“Lefkadìtiki ghì” wine (Area of Lefkada)

From Best Practices WIKI
Greece Region of the Ionian Islands Prefecture of Lefkada
Lefkada.jpg
Municipality LEFKADA
Sector: Agro-alimentary
Wine.jpg
Product Name “Lefkadìtiki ghì” wine (Area of Lefkada)


Basic Information

Company details
Organization name: Robòtis Dimìtris & Soci
Contact: Robòtis Dimìtris
Address - City: 8th km provincial road Nidri-Vasilikì, Lefkada
Post code: 31082
E-mail: robotis@anc.gr
Phone: (0030)26450 39139, (0030)6972 606391
Fax: (0030)26450 39139

Description of Best Practice

In which field can you company consider itself an example of best practice?
Improvement in product quality first choice
Marketing and Communication Strategies second choice
Brief history of the Pilot Action
Description of the ideas behind the development of this action/project; the initiator(s) of the action/project; the involvement of local partners
(LAG, project operators etc.) in the conception/development of the action/project;how this action/project is embedded in the territorial strategy.
As a wine-making expert I am particularly interested in the production and sale of wine. Our activity was started 6 years ago,
and to differentiate and establish myself in comparison with other producers I introduced new techniques into the production
process. In reality the originality doesn’t just have to do with the technique involved in the production of the wine, but also in
the product itself. This is because for the bottled wines we only use local varieties of grapes. To be precise, for red wine we
use a rare variety that is grown on Lefkada at an altitude of between 200 and 700 metres and which is called “Berzamì” (or
“Berzamino” – clearly imported by the Venetians in 1684). It is considered one of our country’s best products. For the white
wine, on the other hand, we use a type of grape that is called “Vardèa”.
We are also seeking to diversify in so far as the way in which our product is presented. Our company’s production and its
display area occupy a fairly large area in open countryside, and is hosted within various stone structures. Unfortunately it is
very difficult that our product might obtain a DOC certification, since the Greek Ministry for Agriculture only grants these
certificates with great difficulty. We also have big problems with bureaucracy.
Main activities of the action/project Indication of the main activities planned and carried out, including where and when they took place, and who carried them out (indicating the local operators).
As I said before, as well as adopting a different system of wine production, and using varieties that are cultivated on the
island, we have carefully looked after the appearance of our company. The buildings in which we produce the wine are all
made of stone, a building element that is in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment. In total there are 5 buildings:
the one in which the wine-making takes place, the bottling area, the one in which we store the finished product, the quality
control workshop and finally the building in which we welcome our customers. Here it is possible to taste our wines in front of
a splendid panorama, and the tasting can also take place on the 2nd floor of the building, which we have transformed into a
small museum containing objects traditionally used in the production of wine.
There is also another stone building in which we present the olive oil produced in the area, as well as a botanic garden in
which we have planted all the essences grown on Lefkada. This last initiative certainly represents a distinctive aspect of our
company in relation to other producers. Our objective, however, is that of linking up our islands main products, and we also
have other ideas that we are planning to put into practice by the Summer of 2008
We asked the State for some financial support, but due to the bureaucracy the reply only reached us 2 and a half years later.
At the end the response was a positive one, but after such a long wait we had already bought the machines that we needed,
making the financial assistance useless. We also wasted our time on bureaucratic procedures, an experience which was
also very psychologically tiring.

Qualitative Information Regarding the Product

Describe the area of production
Are there specific resources that characterize your area of reference? Are they agro-alimentary resources or products of handicraft? Are
there interdisciplinary and inter-territorial integrations that confer an added-value to the product?
There are no interdisciplinary or inter-territorial resources for our area. Regarding Lefkada’s typical specific resources, there
are some particular grape varieties, such as the “Berzamì” of which I have already spoken, which has a rich phenolic
structure and an intense colour. When it is cultivated on suitable land and at low altitude “Berzamì” produces wines with a
high alcohol content, good acidity and a rich colour. There is then the Vardèa, which has a rich body and an aromatic
character. The fact that in our bottled wines we only use these two varieties differentiates us from other Greek wines, giving
our wines a certain unique quality.

Product Description of its Relationship with the Market

This part of the questionnaire will cover the description of the product with the indication of the characteristics of the raw materials used, and
of the eventual phases of transformation. Please describe and underline, in the description the specific nature of the product and the
production process which differentiates it from other product that fall into the same typology.
Our red wine is produced from the red “Berzamì” grape, and the white one from a variety of grape called the Vardèa. Our
objective was to differentiate ourselves from other producers. In particular we use soft procedures in the sweetening of the
grapes under controlled pressure, after which one extracts the must. When crushing the must one uses various methods,
normally particular machines that crush the bunch with rolling cylinders. We then separate the pressings, make the residue
deposit itself, age in oak casks and filter. The humid climate of our area contributes positively to giving a particular character
to the wines produced in the area.
To conclude, the continuous attention given as much to the production and bottling phase as to the quality-checking phase of
the final product contributes to the high quality of “Lefkadìtiki ghì” wine. We also seek to always have an excellent
collaborative relationship with the producers.
Describe the characteristics and the origin of the main raw materials used
The raw materials used in bottled wines come exclusively from the area of Lefkada. For the production of wine sold by
measure we also use raw materials from other areas of Greece. The characteristics of the vines of Lefkada have been stated
above.
Describe the production process, and the techniques and methodologies used during processing
If the product presents distinctive characteristics in terms of quality, raw materials, techniques and methods of processing, briefly describe.
Having harvested the grapes one passes to the phase in which one extracts the must using machines that crush the
bunches between rotating cylinders. In this phase the bunches are separated from the grapes, in so far as the bunches
themselves would damage the taste of the wine as well as the health of the final consumer. This is followed by fermentation,
the length of which is determined by the type of wine that is being produced. The ageing phase is also of particular
importance.
Specify any variations in the product in relation to the different areas and typologies
(E.g: ………in the area of this Municipality ………….. one uses olives that are treated in a different way than in other bordering
Municipalities………………..etc.)
On Lefkada there are 5 or 6 active wine producers. What differentiates us from other areas of Greece is the fact that we only
use local varieties for our bottled wines, and also the humid climate which gives the product a particular flavour.
Describe how the product is presented on the market (state the brand or describe the pack used)
(E.g: “Pane d’ Altamura”(Bread from Altamura) is packaged inside......…... The dimension o f the bag is.... colour, etc ........)
“Lefkadìtiki ghì” wine is normally sold in 750 ml bottles, but also in 187 ml bottles. The stopper is made of cork, and on the
label there is an engraving of the island of Lefkada.
Describe the product’s market outlets and its diffusion locally, nationally and internationally
“Lefkadìtiki ghì” wine is mainly sold in the area of Epirus, and a substantial percentage (c. 25%) is sent to Athens from where
it is distributed to other markets in Greece. 25% of our production is sold in Holland, a collaboration that came about due to
personal contacts with an inhabitant of that country who is active in the sector.
The product is sold:
Only on the local market
(municipality/province/region) 50 % of total sold
Also outside regional borders 25 % of total sold
Also outside national borders 25 % of total sold
State the sales channels used when marketing the product
(More than one ansie is possible: state (or estimate) the percentage of product sold by each canne)
Modern distribution (supermarkets/ipermarkets) 30 %
Retail /Specialized shops 10 %
Direct Sales 10 %
Other channels (specify) ______restaurants 50 %
During the process of company improvement aimed at promoting products locally and Europe-wide have you created a
marketing plan?
For the promotion of our products we focus in a particular way on a personal relationship with our customers. In the Summer
many tourists come to the display area that we have set up, either by chance or because they have seen adverts for our
wine. That’s more or less how our collaboration with Holland started. In the near future, hopefully this coming Summer, we
will organise events or theme evenings. We have also advertised out product (“Lefkadìtiki ghì”) in some national
newspapers, and we also intend to publicise our wines on the internet. Our website is currently being created.
How much did it cost to take forward this best practice? In terms of cost, time and resources?
Specify length, starting date, end, etc.
The total cost of infrastructure and machinery was 1,5 million euro. The company has been active for 6 years, while the
construction of the buildings around it began 2 years ago. We are however planning to make some further additions to the
existing complex.
Concrete outputs and results of the action / project
A correct presentation of typical products naturally has repercussions for the whole area. We believe that the combination of
an attractive architecture and well equipped spaces, as well as the bringing together of wine with olive oil and the plants of
our island positively influence the tourists passing through the island – given that, as is known, Lefkada lives mainly from
tourism.
Problems encountered; lessons learned
Explanation of the main problems encountered, how they were solved and the lessons learned..
From the start of our activity we have met many problems. To begin with we wasted a lot of time in contacts with state bodies
to whom we had turned in order to access financial aid. Unfortunately the answer, while positive, was late in coming, and we
wasted precious time during the wait (and at the end were in any case forced to buy the equipment on our own).
Also getting our product known hasn’t been easy. On Lefkada there were already 6 other wine-producing companies, and
wine is also produced in many other areas of Greece. To conclude, there were also many problems in the planning and
construction of the buildings in which our company is located.
The added value of this best practice
...regarding the method, the process and the results. If carried out within a LAG (Local Action Group) describe the way in which Leader+ has brought a
clear added value.
All our efforts have had as a result the improvement of our product and of its particular character, as well as its promotion
with the public.

Why this Action/Project is a Good Practice?

Area-based approach
This entails defining a development policy on the basis of an area’s own particular situation, in terms of its strengths and weaknesses.
Lefkada is a touristic island, and therefore a significant percentage of our wines is sold to foreigners. The people of Lefkada,
however, love their island a lot and therefore support local products.
The negative aspect is that cultivable land is of a small size, and the price of land is particularly high.
Bottom-up approach
At least at local level there is not any know-how in so far as concerns marketing the product. For example, even if we are
informed about Trade Fairs in Greece and abroad, we cannot know whether they are suitable for marketing our product
Approach aimed at promoting partnership
Collaboration with others is not always easy. This is the majority opinion and for this reason the majority of producers acts
individually in our sector. It would however be a good thing if there existed a line of common conduct (for example a cooperative)
for the promotion of our local products so that they might become more recognisable
Innovation
Even if the idea is innovative also the action should be innovative.
Spaces created specifically for wine production and its presentation to the public; the connection between this and other
staple island products; particular character of Lefkadìtiki ghì” wine.
Integrated approach
The actions foreseen are coordinated as coherent and integrated group.
Naturally this is the direction in which we are moving.
Creation of a network and cooperation between areas
Not yet. It is however indispensable that the producers of Lefkada act together in such a way that our products become more
competitive and more recognisable.
Transferibility
The action/project is transferable to other rural areas with similar geographical and economic characteristics
Clearly some of our innovative ideas could also be applied elsewhere. Other companies could follow similar wine-making
procedures and make use of similar ways of displaying their products in display and reception areas like that which we have
built and furnished, always respecting the particularities of every area.

The present information regarding data protection is rendered according to article 13 of D.L. 196 (30 June 2003) - Code regarding the protection of personal data. We inform you that the personal data provided will be processed in accordance with these norms, and that such processing will be characterised by the principles of correctness, lawfulness, transparency and the protection of privacy and rights. The data is processed electronically only for the time strictly necessary for carrying out the aims for which it was collected. Specific security measures are observed as a safeguard in order to prevent the loss of the data or its illegal/incorrect use and access by non-authorised people. All the necessary data protection interventions, as foreseen by the new dispositions of ex. art. 33 (and following) of D.L. 196/2003 have been adopted. The subjects to whom the data refers have the right in any moment to obtain confirmation of the existence of this data and to be informed of its content, origin and method of processing, as well as to the logic applied when using electronic equipment. They may check whether the data is correct, and request its updating, rectification or integration, as well as be informed of the details of the subjects or categories of subjects to whom the personal data could be communicated, or who could have access to the data in their roles as controllers or processors of the data (art. 7 D.L. 196/2003). In accordance with the same article they have the right to obtain the cancellation, transformation into anonymous form or the blocking of data being processed in violation of the law, as well as opposing in any case, for legitimate motives, the processing of their data, even if it is pertinent to the aim of the data collection. Date: 29th October 2007

Interviewed
Name Evi (Paraskevì) Surname Kotti
Phone (0030) 26610 – 49467