Terroir: Clay and limestone
Age of vines: 20-25 years old
Vinification: Grapes are hand-harvested. Natural fermentation in a stainless steel tank. Wine is aged in an old oak barrel for 8-10 months. It’s not fined or filtered. No added sulphites.
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.