In the late 1950s, Evangelos Averoff planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Greece, on the steep slopes of Mount Pindus. In his home cellar at Metsovo, he bottled the first vintage that would become famous as the Katogi Averoff wines. “Vines from France on the mountains of Greece…,” proudly read the label he lovingly designed for that first wine. Yet, it turned out to be more than a hobby. Averoff’s vision to replant and transform the abandoned slopes of the Pindus into vineyards as well as revive the indigenous vinicultural tradition that flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries formed part of a far-reaching effort to boost economic and cultural development in the region.
Indeed, with the help of experts from Greece and France, Averoff developed one of Greece’s most celebrated and highest-altitude vineyards. He also built a small winery on the eastern outskirts of Metsovo. Becoming famous throughout Greece and garnering international awards, Katogi’s red wine became the cornerstone in Averoff’s quest to revive indigenous Greek grape varieties and develop successful blends with foreign varieties. The estate’s vision was also reflected in being one of the earliest to embrace authentic vine-growing and winemaking methods in Greece – an operating model that would become prevalent 30 years later, demonstrating the huge potential of the Greek vineyard.
After Evangelos Averoff’s passing in 1990, Katogi Averoff continued to grow, while remaining true to its founder’s vision, under managing director Sotiris Ioannou. New vineyards were planted in the Metsovo region, experiments with new grape varieties continued, new wine blends were explored. The winery has been constantly updated and expanded, increasing production and expanding national and international distribution.