Vangelis Gerovassiliou Corkscrew Story.

Posted: 01/08/2014


My collection

In 1975, after my studies in Agronomy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, I left for Bordeaux to study Oenology. During my internship, I visited, with my fellow students, the wineries in the area. I had the luck to be in the team of Emile Peynaud. We visited the best Chateaux of France and tasted exceptional wines. In these chateaux, with the exceptional architectural style, there were collections of past generation vinification tools, including some ancient Greek exhibits. I took this fact to heart and therefore a desire to collect viti-vinicultural tools- items myself was born. I decided to become a collector. These collections at the Bordeaux wineries were the first trigger.

The second trigger was a visit to a Chateau in France, where the owner mentioned that she opens each bottle with a different corkscrew and showed me her corkscrew collection. I was impressed. There was a story behind each corkscrew. She narrated that every Saturday she goes to the antiquaries and the flea market to buy corkscrews. That coming Saturday I went to the flea market myself and in 1976 I bought my first corkscrew. At that time, in the flea market in Paris, there were many corkscrews at very good prices and I was able to create a collection and bring it with me to Greece.

In 1981 I started planting my vineyards in Epanomi, Thessaloniki, and in 1986 the first part of the winery was built. There, in a small area next to the wine ageing cellar, we exhibited the collection, because I wanted to share my passion with my friends. However, it was my wish to make the visit of the collection friendlier to the visitor and with a museological concept. Since there was already a new area for the conservation of wine, we decided to renovate and extend the showroom to highlight the collection. We worked with professors of the department of architecture (Panos Tzonos) and museology (Matoula Skaltsa) from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The renovation works lasted a year and a half and the Gerovassiliou Wine Museum was inaugurated by the President of Hellenic Republic, Mr. Karolos Papoulias, in October 2008.         

In the museum the visitor can admire a series of 28 rare hand-made wine presses (18th -20th cent.). The wine bottle collection (16th-20th cent.) shows the evolution of the bottle through time and among them there is one of the first wine bottles, manufactured in 1520. The museum also houses amphorae, symposium exhibits from ancient Greece, cooperage tools (19th- 20th cent.), wine chemistry equipment (19th -20th cent.), barrel spigots (18th cent.), pruning shears, sprayers, manual bottling machines (19th – 20th cent.) and many more old machinery and viticultural tools of winemaking and bottling.

The major collection of the museum is the corkscrew collection, a unique collection throughout Greece and one of the rarest in the world –it is included among the 10 best in the world- due to the volume and the rarity of the corkscrews. It counts about 3000 corkscrews dated from the 18th century.

I travelled a lot and often at the different cities I visited only the antiquaries. I continue to travel and search for corkscrews. It is a lot more difficult nowadays but always interesting. Today, many purchases are done through internet and e-auctions. I am a member of the ICCA (International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts), and few years back we had the pleasure to host in our museum the annual meeting.

The creation of the wine museum and the realization of many activities –tours, wine-tastings, educational programs, seminars, publications, musical and theatrical performances- jointly contribute to the transmission of the wine culture.  


0 Comment(s)

Write a comment

Your Name:

Your Comment: Note: HTML is not translated!

© Corkscrew Appraisals 2018