Semeli, or Semele, daughter of the king of Thebes, was the mother of the god Dionysos, the fruit of her illicit love affair with Zeus. When jealous Hera found out, she came to her disguised as her nursemaid and persuaded her to ask Zeus to visit her in all his heavenly majesty as thunder and lightning. Semeli was consumed by the firebolts, but Zeus rescued his child Dionysos from the flames and gave him into the charge of Hermes, who in turn entrusted the infant’s upbringing to forest nymphs.
The son of Zeus and the mortal princess Semeli, Dionysos was the god of the grapevine, wine and joyous celebration, as well as a timeless symbol of the cycle of life and the irresistible power of nature. Cheerful and beloved by humans, Dionysos travelled around the world with his following of nymphs and satyrs, teaching those who received him hospitably how to cultivate the vine and offering them the gift of wine.
Founded in 1979, Semeli is a leading Greek winery and one of the
most significant wine-related developments. With deep roots in time
traditions and our eyes on the future, we produce wines of exceptiona
offering consumers best value for money.
The sunny Mediterranean climate and the extraordinary terroir, co
the expert craftsmanship of our winemakers and the successful blending of
indigenous and international varieties, result in wines of distinct ch
have earned the respect of experts and captured the hearts of wine
Having established a strong brand name in the Greek market, we look for n
challenges and opportunities in the global arena. With 15% of our re
coming from exports mainly to the USA, Canada, Germany and the UK, our
growth is driven by three key factors: leveraging our excellent human
resources, consistently boosting exports and building long term rel
with our customers by ensuring that our wines top their best buy lists
Dominated by ragged mountains and blessed with bountiful vineyards perched on hillslopes amidst age-old cypress trees and olive groves, Nemea offers one of the most stunning landscapes in the Peloponnese.
This lush upland valley, located midway between the towns of Corinth and Argos, has a long history. In mythical times its name was closely linked with Hercules, who performed his first feat, the slaying of the ferocious Nemean lion, in one of its mountain caves. The hero kept the beast’s pelt and, ever since that day, wore it like a suit of armor. Later, the region became known for its sanctuary of Zeus and the biennial athletic games held in his honor, as well as its Phliasian wine which was famous throughout ancient Greece.
Today, Nemea is celebrated for the local Agiorgitiko variety, one of Greece’s most important red grapes with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certification, perpetuating a 2,500 year old tradition. Nemea is often referred to as the crown jewel of the new wine industry and Greece’s most important appellation, while its wineries are ranked among the top names in the country.
The Semeli Estate is located at an altitude of 600m on the slopes of the hilly Koutsi region, one of Nemea’s most celebrated “crus”. In this unique grape-growing microclimate crop levels are low and fruit and natural acids in positive balance.
Our privately-owned hillside vineyards span 250 acres, while a
nother 400 are grown by affiliated winegrowers under long-term partnership in Koutsi and the neighboring areas of Asprokampos, Kastraki and Ancient Nemea. This allows
for continuous quality control throughout the growing season -
an absolute must for consistently producing great wines.
Our primary goal is to fully realize the Nemea vineyard’s potential and support the local economy. Apart from hiring exclusively from the surrounding communities, we also support neighboring growers by either advising them on the cultivation of grapes or by rewarding their efforts to produce high quality grapes through fair pricing.
In 2003, Semeli built a modern, stylishly designed winery set ami
dst company-owned vineyards in Koutsi, Corinthia. This state-of -the-art 4,000m² facility, is a benchmark winery at a national level both in terms of innovative layout and excellent services. Designed with respect for the natural environment and built on a vineyard covered hillslope with a long reputation of producing vintage grapes, the Semeli winery reflects our holistic approach to modern winemaking.
Blending traditional values with the latest advances in viticulture, our winery uses a gravity-fed process that takes full advantage of the sloping terrain. From pressing to barreling and then on to bottling, the entire process relies on the force of gravity rather than on mechanical methods that may damage the grape. Moreover, by reducing grape temperature to 7-8˚C prior to crushing and then carefully controlling both temperature and humidity throughout the facility, we are able to minimize oxidation and promote fermentation under ideal conditions.
To make high quality wines we harness the full potential of some of Greece’s most exciting indigenous grape varieties including vibrant and versatile Agiorgitiko, delicious and grapy Moschofilero, elegant Roditis and aromatic Malagousia.
These native varieties are often blended with locally grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer, producing wines with exciting complexity, depth of flavor, superb balance and delightful finish.
Agiorgitiko, Nemea’s main red grape variety, was named after the village of Agios Georgios (St. George) in today’s municipality of Nemea, where at least as early as the mid-18th century large tracts of land were planted with grape vines that produced Agiorgitiko, a strong and flavorful dark red wine. It is a local indigenous variety possibly descending from the Fliasia grape variety whose cultivation continued uninterrupted through the centuries in the upland valley of Nemea. Agiorgitiko is a dynamic variety that provides excellent primary material for many types of wines with different quality characteristics. Depending on the vinification method, the grapes can yield red wines—either fresh or suitable for aging—or even rose wines with rich, fresh aromas. The same variety also sources high quality sweet wines from overripe grapes that have been partially sun dried.
Moschofilero, one of the finest and most interesting Greek white varieties, is cultivated mainly in the Peloponnese and most particularly in the region of Mantinia. Full of freshness and with great acidity, this noble and delicate reddish grape blends well with other varieties and is widely recognized for its intense aromatic flavor of rose petals and citrus flowers. A highly popular variety that produces wines with flowery bouquet and white flesh fruit in the mouth, Moschofilero is one of the four Greek varieties with a worldwide reputation.
Roditis - from rodon (rose)—is cultivated mainly in Aegialia and upland Achaia in the NW Peloponnese, as well as in other parts of Greece. A light and elegant variety, Roditis produces vibrant wines with pronounced acidity and intense nose that brings out flavors of citrus flowers, peach, melon and freshly cut grass.
Malagousia, which was saved from extinction in the 1980s, today is one of the most popular and enticing Greek white varieties. Fragrant, spicy, elegant and with a complex character, Malagousia grabs you with its rich flavor, crisp acidity and fruity mouthfeel.