The creation of Nostos Wines is much more than teamwork, it is team passion; a compilation of personal devotion, dedication, experience, talent and pride. It is the meticulous attention to achieving the very best possible. From the vineyard, to the winery, to the cellar, our team attends each detail of its work with this team passion to produce a perfect bottle of Nostos Wine.
Born in Washington D.C., Alexandra spent her first twenty-three years in the U.S. A graduate of the New York University with majors in Business Administration, Art, and Hellenic Studies, she decided to leave a career in real estate marketing and advertising for her ancestral home, Crete. Her decision to leave New York and concentrate on the family wine business in Crete reflects her passion for the Nostos wines and for the return to her family homeland. While spear-heading the construction of a new, state-of-the-art winery, Alexandra also enrolled in wine school courses and seminars to enrich her knowledge of the wine business. Her goal for Nostos is to produce unique wines that express the rich and complex terroir of the Lefka Ori, and that will take their rightful place in the world market.
Afshin officially joined the Manousakis Winery team in 2013. Raised and educated in Sweden, Afshin studied the profession of Sommelier at Grythyttan Acadamy for Culinary Arts. Afshin moved to Athens in 2008 to complete his required university internship at 48 The Restaurant, that had just made it to the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Βest Restaurants list. There, he worked under Christoforos Peskias, a well known chef who took Afshin under his wings and had him work closely with him in the opening of a few popular restaurants in Athens including Dakos, Scala Vinoteca and Π-Box. Afshin's love of wine and charismatic character are apparent in all he does. He now manages the Manousakis Winery and oversees everything from production to marketing. His talents are not just enjoyed at the winery but also in his two businesses in Chania: Dagkli, a coffee shop in Halepa, as well as Salis, a restaurant focusing in modern Cretan cuisine on the Chania waterfront.
Kostis Galanis is a focal member of the Nostos team, both in the vineyard and the winery. Born and raised in Crete, he received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Athens.
His passion for wine led him to study oenology and viticulture at the University of Montpelier, France.
Upon returning to Greece, he worked as winemaker in several local wine cooperatives where he quickly realized that the level of wine making in Crete must be improved. With the second harvest of Nostos, Kostis joined the Nostos team in 1998. His extensive experience in working with Rhone varietals along with his natural “student” attitude for all things about wine, allow for a positive learning environment where ideas are shared and developed by all team members.
Kostis is thus able to implement into the Nostos methodology a fusion of the French traditional methods and the US scientific approach. With his calm, quiet manner, the earnest winemaker oversees vineyard management, harvest and vinification on a day to day basis. His mild manner is not indicative of his passion and love for wine, however.
Kostis is a “purist” in winemaking and, for that he has received awards and recognition: For Nostos 2002, he was awarded 1st Place for Greek Wines by EY ZIN magazine, December, 2005; For Nostos Syrah 2004, he was awarded 1st Place at the Festambiente Organic Wine Competition, Grosetto, Italy; For Nostos Syrah 2004, he was awarded 2nd Place for Greek Wines by EY ZIN magazine, December, 2006; For Nostos Syrah 2001, he was awarded the Silver Medal at the Ecofestival, Athens, Greece, 2005; For Nostos Syrah 2004, he received the Gold Medal at the Ecofestival, Athens, Greece, 2006; For Nostos Roussanne 2002, he received the Silver Medal at the Ecofestival, Athens, Greece, 2005; For Nostos Roussanne 2005, he was awarded the Silver Medal at the Ecofestival, Athens, Greece, 2006; For Nostos Roussanne 2006, he received recognition as White Wine of the Year From Foreign Varieties, Gourmet Magazine, 2007-2008, March, 2008.
Ioannis was born and raised in Crete and received his degree in Agriculture from the Agricultural University of Athens in 2006. Upon completing his bachelor’s degree, Ioannis moved to France, where he received his master’s degree in Viticulture and Oenology at Montpellier SupAgro. With internships at Chateau de Pibarnon in Bandol, France and at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa Valley, California, Ioannis has brought with him new and exciting ideas for the Manousakis Winery. He is no stranger to us. During his years of study, he had interned at the winery. His up-beat personality, sense of humor and hard work, along with his penchant for innovation and creativity, will bring an extra-added dimension to our organization.
Vitali represents the heart and soul of the Manousakis Winery. For over ten years he has been the vineyard manager of the Manousakis Winery. He leads his dedicated team of field and winery staff throughout the seasons through harvest and wine making.
Vitali was born in the Ukraine where he completed his studies in Civil Engineering at the Ukraine University. With the break-up of the Soviet Union he moved to Crete where he joined the Nostos team. His positive attitude, hard work, dedication and commitment to the Manousakis family make Vitali an outstanding member of the Manousakis Winery and a motivating source for the entire Nostos team.
His constant pleasant manner and warm smile serve to camouflage his impeccable attention to detail and his passion to deliver only the best…. a true inspiration to everyone around him.
Laurence Feraud was born on the 11th of May, 1965, in Chateuneuf du Pape, to a family long in the vineyard and winemaking business. As a young student in nearby Avignon, she became very interested in laboratory work and experimentation and soon applied her talents to winemaking at the Avignon School of Oenology and Viticulture.
After graduating from Avignon, she continued her wine studies at the university level, first in Lyon and then in Paris. She concentrated in the sales and marketing of wines and spirits and, following her studies, she worked as sale representative for a wine brokerage firm in Paris.
In 1987, Laurence moved back to Chateuneuf du Pape to join her father in the old family wine business. Shortly thereafter she persuaded her father to start together a brand new Domaine, implementing young Laurence’s ideas, energy and passion for top quality wine. Thus, father and daughter laid the foundation of what would become the world renowned Domaine Pegau.
Today Laurence’s Domaine Pegau labels are among the top respected and appreciated wines not only in Chateuneuf du Pape but indeed in all of France and the world. Among the numerous awards and recognitions for excellence that she has received are: 93 from 100 rating by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October, 2007, for the 2004 Domaine du Pegau Chateuneuf du Pape Cuvee Laurence 92
94 from 100 rating by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October, 2007, for the 2005 Domaine du Pegau Chateuneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee
91-93 from 100 rating by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October, 2007, for the 2006 Domaine du Pegau Chateuneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee
98 from 100 rating by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October, 2007, for the 2003 Domaine du Pegau Chateuneuf du Pape Inspiration (Magnum Only)
5th place among the Wine Spectators’ best wines in the world for 2003 An enormously talented viticulturist and oenologist specializing in the Rhone Varietals, Laurence adds a unique dimension to the Nostos team. In the vineyard and the winery, Laurence sets unparalleled standards of excellence for Nostos. Her watchful eye in vineyard management and vinification methods, her constant attention to detail, and her passion for top quality wine make her an indispensable member of our team.
Professor and Head, Enology-Grape Chemistry Group Department of Food Science and Technology Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
Dr. Bruce Zoecklein worked in the California wine industry, taught Enology at California State University-Fresno prior to coming to Virginia Tech in 1985. Dr. Zoecklein is the Head of the Enology-Grape Chemistry Group at Virginia Tech, USA.
He conducts research, extension, classroom and graduate student education. He has co-authored two books on vine chemistry and analysis, numerous book chapters, research, trade, and extension publications.
With a passion for all things French, Montreal native Pascal Marchand, at the age of 21, decided to move to Burgundy to fully immerse himself in the French culture. While his main reason for leaving Quebec for one year, was to further his studies in French and Canadian literature, his ultimate reason for staying, realized shortly after beginning his second year abroad, was his passion for wine.
In 1984, Pascal moved permanently to Burgundy where he started picking grapes at Francois Germain’s vineyard in Chorey-les- Beuene. To complement his knowledge of viticulture, he enrolled at the Centre de Formation et de Promotion Agricole (CFFPA) in Beune. Shortly thereafter, Pascal met le Comte Armand, owner of the Domaine Pommard. This chance meeting resulted in Pascal's managing the vineyard and winery over the next 15 years and transforming the little known Domaine into one of the most sought after labels in Burgundy. In 1999, he was hired by the Boisset family, France’s large negotient house to restore the quality of its renowned crus of Domaine de la Vougeraie. Pascal was in charge as manager/wine maker for 30 labels of the Domaine.
Pascal's talent has received recognition by the domestic and international wine press. In France, his skills were acknowledged by the respected wine writers, Michel Bettane and Thierry Dessauve when they wrote, “The manager of the [Comte Armand] estate, a Quebecer, Pascal Marchand, has improved viticulture and winemaking so much, that the Clos des Epeneaux has become a world classic of pinot noir.” However, his true ordination came first by Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker Jr. and also in 1999, by the Wine Spectator when it recognized one of his wines 19th on a list of the world’s one hundred best wines.
At Manousakis Winery, Pascal has been following the progress since the very first vintage in 1997. During his frequent visits to Crete, he spends time at the vineyard and the winery and barrel rooms. His deep knowledge of viticulture and oenology and his passion for wine, make him a cornerstone of the Nostos team.
Ms Morton is recognized world-wide for her analysis of the relationship between viticultural practices and wine quality. Her areas of specialty include grapevine identification (ampelography), grapevine rootstock selection, and new vineyard establishment.
She is an accomplished author with numerous magazine articles in addition to her books which include: Roots for Fine Wine: Rootstock Selection Beyond Phylloxera; Winegrowing in Eastern America; and a translation-adaptation of Pierre Galet's A Practical Ampelography. Her extensive practical experience includes managing vineyards and advising vineyard managers in practicing methodology.
Yves is a world class geologist headquartered in the Jura region of France where he operates a full service analytical laboratory and consulting service. Perhaps the ultimate professional in soil sustainability, Yves teaches others that land use must not only produce for our own generation, but for the generations to come. The model of soil management known appropriately as the “methode Herody” emphasizes high quality agricultural production and soil sustainability. Through the use of soil and plant genetics this system of cultivation focuses on optimizing plant compatibility with soil characteristics.
Yves is a crucial member of the Nostos team. His analyses of the 22 hectares of the Manousakis Vineyards has created a mosaic pattern for cultivating the various parcels of land which differ so much from one to the other. His 5-year program for soil treatment is reviewed and adjusted annually for optimum results in the health of the vines and the sustainability of the soil. If you are visiting the Manousakis Vineyards, you may see a wiry, bright-eyed Frenchman with a long beard flowing in the wind. He would most likely be on his knees breaking and studying rocks. That’s Yves Herody doing what he does best!