20 May Jérôme’s biodynamic wines at Domaine de Kalathas in Tenos
Established on the eastern Cycladic island of Tinos since 2011, Jerome Charles Binda decided at the age of forty-five to become a vigneron, focusing on the extraordinary potential he sensed in the Tinian heritage grapes. Following his intuitions and with the help of family and friends, he started building, step-by-step, a domaine aiming to produce a rich palette of natural wines in an ever-learning attitude.
There are no chemicals in the vine, no chemicals in the cellar, fermentations are spontaneous, and there are no added sulfites. Jerome benefits from indigenous old vines as well as from a younger experimental and vineyard, all the vines being “franc-de-pied”. Most of these vines are more than 150 years old, from varieties including native Aspro and Mavro Potamisi, Koumariano, G’durra (Kondoura or Tinian, Mandilaria) and Rozaki.
Facing north-east to south-east on the slopes of the Falatados mountains, at an altitude of 320 to 400m, subject to very strong Aegean Sea salty winds, the vineyards are used to dealing with extreme weather conditions and a low amount of organic matter whereas these very conditions constitute a perpetual challenge for the apprentice-vigneron, combined with the constant study of the effects of global warming.
Jerome’s commitment is to produce and help evolve the finest expression of his non-phylloxeric granitic sandy terroir, using manual techniques in the vineyards and the cellar. Organic-certified, he is building his own interpretation of biodynamics with patience and humility, according to the specific habitat of his vineyards : use of local botanical resources, hand-harvesting, multiple sortings, and feet-treading before gentle vertical pressing, whole-cluster macerations, little temperature control, low-intervention winemaking in the cellar – all in an obstinate pursuit of healthy and self-sustained grapes in the vineyard.
Domaine de Kalathas produces white, rosé, orange, light red and deep red wines, fermented and aged in stainless-steel vats, as well as a few small cuvées in different types of clay vessels. Since 2016, everything is vinified and bottled with no added sulphur.
The domain is currently running the Kaloriziko Project (Greek expression to wish a “good rooting”) to help save and maintain the heritage own-rooted Tinos vines, promoting and supporting local development and employment for the young generation through traditional winemaking.