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Achaia Clauss – Mavrodaphne!

High above Patras lies one of the most famous vineyards in the world - Achaia Clauss. It is named after the landscape Achaia of the northern Peloponnese, and its founder, the Bavarian Gustav Clauss, who originally wanted to establish a fruit export company here. But wine went better, and so he founded the winery in 1861. It has been closed since March because of Corona, we were told. But when a sliding gate opened at the stately park and a car came out, we drove in before the gate closed. 

From the residential building you have a gigantic view of Patras, the fertile plain, the gulf and behind it the wild mainland mountains. The villa looks like a Byzantine fortress, very solid and luxurious. We have never seen a larger winery - and this although we know many in the Palatinate.......

So we drove up and met a winemaker who explained that it was closed, but who showed us around - exclusively! - and explained everything. 

The black Daphne (19) is said to have worked in the bottling plant, Clauss fell in love with her and named his first wine after her - Mavrodaphne. Mavrodaphne is not only available as a sweet, dark red, heavy dessert wine, but also as a dry and white wine. Other classic grapes are also cultivated, in addition to Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet, Cinsault the autochthonous Greek ones such as Moschofilero, Roditis, Athiri and Mavro. 

Many celebrities have been here or have had wine sent from here: Franz Liszt, the Austrian Empress Sissi, Bismarck, Josefine Baker, Gary Cooper - also Vladimir Putin. 

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