T-Oinos, the wine of Aeolus in the heart of the Cyclades
On the last issue of Les Echos, one of the most important French economics and finance newspaper, Jean – Francis Pecresse shares his opinion on T-OINOS:
“Between Andros and Mykonos, in a legendary landscape, the rebirth of a millennial vineyard. A Homeric adventure.
Here, millions of years ago, gods and giants have fought a battle, throwing granite balls, shaped with their hands like human children do with soft snow. At more than four hundred meters above sea level, in its northern part, Tinos, island of the Cyclades, sister of Andros and Mykonos, culminates in a landscape coming completely out of mythology. Like fallen meteorites, from a cosmic rain, thousands of blocks of stone, granite and schist, litter an arid plateau where nothing grows, except the vine, plant of the extreme.
70,000 PLANTS OF WHITE ASSYRTIKO, ALIGNED ON 8 HECTARES
When men, believing themselves alone in the world, took myths for legends, they invented a very peaceful story, one of those volcanic explosions which allows them to forget that their land was the playground of divine or monstrous creatures. Here in Tinos, Aeolus decided to live. So that nobody forgets it, the meltemi blows from the north almost every day of the year, adding dryness to the heat. Long clinging on gruelling terraces, protected by irregular walls, cultivations were substituted by the more profitable marble exploitation.
Now days, four thousand years after having been planted there by ancient Greeks, and a century after having been uprooted by the moderns, the vines have been put on hold in Tinos. On the plateau of Homeric battles, known today as Clos Stegasta: 70,000 plants of white assyrtiko, aligned on 8 hectares, are making their way between the stone spheres. These rows of vines are a unique landscape in the middle of which seem to have fallen these celestial bombs.
THE WORK ON THE VINE IS BODY TO BODY
Not far from there, in a circus at the top of the world, opening onto a valley forgotten by men: 30,000 plants of mavrotragano, red origin for the vinsanto, are cultivated in twenty-seven “razones”, shale and clay terraces. Stegasta, Razonas: two places for a winery whose proper name, T-Oinos, is common with Greek, “wine”.
Prophet in his island, Alexandre Avatangelos was well inspired, or well advised, when he began, fifteen years ago, to plant in close to each other rows. Eleven thousand per hectare, the plants shade each other from the scorching sun and shelter from the drying wind. In Tinos, the work of the vine is body to body, with bare hands, of culture and nature. Arms have no place. A man of art, the French Stéphane Derenoncourt, who has been advising T-Oinos for two years, has prohibited irrigation, safe assistance to the vineyards, in favor of deep rooting, demanding but beneficial to the quality of the fruits.
THE ELYSIAN PATHS OF HIGH GASTRONOMY
Businessman in Athens, peasant in Tinos, Alexander the Evangelist carries across the Aegean the message of his wines vibrating with all the energy of the land of the first gods. Assyrtikos penetrated by the active intensity of granite and deploying a saline elegance. Mavrotraganos imbued with the nobility of old extraction, flavored with wild spices from pure Cyclades. Protector of Alain Ducasse’s cellars and cards, the wise Gérard Margeon has already opened the Elysian paths of haute cuisine at T-Oinos.”