Despite the suffocating, stagnant heat of Tyrnavos in June, Stergios Papras slowly ambles between his rows testing the texture of leaves between his calloused fingers and snacking on the occasional nascent grapes. The profound heat doesn’t seem to bother the old man in the least which is really saying something: while Greece is a generally toasty sort of place, Tyrnavos is a pressure cooker! Unlike the rest of Greece, Tyrnavos is flat and the mountains that circle the place trap the heat so even the breeze coming off them does little to dull the freakish temperature.
The Papras story is romantically unromantic: a multigenerational family of long-time organic growers working in one of the most run down parts of Greece making humble, delightfully imperfect wines. These vineyards will never inspire portraiture or poetry, the winery is a dingy place but the wines are excellent and the family is kind and earnest.
70% Mourvedre and 20% Grenache from an organic vineyard on the slopes of the Gold Hill with 10% of their homegrown Renaissance Syrah to fortify the wine. They let the maceration go for 8 days before pressing and age the wine in 228L barrels.