Gustav Clauss (1825-1908)

gustav-claussGerman merchant who was posted by his employer, Fels & Co, in the City of Patra, as Head of Exports in 1852. Clauss fell in love with Greece, married a Greek woman and decided to live there forever. He would very often visit the countryside around Patra, until he bought land, transformed it into a vineyard and built his first winery in 1861.

He is the founder of the Achaia Clauss wine company, which remains, to this day, a milestone in the contemporary history of Greek wine. He is considered the “father” of Mavrodafni, a dark red grape which is indigenous to the Achaia region, and is also credited with the creation of the famous Greek  sweet, fortified wine, Mavrodafni, according to his own, secret recipe. The vat containing the very first vintage of Mavrodafni (1873) is still kept at the Achaia Clauss cellars and is the oldest commercial Greek wine in history.

Gustav Clauss died on 11 September 1908, on board a ship from Italy, as he was returning to his beloved Greece from a business trip in Germany. He was buried on the grounds of the Achaia Clauss estate, in the outskirts of Patra.