Avdira, located at the western edge of Thrace, has been an important commercial center since ancient times and the birthplace of significant historical figures such as Democritus and Protagoras. Thrace has a rich history in viticulture, wine production, and trade. It served as a primary supplier of wine to the Greeks during Mycenaean times, as evidenced by archaeological finds in the broader region of Avdira. According to Homer, it was a production site for the famous Ismaric wine and later the Maroneian wine.

During the Byzantine era, Avdira and Maroneia were renowned vineyards of the Byzantine Empire, producing the “Pamitis Wine.” Under the Ottoman Empire, the French Consul in Constantinople even compared the region of Avdira with Bordeaux of France in a reference he sent to Paris!

Thrace was the last region of Greece to be liberated from the Turks in 1920, resulting in limited development in winemaking during the period of Ottoman rule, as Islamic religion deemed it a sin, leading to the prohibition of vine cultivation and winemaking. In the following period, a few steps were taken towards the revival of viticulture. However, due to phylloxera, a grapevine disease, the locals turned to tobacco cultivation. In the early 1990s, the first tentative steps were taken towards viticulture.

The Estate

And so begins the creation of the Vourvoukelis Estate, initiated by doctor Nikos Vourvoukelis in 1999. Nikos Vourvoukelis grew up surrounded by vineyards, with wine being a significant part of his family tradition, as his grandparents owned a winery in Smyrni. His passion, his dedication, and the fact that he was inseparably connected to the history of this land lead him to envision a dynamic revival for Avdira in the world of wine.

He planted the first vineyard of 2 hectares (which has now reached 12), with utmost respect for the environment, in the area surrounding the winery. The first bottlings started in 2001, at neighboring wineries in the province of Kavala, under the name “Nature Ampeloessa.” The construction of the family-owned winery, built in a traditional style, was completed in 2005. Today, the estate is managed by his wife Flora, and his two eldest sons, George and Odysseas, who have pursued studies in the field of winemaking.

Microclimate and Viticulture

Viticulture in the hilly expanses of Xanthi is mainly concentrated in the coastal areas of Avdira. The breeze from the Thracian Sea plays a beneficial role in grape cultivation. The unique characteristics of the region in the summer, such as the constant low temperatures during the night, and the necessary rainfall for water resources, create ideal conditions for the vineyards. The distinctive soil types, characterized by loamy composition rich in sandstone, a rock composed of sandy pebbles, contribute to the necessary moisture levels for grapevine growth. Cultivation spans hills with altitudes ranging from 100 to 250 meters, situated near or around the Thracian Sea always in close proximity to the settlement of Avdira.


In the fertile region of Avdira, the diversity of grape varieties flourishing composes a wealth of taste experiences in our wines. Notable among these are the red ancestral variety Lemnio, the local red Mavroudi, the red Pamidi, and the local white variety Damiatis—varieties that represent the rich heritage of the Avdira vineyard and face the risk of extinction. Our vineyard comprises not only Greek local varieties but also from international ones, such as cosmopolitan whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, along with popular reds such as Syrah and Merlot, all of which are cultivated with equal success in the area. The selection of the areas where the different varieties are grown was based on scientific studies, in order to ensure optimal adaptation of each variety’s unique characteristics. This approach ensures the highest possible grape quality from the vineyard to the processing stage in the modern winery of the Vourvoukelis family.