It’s a Family matter
Idaia Winery was founded by oenologists Vassilis Laderos and Kalliopi Volitaki, with a mission to showcase the unique Cretan autochthonous grape varieties and the diverse vineyards of the island. The family-owned winery is located in the heart of the Cretan vineyard in the Malevizio province, in the village of Venerato, south of Heraklion, within the PDO Dafnes viticultural zone.
Calliope grew up in Venerato, having direct contact with the vines as her father was a grape grower. She left Crete to study oenology in Athens where she met Vassilis Laderos who studied at the same faculty. They got married in 1998 and in 2000 they brought in their first child.
“In the year 2000, we embarked on our journey to establish a winery and produce bottled wines using the family vineyard in Venerato. Our first harvest involved the sun-drying of Liatikos grapes to create a sweet red wine, as the winery is situated within the PDO Dafnes viticultural zone. At the same time, we started our first experimental vinifications and in 2002 we bottled our first wine.
We started with very cautious steps but with a lot of enthusiasm! We didn’t have any capital, everything started from a warehouse. In the beginning we only had 3 small stainless tanks and 5 oak barrels. We purchased the land where the winery stands and started its construction. Every case of wine we sold was reinvested back into the winery, alongside our hard work and dedication.
We built solid relationships with local vinegrowers and gradually increased our production.
We overcame the difficulties we encountered because of our love for wine and Crete. Now our children, one of whom is studying oenology-viticulture, and the other economics, are actively involved in the winery, alongside their studies.
Today we produce around 130,000 bottles of wine, of which 35% are exported to more than 10 countries worldwide.
Every member of our family puts their heart and soul into the wine.
The sense of ownership, pride and teamwork is apparent.
Vassilis is a passionate winemaker. He studied oenology and gained experience in many wineries in Greece. His dream has always been to produce his own wines. He is a restless spirit; he never rests and constantly tries new things. He is the ‘key’ man for the winery as he helps in most areas. Production is undoubtedly the area where he exerts the most energy! His passion and love for Crete, the vineyard and the wines he produces cannot be easily hidden. The vineyard and winery seem to be his natural environment. It is where Vasilis expresses himself and at the same time expresses the Cretan terroir! For him winemaking is not just a science, but a form of art.
Kalliopi grew up in Venerato, almost among the vineyards and she studied oenology. In 2000, she and her husband Vasilis started creating the winery in her hometown. Kalliopi plays a crucial role in almost all aspects of the winery. She is the person who orchestrates, designs and sets goals. The point person who puts things in order. The person who deals with the image of the winery, with public relations, exports and finance, making her an integral part of the winery’s success.
Tasos is studying at the Agricultural University of Athens and has focused his studies on oenology. He believes that the creation of exceptional wines starts in the vineyard. Since the beginning of his studies, he has been actively involved in the vineyard management and winemaking process in the family winery. With his knowledge, fresh perspective, and enthusiasm for innovative techniques in both the vineyard and winemaking, he brings a new energy that helps the winery evolve. Tasos’ goal after completing his degree is to gain experience in wine regions around the world, both old and new, before returning permanently to the family winery.
Stelios is the youngest member of the family and he is currently studying economics at the University of Crete. He has already completed the WSET Level 2, demonstrating his strong interest and knowledge in the wine industry. His goal is to continue his wine education and achieve at least the WSET Diploma. His impulsiveness, his love for wine and his extroversion have already brought him to the winery team. He is an impulsive and extroverted person; qualities that have already brought him to the winery team. Stelios is responsible for organizing the visiting winery and hospitality during the summer months. He also represents the winery at many exhibitions and events.