Eleni Raptis: “Hard work and fulfillment shape every bottle, reflecting our essence.”

Our journey to showcase the incredible women shaping the wine industry in the Balkans takes us to the picturesque landscapes of Greece, where we meet Eleni Raptis of Estate Raptis. As a distinguished Wine Producer, Eleni stands out for her remarkable contribution to the Greek winemaking culture. Her passion, expertise, and innovative approach have not only elevated the profile of Estate Raptis but have also played a pivotal role in enhancing Greece’s reputation on the global wine map. Through her dedication and vision, Eleni embodies the spirit of modern Greek winemaking, blending tradition with modernity to create wines that are as unique and captivating as her story. Join us as we explore how Eleni Raptis continues to leave an indelible mark on the industry, inspiring a new generation of wine enthusiasts and professionals alike.


What is wine for you?

It’s a very big part of my life, filled with both pleasant and difficult moments, moments of adoration but also moments of disappointment. It’s what often made my life challenging but also what lifted me to the heavens… isn’t that how great loves are?


How did you enter the wine industry? 

I found myself in the winemaking field in 1998. I had decided to stay with my family’s agricultural operation, becoming a new farmer and owner of a nursery business and vine propagation material trade since 1996. With the family owning a 90-acre vineyard at the time, we decided to exploit it by starting winemaking with a small portion of it. Thus, the first winemaker and a small pneumatic press arrived, along with all the other essentials and the first aging barrels. 1998 & 1999 were two experimental years but were definitive for me. Experiencing the whole process, making a wine from the grape to the bottle, made me love what I do so much that only very bad circumstances would force me to give it up.


What is your philosophy in making wine, and how is it reflected in your product?

I believe it’s simple: healthy vineyards, a “clean” product, creativity, and high goals for the outcome. To design and eagerly await to create your products. Don’t stray from your goal, become the strictest critic of your work, and thus you will continually improve, and this effort will be reflected in the result.


How important do you consider education and training in the wine industry, and are there any special programs for women?

Of course, education of every kind is important, whether it’s in production (oenologist, agronomist, etc.), marketing, or finance; all are needed. Besides, it is a business that addresses the global market. Special programs specifically for women do not exist, to my knowledge. Seminars that you can attend (tasting, etc.) are naturally available at a certain cost, as well as various other seminars in sales and marketing, which are not exclusively for women. Something specifically for women in our sector, I am not aware of.


What advice would you give to young women who want to enter the wine business?

Look, it depends on what position one wants to find themselves in within the field. I’ll speak from the perspective of a winemaker, where I primarily wish to be. For anyone who truly loves it, they will endure it. It’s a job that does not tolerate delays and indifference. You’re dealing with a living organism and must always be ready. You need to be prepared for hard work under any conditions. But clearly, it’s not only hard. Every time the moment comes to complete your product and everything has gone well, you feel so fulfilled by your creation, a satisfaction that can’t simply be translated into money. You’re complete because your effort and sacrifices have brought about a result, and you have in your hands that product which reflects you.