Last week we introduced Kamara Estate, the family behind our new, outstanding range of all-natural wines. White, red, orange wine and a pet nat rosé, each as quaffable as the last.

There has been a lot of lively debate about natural wine in recent years. The Twitter reaction to one profanity-laiden article reminded us of similar discussions regarding a certain referendum we had recently…

Much like the BBC, we at Wine Rascals HQ can see both sides of the debate. There’s no doubt we tried many a questionable wine on our journey to Kamara. Many times we questioned whether a natural wine could ever be a wine for us. But then we tried Kamara. Unusual and unfiltered? Yes. But refreshing, zingy and stimulating? Absolutely.

Perhaps one reason that Kamara seem to have perfected the art is that, unlike many of the punks that have given the wine establishment such a heart attack, theirs is a method passed down and perfected over several generations. That’s no disrespect to the punks, but there’s nothing like a good old family recipe.

We tried to squeeze out some of these secrets from Dimitrios and got a great insight, not just into his method, but into the beautiful ethos that guides it.

You talk about doing as little as you can to the vines in order to ‘let nature do the fertilisation’. But would you say this method makes winemaking easier, or harder in the long run?

“In the first years, we have a lot of hard work to do, because Man in general has destroyed the nature up to a point. The use and abuse of fertilisations, pesticides, fungicides are only some of the factors having led to this destruction as well as to a subsequent weakening of nature’s power. For generations, the majority of farmers and agronomists thought of nature as flawed, as something that really needed his intervention. So, in order to undo the negative results of those bad practices which have been going on for so many generations, hard work needs to be done. We have the vineyard checked every 2 days for diseases; most of the work in the vineyard is done manually, so that we do not bother the wildlife as much as we can.


Regarding the vinification, we could not say that the work is easier or harder. What we can certainly say is that work is more risky. We throw away the grapes that are not 100% healthy and good and as a consequence the production is much less than in a conventional vineyard. In the winery, the work continues with controlling the wines or the fermenting every day. We taste the wines in order to see if there is any fault, we control the temperatures of the tanks, we check the wines in our laboratory-analysis of volatile acidity, analysis of biomass (to see the population of the yeasts) etc.


 In the long run, to be honest, I could not say for sure whether the work will be harder or easier; for the moment we have to face a lot of difficulties, but I think (and hope!) that in the future the situation will become more stable and thus a bit easier. Right now, only one thing is beyond any doubt: that the winemaking of this type will continue to intrigue me no matter how hard it is.”

What kind of wildlife are you up against in Melissohori, and what are some of the ways you are able to protect yourselves from these animals without interfering with their lives?

“The wildlife living within and near our vineyard consists of different kinds of birds, rabbits, wild pigs, foxes, snakes, pelicans, frogs, some fishes (in our artificial lakes), grisels, weasels and two years ago we saw two wolves. Fortunately, the last ones were not hungry so… The animals, if you do not bother or threaten them, would not attack you, so we have never had a problem. Of course, the wild pigs or the rabbits might eat some grapes or vine leaves, but this is how nature works: every creature in this world has to be fed, not only man. So there is no need to interfere in their lives, this would rather cause than solve problems (no one, for example, wants to mess up with a wild pig, especially with an angry one). After all, among the vineyards there are some small ravines where the animals usually hide while we are working during the day and they come out when we are finished, when the potential “danger” for them is gone; so, everyone is happy.”

What would you say to those in the UK who are sceptical about Natural Wine?

“Taste it first and you will understand what the nature can give you, if you let her just do her work!”

There you have it. Do as Dimitrios says and try it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.