THE REGION OF EPIRUS
In the mountainous area of the region of Epirus, with the main activity of animal husbandry, a long tradition was created in cheese-making, an art known to the Greeks since the Homeric years. Milk and its products are an important product category for the Region of Epirus, being a cornerstone of the local economy and society. Epirus offers throughout the Greek market and abroad, traditional products with special characteristics, which retain their typical traditional taste and nutritional value.
Good food is always served with great red or white wine, produced at the mountainous Metsovo, or with the aged tsipouro, that gives freshness and flavoring to your meal.
The wine from the vineyards of Zitsa is a sparkling wine with a special flavor. The wine of Metsoνo also has a rich bouquet of scents and a full flavor, an excellent companion to the spicy tidbits served in the area. The local tsipouro is a true revelation. Α diamond with flavour and aroma! Ιt is renowned around the world for its excellent quality and its double distillation.
Our Local gastronomy is mainly based on farming products, such as:
- Local cheeses, like smoked metsovone cheese, anthotyros, vasilotyri, kefalotyri, manouri and an incredibly creamy strong-tasty cheese, galotyri.
- Yogurts, like the famous Greek yogurt
- Sheep or goat milk
- Butter & Buttermilk
Many products of Epirus have been identified as Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication such as:
Olive oil of Preveza (PGI)
Konservolia of Arta (PGI)
Metsovone (PDO), Feta (PDO), Kefalograviera (PDO), Galotyri (PDO)
Metsovone is a semi-hard smoked cheese, made for the last 40 years with the methodology of Philae paste and of the Italian provolone, in the Alpine-like village of Metsovo in Northern Greece. It has been a European protected designation of origin since 1996.
The salting of the cheese is in liquid, for as many days as the weight of the cheese.
After an ageing period of three months the cheese is exposed to smoke, coming from grass, leaves and herbs burning naturally for 12 days, which is responsible for the golden yellow color and distinctive flavor.
Following the smoking, the cheese remains hanging for at least 5 months.
Salty and slightly acidic, Feta is a cheese with a history as rich as its taste. A true product of its environment, its recipe and production method reflect the unique terrain of Greece and are grounded in the cumulative know-how of more than two millennia.
Since 2002, feta has been a protected designation of origin product in the European Union.
Kefalograviera is a hard table cheese produced traditionally from sheep’s milk or mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It is a Greek Protected Designation of Origin cheese and it got its name after two cheeses because it’s a cross between Kefalotyri, a salty, intensely flavored cheese, and the mellow Graviera cheese. It is sold in wheels or wedges and is easily identified by its firm texture and light brown rind.
Kefalograviera has a salty flavor and rich aroma. It is an excellent cheese for grating, and is widely used as a topping for pasta dishes.
Galotyri is a soft, creamy ‘milk cheese’ which is spreadable and usually served with a spoon. It is a traditional shepherd’s cheese with a grainy texture in a thick mass without crust. The cheese, with a slightly sour, pleasant taste and aroma requires three months to mature. It is a Protected Designation of Origin product and made in the regions of Epirus a with sheep or goat’s milk or a mixture of both.
Epirus is a region in the north-west of mainland Greece, characterized by its rugged, mountainous landscape. The Zitsa appellation is the only PDO-level wine zone in Epirus and is the only one in Greece that permits sparkling white wines (although Amyndaio in Macedonia allows sparkling rosé wines).
The more-generic Ioannina appellation covers a larger amount of land and allows a wider range of grape varieties in the blends. These include Cabernet Sauvignon – which has proven well suited to conditions, plus Vlachiko and Bekari.
Wines from the Metsovo appellation in western Epirus were once required to be still varietal wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, but the appellation was revised in 2008 to include wines made from Debina, Gewurztraminer and Merlot, among others.