The first performance of the Euripides tragedy Bacchae took place in the Theatre of Dionysus, in Pella, in around 408BC. Bacchae was the ancient god of wine and wild joy, and so it is fitting that Ktima Ligas is using the ancient techniques of this wine-producing region to bring both wine and joy to its customers today. You could even say Pella was, in part, quite literally built with wine – those constructing the Church of the Virgin Mary the Panaghia, built in 1861, used wine in its mortar after the Ottoman rulers banned the use of water for church building.
Thomas Ligas began his quest to get to know the local ecosystem intimately in 1985, looking into traditional methods of viticulture and vinification in an attempt to find ways to accentuate the distinctive qualities of the terroir.
Today the Ligas family, Thomas, Jason and Meli, work hard to find that perfect balance between quality and quantity, although the former always takes precedent. They see their approach as being more than just organic, and only use indigenous Greek grape varieties, some of which had nearly been forgotten, such as Kydonitsa. Many grape varieties fell from favour after phylloxera in the 19th century nearly wiped out vine growing across Europe, and so in many ways Ktima Ligas is trying to resurrect these old varieties and farming methods. They now use Roditis, Assyrtiko and Kydonitsa for the white wines, and Xinomavro and Limniona for the reds.
The terroir has a lot of sun and fresh air, and set on well-drained soils of loam and limestone. A vibrant ecosystem is also encouraged, including the preservation of the naturally occurring turf. This balance of nature with the needs of the growers means that vines are kept naturally healthy by their surroundings, and little intervention or treatment is needed. The grapes are handpicked between mid-August and late September.
Despite following such traditional guidelines for their wine production, Ktima Ligas uses modern technology in the vinification process, although sparingly, to help nature as it transforms the grapes into wine.
Tasting the wines of Ktima Ligas truly conjures up the taste and history of this historic area.
* Listen to Melissanthe Ligas's podcast on Interpreting wine, by Lawrence Francis
|"Roditis" Maison Viticole Ligas||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2017|
|"Assyrtiko" Maison Viticole Ligas||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2017|
|IGP Pella "Roditis"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2016|
|IGP Pella "Lamda"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2016|
|IGP Pella "Lamda"||Login||Magnum (150cl)||2015|
|IGP Macédoine "Kydonitsa Barrique"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2015|
|Vin de Grèce "Xi-Ro"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2016|
|Vin de Grèce "Xi-Ro"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2015|
|Vin de Grèce "Xi-Ro"||Login||Magnum (150cl)||2013|
|IGP Macédoine "Sauvage Bleu"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2015|