Evangelos Averoff (1908-1990)

evangelosaveroffEvangelos Averoff-Tossizza was born in Trikala, Thessaly, in 1908. A politician, author, collector, farmer, winemaker, the man behind Metsovo’s “modern miracle” and a major figure in the public life of contemporary Greece, Averoff — the great nephew of Georgios Averoff, a benefactor of the Greek nation — was a Vlach with roots in Metsovo.

In the late nineteen fifties, his overwhelming vision of transforming Pindus’ abandoned slopes into vineyards and reviving a viticultural tradition which had flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries, came true. Averoff planted Greece’s first Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the precipitous slopes of Mount Pindus and bottled the wine now known as Katogi Averoff in the “katogi” (lower storey) of his home in Metsovo.

“French vines in Greek mountain soil” read the label he lovingly designed for that first wine. With the contribution of experts from Greece and France, Averoff created one of Greece’s most celebrated and elevated vineyards and built a small winery on the outskirts of Metsovo. But Katogi’s red wine, which quickly made a name for itself both in Greece and abroad, where it won a number of international awards, was just the first step in the company’s master plan: releasing the vast potential of the Greek vineyard by promoting the cultivation of native Greek grapes and blending traditional Greek and international varieties. The company was also one of the first Greek wine-makers to embrace authentic methods of growing and making wine.

Evangelos Averoff died in 1990, but Katogi Averoff continued to grow rapidly and in accordance with the philosophy of its founder.