Vangelis, Stathis, the other Vangelis and Stelios.
Today the four of them are ASTIR X.
Let’s start from the beginning…
Vangelis and Stathis Xygkoros were born in Kalamata in the Peloponnese. From kids they were to be found everyday in the vineyards and the family winery, where wine making went back to 1930. First with grandfather Vangelis. Afterwards there came his son Takis, father of Vangelis and Stathis. An entire life devoted to the vineyards, the grape harvest, the fermentation process, in short, their wines…
The children grew up, entered adulthood, studied, made their own families and, of course, followed in their father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.
With wine running in the family blood, they were naturally eager to also embrace whatever is new and fresh.
While never forgetting their love for their land. And so, through their wines, they want to bring out all the virtues of this land, its history, the effort needed to cultivate the earth of Kalamata and the Peloponnese, and finally the reward awaiting those who tend it.
Vangelis Papaioannou hails from Kastoria while Stelios Mavromatis was born in Thessaloniki, at a time when it took a whole day to travel from one to the other.
And yet, it just happened they grew up together. They would meet up every summer sharing their time at the beach, in the yard, kicking a ball around, discovering the world together, always together.
They too matured together, studied and created their own families.
Then many years ago, a shared passion for wine suddenly entered their lives, completely out of the blue. They made wines in Greece and abroad, travelled around the world to share their work with people far and wide, who soon became bosom friends through that eternal friend, wine…
The two Vangelis, Stathis and Stelios had got to know one another at the start of this journey. Then it was a relationship of mutual appreciation and amicability, nothing more.
A chance meeting of the four one evening in an airport was to change their lives forever. There they were in the departure lounge, when it was suggested they chat over a glass. Without realising it, they were about to write history together.
The decision that evening was quickly made, as if it had been maturing over time.
“Together we’re going to make the wine that we crave for”
That evening, they all missed their flights, the conversation having taken them much further. That was the moment that ASTIR X was born.
Those from Northern Greece, the Macedonians, suggested ASTIR as that was the name of Xygkoros’s grandfather’s first store. The Latin letter X reminded the four of them of the place of that ‘treasured’ first meeting on the map.