“Age and glasses of wine should never be counted.”(Unknown)
The Territorial Unit of Larissa is characterized for its winemaking activity. According to the department of Wine quality control, the production of grapes in 2012 in Larissa was about 11 million kilos, which produced 7.5-8 million litres of wine.
Local winemaker farmers have incorporated modern techniques into tradition, without spoiling the authentic flavours of wine, which is why this is a great and unique place to indulge in wine tourism activities. The wine festival of Ampelonas is an example of how much the locals have valued viticulture in the area, organized annually for over 60 years in the region of Tyrnavos. The Wine Festival began in 1959, highlighting the specificity of the area. It was a difficult initiative, as the resources available at the time were limited, but it was well-supported by the local community. The wine festival of Ampelonas is one of the top events in the Territorial Unit of Larissa, including a wide range of artistic and cultural activities, combined with the promotion of the special identity of the region, which is the vine and its ancient product, wine. It takes place in a natural area of 40 acres, landscaped with artificial lakes and fountains, with paved corridors and two properly landscaped platforms, which provide the opportunity to present more complex events. Everyone gathers and tastes wonderful wine from the wineries, dancing and having fun with both villagers and travellers who come from every part of the world. In this event, someone can combine their love for wine, along with other local products of massive value. The impact of this event is known not only in Larissa, but also throughout Greece, since for the past 62 years, the productive fabric of the region, which is the viticulture and its derived products, has managed to remain unscathed.
It is a remarkable cultural event, which promotes local wine and its unique characteristics, such as its authenticity and traditional way of making it. The aim of this event was, is, and will be, the wider promotion of wine, the increase of consumer awareness about wine, but also the entertainment and improvement of the cultural level of the region.
The Wine Festival in Ampelonas is an institution and one of the most important cultural events of the Territorial Unit of Larissa, which is a continuation of a tradition of years, ensures the promotion of products of exceptional quality, supports the local economy, and contributes to the extroversion of the primary sector.
Greek wine tourism has been generally encouraged via this festival, which serves as a means of stimulating rural areas and establishing them as wine tourist destinations. Additionally, in Greece, there are seven associations that aim to promote the image of Greek wines along with the preservation of the local culture, and the Territorial Unit of Larissa is a part of these associations. The Wine Festival in Ampelonas is visited by hundreds of people from all over Thessaly, Greece and abroad. It is worth experiencing this event, as someone can be entertained with the planned program of different cultural and music events, try a wide variety of wines from local wine producers, but also be informed about the history of the region through time and its relationship with the vine and wine. At the same time, winegrowers can promote their wine, to make it known throughout Greece and abroad, and to further their local products, thus claiming their quality recognition. Someone who will visit the Wine Festival will be able to taste various varieties of wine, such as Moshato, Krassato, Ampelakiotiko, Roditis, Xinomavro, Assyrtiko, Mpatiki, Merlot and Debina. The wine-growing zones of Ampelonas produces mainly POP and PGI wines, which are universally recognized. Ampelonas is, in general, a modern city, very close to Larissa, with commercial, cultural, and historical significance, elegant residential and natural environment and beautiful recreation areas. So, the visitors of the wine festival can combine their experience, with a walk in Ampelonas, but also in the city of Larissa.
List of Local Producers
Local cooperatives participate in the event for the promotion of their products, where in the specially designed area, visitors will be able to get to know the wines of the winemakers, but also to tour the wineries of the region. Here are some examples of them:
- Dougos Winery Dougos Winery
- Tyrnavos Winery tirnavoswinery.gr
- Migas Winery migas.gr
- Karipidis Winery KTIMA KARIPIDIS
- Katsaros Winery ktimakatsarou.gr
- Vrissas Winery VRISSAS S.A.
- Vasdavanos Winery vasdavanos.gr
- Zafeirakis Winery Zafeirakis.gr
- Tsantalis Winery Tsantali
Ampelonas is a village in municipal unit of the Tyrnavos municipality. According to the 2011 census, its population was 6,083 people. The community of Ampelonas covers an area of 38.632 km2. It is a rural area, and its main products are grapes, wine and tsipouro. It belongs to the regional unit of Larissa, and is in the Region of Thessaly, which is in the centre of Greece. The area is accessible from all over Greece by road, while someone from abroad can travel to the country either from Athens airport or Thessaloniki airport, and then drive to Larissa. The distance of Larissa from Athens and Thessaloniki is short and pleasant. There are also frequent routes and countless means of transport. From Larissa there are bus lines that connect it with the area of Ampelonas. Ampelonas Wine Festival is held annually in the village since 1996. It is an important commercial event, which takes place every year in Agia (end of August) and lasts 3 days. In the village there are no hotels, but someone who will visit the area can stay in Larissa, which has a multitude of accommodation.
There is no available website for the Wine Festival. However, every year there are related posts in both local and international newspapers, sites, social media where the event and its activities are launched. Additionally, regarding the accommodation of visitors, they can easily book rooms at any time through various sites such as booking. All they need to do is enter the place and date of accommodation