Nemea – History
With a course that runs more than 3.500 years, the name Nemea is a synonym for wine quality and culture – and justifiably so. Winemaking probably began at an early stage of its history, since this area is mentioned by Homer as “Ampeloessa”, meaning full of wines. Winemaking is also considered a characteristic of the ancient city of Fliunta, site of production of Liastos Wine, the “royal wine” that Agamemnon supposedly drank in the royal palace of Mycenae.
Fliuntas (whose old name was Phlius or Phleious) was an ancient city-state of Peloponnese, built on the plain of Phlius, 2 km northwest from today’s Nemea and situated at the banks of the river Asopus. It was an Ionian city, and following the Dorian invasion, many of its residents fled for S amos and Asia Minor. Today (from excavations done from 1924 to 1970), ruins of its city wall, its theater and its assembly house, have been uncovered and preserved as monuments. Other things found from the excavations are golden coins dated to the 5th century B.C., bearing the inscription “Phliasion” or merely the letter “Φ” (“F”), often surrounded by vines, which were the sacred plant of Dionysus. Several golden coins feature depictions of grapes, which constitute undeniable evidence that the wealth of Fliuntas was a result of vines.