The story originally appeared in ATOD Magazine.
Indulging in cuisine, wine, history, and a lot of magicThere is a region of Greece that is worth exploring; a region neighboring Athens that you may not have considered but most certainly should – the Peloponnese. Known for wine, indulgence, adventure and serenity, the Peloponnese is a journey waiting to be discovered.
The three-pronged Peloponnese is considered part of the mainland but is also technically an island. The southernmost part of the mainland in Greece, the Peloponnese is a short drive from Athens, across one stretch of land that connects the two areas. The Peloponnese is home to historical areas of Ancient Olympia, Sparta and Corinth and is a region of mythical stories, ancient sites, wine production, mountains, beaches and more.
My adventure began once I was in my rental car. Yes, they drive on the same side of the road as us but I had heard stories of Greek drivers and their ability to create their own rules on the road. What I had forgotten, once I got out of Athens, is that every sign is written in Greek. Remember when you took algebra and were told that you would never need to use it as an adult? That is how I felt when I learned to sing the Greek alphabet during my fraternity days in college. Of course, I had my GPS ready on my phone, hoping that I could trust it. But, little did I know how useful the Greek alphabet song would be as I navigated through my adventure. With some trepidation, and with the song “alpha, beta, gamma, delta….” in my head, I ventured out on the road.
In the Northern Hemisphere, harvest is well underway. In many places, the grapes have already been picked and pressed, and the juice is fermenting. As the wine is being made, what happens to the skins?
In most cases, it is used as compost and in some cases it is turned into grappa. But there are so many other uses for grapes and skins as I recently experienced during my stay at the Kinsterna Hotel and Spa in Greece.
Kinsterna Hotel and Spa is located in Monemvasia in the region of Laconia in the south of the Peloponnese. The hotel, a fortified manor that dates to the 12th century, sits on a hillside covered with olive trees and vineyards.