Born in Smirna (Izmir); his family moved to Greece in the early 1900s. He became the biggest exporter of Sultana raisins from Crete, as well as a shareholder in one of the major construction companies of that time. He eventually became one of the 5 wealthiest businessmen in Greece of his era.
In 1935, to overcome the passing of his first wife, he bought a large plot of land in Stamata, in the (then) remote Northern suburbs of Athens, and moved there, after he built a house and a winery and redeveloped the rest into a vineyard with native grape varieties such as Savatiano and Muscat. Initially he made wine just for himself and his friends, important businessmen and politicians at the time, and later he supplied his wine – in bulk – to the majestic Grande Bretagne Hotel in the center of Athens. He first bottled his wine in 1949, under the label “King Minos”, which became extremely famous and popular in the 1950s.
Nikolaos Athanassiadis died of lung cancer at the young age of 63. He was succeeded by his daughter Adda who, 3 years later married Air Force officer Diogenis Harlaftis. Mr. Harlaftis looked after the estate in parallel with his military career, until he eventually focused on the former. The Harlaftis family is still in charge of the estate, which is now called Domaine Harlaftis and owns wineries and land in Stamata, Attica and in Nemea, in the Peloponnese.