The historical winery Evangelos Tsantalis S.A. which is based in Halkidiki did not harvest this year, for the first time in its history, while almost all of its workers are on leave and the winery in Agios Pavlos, Halkidiki, has been closed for more than two months.
As reported on the Star’s main news bulletin, the historic winery is facing serious financial problems and production has been halted because there is no liquidity for raw materials and bottling materials.
The winery maintains hundreds of acres of vineyards in Halkidiki, Rhodope, Naoussa and Mount Athos. Evangelos Tsantalis defined the course of Greek wine, after he invested in the revival of Greek varieties.
According to the same report, a significant blow to the business was the interruption of supply to the Russian market, due to the war. In Russia he sold large quantities at a high price, producing among other things wine for the Kremlin, from the vineyards of Mount Athos.
The winery has been closed for two months and the approximately 70 employees have suspended work. It maintains vineyards of hundreds of acres in Halkidiki, Rhodope, Naoussa and Mount Athos.
“The factory can’t work”
“There are no packaging materials (including bottles, corks, cartons, etc.) and the factory cannot work,” said Mr. Thanasis Kaligas, president of the Tsantali Employees Union and member of the Board of Directors, to the Economic Post. of the Hellenic Federation of Bottled Beverage Employees (POEEP), pointing out that the company had a liquidity problem for a year.
According to him, more than 70 employees are currently on hold, while several of the remaining employees resigned and left the company in search of work elsewhere, while some managed to retire. Mr. Kaligas says that despite the impasse that has been created, the employees hope that the company will eventually be saved with the entry of an investor.
The history of winemaking
The Tsantali family has been growing vines, making wine and distilling tsipoura and ouzo since 1890. Already since then, grandfather Giorgakis had the reputation of producing the best grapes.
The founder of the company, Evangelos Tsantalis, was born in Sidirohori in Eastern Thrace in 1913 and was only nine years old when the family settled in Serres. In 1938, the first winery opens in Serres.
In 1945, he settled in Thessaloniki and opened the ouzo distillery in the center of the city, while in 1948 the first winery was created in Naoussa. The first export of Tsantalis wines took place in 1962 and 7 years later the revival of Agioreitikos Vineyard begins.
In 1971, the sole proprietorship of Evangelos Tsantalis was converted into a Limited Company with headquarters in Agios Pavlos, Halkidiki.
Word of mouth began to spread as merchants from all over came to buy the family’s wine and tsipouro. In 1975 the wine Agioritikos was launched and in 1983 the wine Makedonikos, which was a huge commercial success.
In 1991 Tsantalis took over the Rapsani winery, which until then belonged to the Ministry of Agriculture. Somehow, on the mythical mountain of Olympus, a new page in the history of wine in Greece began to be written.
One year after the revival of the historic vineyard in Maroneia, Thrace, in 1995, the cultivation of the Tsantali vineyards begins with “biological methods” according to the EU standard.
The Tsantali winery ranks among the largest exporters of Greek wines with a presence in 50 countries worldwide.
“The only work I knew as a child was wine, tsipouro and ouzo. And when you love a job too much you end up becoming a slave to it. But let it be, if God gave me more years, I would plant vines again”, Evangelos Tsantalis had stated in his last interview, in the magazine Taste, in 1996.
With information from: star.gr, ot.gr