THE history of wine owes much to the monastic tradition, but a
late entry in the field is Aghiou Pavlou, the monastery of St Paul,
on Mount Athos.
Although founded in the 12th century, it was not until 2005 that
it first planted vines, and it now has ten hectares of Merlot and
five hectares of Sauvignon Blanc in production. One of these wines,
Tria Adelfia Monoxilitis, has been released in limited quantities -
no more than 300 bottles - on to the British market.
Tria Adelfia, Three Brothers, takes its name from a rock
formation on the coastline of Mt Athos. The wine is special: the
Merlot grapes have been harvested and then left to dry out on beds
of straw. The result is a minuscule quantity of sweet wine, which
is then aged for a minimum of two years in Slovenian oak
This wine is available for £59, or can be ordered in a wooden
case that also includes a jar of onion relish, and one of grapes
steeped in brandy, from the monastery. Orders for Christmas have to
be in by 20 November to urbangrains.net, an importer of Greek
This company was established by two Greek sisters, Nicoleta and
Alexandra Theodoru, who discovered the products of the monks of St
Paul in the port of Ouranoupoli.