learned from young children. Because when your childhood smells of must and your feet are painted red from being stepped on, you know what your destiny is.

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