Malandreni, a small picturesque village in the state of Argolida, is perched on the top of a high hill in the heart of a major agricultural area. It is surrounded by other green hills and a number of ravines where vineyards of oranges, lemons and olive groves have been carefully tended by locals for centuries.
Inhabitants, around 300 most of the year, are friendly and proud of their village, as Malandreni is the home of good wine and golden green olive oil free of chemicals.
On the 17th of September, Malandreni celebrated it’s 15th annual harvest and wine festival just beneath it’s landmark, the famous church of ‘Panagia Myrtithiotisa’ where I had the opportunity to meet some of the locals from this close community and sample their hospitality.
Vasilios Kapourazos and Vasilios Kotsogianis, both in their eighties, were born in the village and grew up in a time when there were no tractors or machinery. Both farmers, in their younger days, remember being under the occupation of the Germans and having very little to eat. The village they said, had no water due to the fact that it had been built on such a steep hill. It was only much later during the seventies that the tables turned and locals managed to survive on their own produce.
Then, around 1983, the area saw great progress and new technology helped in the production of their crops. In 2003, George Skouras, founder of Skouras wines and born in Argos, built a new main site for his winery in Malandreni where the annual production is around 750.000 bottles of wine, of which 240.000 is exported to Germany.
Today, Malandreni is a combination of modern buildings and old-fashioned architecture. There is still a slow pace of life and visitors can still see traditional skills that have been passed down through the generations. However, the villagers can now provide fresh, home-grown produce to all the communities of Argolida and their wineries have put the Peloponnese on the map.
Live coverage of festival provided by MAX TV – Nafplio