Philotimo, an historic Greek- American Wine Collaboration

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Gus Kalaris, born in Washington, DC, is deeply connected to his Greek heritage. He is a wine visionary, devoted to his roots, family, philanthropy and vocation. Founder and owner of Constantine Wines, a 31-year old wine distribution and import company founded in 1986, Kalaris specializes in selling exclusive and premier wines from all over the world, with a special devotion to his love, California and Greece. In 1999, Kalaris founded, Axios, a luxury, award-winning Napa Valley wine brand. Collaborating with esteemed wine maker, Bob Egelhoff, the Axios Vineyard has successfully grown to include the Worthy, Truth, Kalaris and Telios wine brands.  (Photo Courtesy of Facebook)



Kalaris' dreams never stop, though, he rarely sleeps a full night. He lives sleeps and breathes wine, family and work. He yearned to be the first to make a wine melding Greek and American vinticulture; blending the best of both of his worlds. For half of the wine blend, Kalaris wanted to use his highly acclaimed AXIOS Napa Valley, California's super-premier cabernet wine. 


Axios, meaning worthy in Greek, reflects Kalaris' dream to create a wine of Bordeaux influence; one that represents the richness of its' Napa Valley origin. For the balance of the mix, Kalaris ventured to heart of the Amyndeon wine region, in Northwest Greece, where he had his focus on the best winery in Greece, Alpha Estates. It was there he convinced, his friend, Alpha Estate owner and, one of Greece's top winemakers, Angelos Iatridis, to sell several barrels of Alpha Estates best French-oaked Xinomavro, for the project. The reality of blending the terroirs of two countries, USA and Greece, under the direction of winemaker Egelhoff, was on its way.


In September 2017, the dream was bottled and became a reality. This historic first Greek-American wine blend is called Philotimo. The word Philotimo, is difficult to describe in words, but is considered to be the highest of all Greek virtues, the standards for family and social living; the core concept is that of respect and walking in right paths. In its simplest form, the term means "doing good", actions that ensure that a man's behavior be exemplary and demonstrate his personality and the manner in which he was raised. Philotimo to a Greek is essentially a way of life. (Wikipedia) Literally, 'Philo' means friend, Timo means honor; it means love and honor within one’s self. "


Kalaris states, "the spirit of Philotimo is what has kept Greece and America on the right side of history for centuries." And, he has bottles his words with his newest offering.


The AXIOS and Kalaris Family Estates have bottled 800 cases of  2015 Philotimo Cabernet/Xinomavro Blend. Both varietals shine brightly in the glass and delight on the palate. A terrific and epic time for winemaking. Congratulations to Gus Kalaris and Bob Egelhoff.  The Philotimo Xinomavro / Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 retails $59 on You can order through your retailer or ask for it by name. Or better yet, email me.


Patti Neumann is Founder of Sip & Swirl Society & Publisher of, an award-winning food & wine blog.

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