Welcome to the land of Ariousia in Chios, the land of vines!
In ancient times, the island of Chios was so famous for its wine that the Greek god of wine, Dionysus, gave his personal blessing to the island and its storied nectar. According to mythology, Dionysus’ son Oenopion, became the mythical king of Chios and taught the islanders the art of vine cultivation. Oenopion had five sons: Talon, Evanthis, Melas, Salagos and Athamas and, according to historians, these became the names of the 5 qualities of Chian wine.
The land between Mounts Pelinneon and Amani, in the Northwest part of the island, has a special microclimate that is optimum for winemaking. Since ancient times, this area was referred to as the land of Ariousia and is associated with one of the most famous wines in Greek history.
While at first the wine’s fame extended only to the island of Chios, very soon it became renowned all over Greece and beyond. The Chian ships were transporting it throughout the Mediterranean and it was served at the most exclusive and luxurious symposiums (ancient drinking parties) in the ancient Greek and Roman world.
Poets far and near sung the glory of the Ariousios’ wine called “the nectar of the gods “by the likes of Homer and his contemporaries. Because of this, the term “Homer’s wine” was attributed to the Ariousios’ grapes and the fame of the wine had lived for more than 1,500 years till the fall of Byzantium. In the Aegean and beyond, the name Ariousios rang in the ears of wine lovers just as Bordeaux has rung in the ears of connoisseurs for the last 150 years.
Today, the same local red varieties are grown, which is another unique cultivation of Chios! The dominant variety is Chiotiko, the red variety that is not grown anywhere else in Greece and gives excellent quality wines!