Evangelos Tsantalis (1913-1996)

Evangelos Tsantalis (1913-1996)One of the most emblematic figures of the modern era of Greek wine. Born in 1913 in Samakovo, Eastern Thrace, he started working from a very early age in the family business, in the production of wines and spirits.  After numerous moves and relocations across Northern Greece, during one of the most turbulent chapters in Greece’s history, he finally settled in Thessaloniki. There, years later, in 1971, he founded E. TSANTALIS SA and inaugurated the company’s impressive winery in Halkidiki in the same year.

In 1969, during a casual day of hunting in Mount Athos, he first laid eyes on the deserted vineyards at the magnificent location called “Metohi Chromitsa” and instantly knew that it would be his life’s masterpiece. From this vineyard, the first regional wine of Greece was made in 1981, the renowned “Agioritikos”, as well as some of the most iconic Greek red wines like Abaton and Metoxi. A couple of years later, Evangelos Tsantalis’ insight drove him to Rapsani. In 1991 he bought the local winery, marking a new era for the unique PDO zone nestled on the slopes of Mount Olympus. Maronia in Thrace was to be Evangelos Tsantalis’ final curtain. The revival of what is considered to be one of the oldest vineyards in Europe and the focus on the native variety of Mavroudi was his plan, fully implemented by the 3rd Tsantali generation.

Evangelos Tsantalis passed away in 1996, after a full life dedicated to his family and visionary work. He created one of the most famous wine brands in Greece, leaving a most valuable legacy of 5 wineries and vineyards (Halkidiki, Mt Athos, Rapsani, Naoussa and Maronia) to the family’s next generations. Today TSANTALI boasts 250 employees, 1,000 vine growers and exports in 55 countries.