This boutique family-run winery on the island of Syros crafts outstanding terroir-driven wines out of organically grown grapes. OuSyra wine range includes some very exciting bottles produced from extremely rare indigenous Cycladic varieties, such as Serifiotiko and Monemvasia.
OuSyra wine comes from Syros, a beautiful Greek island with stunning pebbly beaches and dramatic coastal cliffs. Here, tiny vineyard plots are nestled between orchards and picturesque villages. Ousyra is one of the four wineries, found on this small island.
The winery is run by Edward Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, from Britain, and his Greek wife Eileen Botsford Velissaropoulos. Since he was a child, Edward had a very special relationship with the island of Syros. His family bought a house here 40 years ago. Therefore most of their summers they spent on Syros. During one of these holidays, he met his future wife, Eileen, whose family also lived on the island.
Photo credit: Yiannis Karakasis
From Vines To Wines
After the couple got married, they decided that Syros was a perfect place to raise a young family: close to nature and away from the city noise. Winemaking seemed like a natural path on an island with an ancient history of viticulture.
The first OuSyra wine was made from purchased grapes and vinified in Athens. In 2018, the couple built a tiny winery in their family home in Chroussa. Nowadays, they grow their own 1.5 hectares of vines, as well as continue to buy grapes from selected farmers. Edward rigorously sticks to organic farming, so the cooperating growers have to follow the same principles.
International fame came to Ousyra wines in 2016, when Jancis Robinson named an OuSyra wine the ‘rose of the month’. Since then, their wines are stocked by some of the top restaurants and hotels in Greece. Furthermore, the OuSyra wine range grew and now includes some other exciting examples produced from extremely rare indigenous Greek grapes. For instance, their Serifiotiko is made from an almost forgotten variety and comes from very old ungrafted vines. This wine, as described by Yiannis Karakasis, MW, shows captivating structure and staying power: “The wines have real cut and precision and are worth seeking out, also thanks to their keen prices.” Last but not least, OuSyra Monemvasia wine is another bottle which surely deserves a spotlight. With lush fruit aromas and a striking freshness, it is a wonderful expression of this rare grape.