Soon even this old piece of wood
Lying empty contempt by you
Will rise to life along with soil
And will be washed with leaves
And there become a timeless moment
That the fruit will be ripe
Achaia Clauss Magazine, September 1977
he cooperage was one of the first buildings in Gutland. Greek and foreign coopers, mainly Italian, have worked here. “ACHAIA” bought all coopers materials from Greece and abroad. It required great experience, craftsmanship and attention to detail to build, assemble, repair a wine barrel. The taste of wine and therefore the reputation of the winery, depended to a large extent on the quality of the wood and the method of the barrel making procedure.
G. Clauss was well aware of that, and that’s why he wanted “ACHAIA’s” barrels, in order to always produce the “divine wine of Dionysus”, to be the most perfect ones. He bought the best materials for their construction, and the best ready-made barrels in the country and from abroad. A “Request” drawn up “In Patras on 26 March, 1883” refers to “new empty barrels made of wild wood dispatched to us from Italy”…
The large oak barrels, filled with Mavrodaphne, that stand in the Imperial Cellar tell a story, along with the manuscripts, that sounds today like a fairy tale. It is the story of an era at a slower pace, when the barrels were transported by carriages and building a barrel required days, depending on its size. The coopers, unique craftsmen, uplifted Greek wines with their work that acquired a special flavour in the handmade wooden barrels, a flavour that enclosed the effort of their creator.
The technique for building a small or large barrel is represented, interactively, in the new “Varelatiko” museum of Achaia Clauss.
* The above study was prepared as part of the survey conducted by Mrs Rodoula-Koumaris Stathakis on the handmade barrels of Achaia Clauss, which was released as a book in 2011 with the title “The “Achaia” winemaking company and its handmade barrels”.
Photo credit : Konstantinos Tsachrelias
The stone buildings, the large carved oak barrels with one century-old Mavrodaphne, the traditional Cava Danielis for welcoming visitors, the new “Varelatiko” museum, but also the unique landscape with magnificent views attract thousands of visitors every year.