The Boutari Family
Ioannis Boutari, great-grandfather of the current Boutari president and managing director, Constantine Boutari, was a progressive thinker who saw the potential to create high-quality, site-specific wines appealing to an international market, Ioannis founded a winery in 1879 in Naoussa in northern Greece. Greek ex-patriots living abroad called for quality Greek wine that could be shipped to them: Boutari bottled a red blend made primarily from the native variety Xinomavro and branded the wine Naoussa Boutari. This was the first bottled red wine available on the Greek market, and its reception was warm both domestically and abroad. The wine was dubbed the “queen” of Greek red wine and became the flagship for the long chain of Boutari products to follow.
Ioannis’s son Stelios took the helm in 1935, bringing a new pace and perspective to the already established winery. During his tenure, the company extended its activity to larger markets abroad, beginning with Austria, Hungary, and Egypt. During the post-war period, Stelio made his mark by expanding the company’s activities to Athens and many European countries. His vision established the leading position of the company throughout Greece.
Stelios’s sons Yannis and Constantine took Boutari over in the 1980s during a crucial time; phylloxera was devastating European and Greek crops and the Boutari sons responded by expanding their vineyards and turning to vine cultivation. The pair replanted a 148-acre vineyard, replacing the traditional “bush vines” with “trellised vines.” Boutari also became one of the first Greek wineries to introduce temperature-controlled fermentation.
—Susan Kostrzewa, Wine Enthusiast
Yannis decided to leave the company in the 1990s and pursue his own business. Today, his brother Constantine and his daughter Marina (above, left) continue to run and manage the Boutari group, the oldest winemaking group in Greece and one of the longest family-run winemaking legacies in the world.