The winery was set up by George Karimalis and his wife Eleni, when in 1999, after giving up their jobs and life in the city of Athens, they returned to their homeland determined to work their ancestral land and enjoy the Ikarian way of life. With this in mind they restored and revived the 500-year-old vineyard that had been passed down to them and have engaged, ever since, in the propagation of the Ikarian way of life to their children and grandchildren, as well as to their guests and visitors.
George Karimalis, a successful economist, relinquished his successful managerial career in a chain of stores in Athens, with a view to living a healthier life in nature. Starting his new life in Ikaria from scratch, he committed himself to salvaging the vineyards and the ancestral homes. The Karimalis winery was established in 1997. George Karimalis now focuses on organic viticulture and agriculture by implementing the principles of sustainability, and through devising and constructing systems for recycling waste and producing energy. Subsequent to his participation in numerous worldwide conferences, George has adopted the role of a mentor on healthy living and proper nutrition.
Eleni Karimalis has been engaged in Ikarian gastronomy and cooking since 1989 focusing mainly on a plant-based Mediterranean cuisine. She has had the chance to present her recipes and cooking skills on Greek television, as well as in various documentaries shown around the world.
Growing up in the freedom of a vineyard and close to nature, their four children had a unique upbringing and education in healthy living. Although they left home for studies and employment in big cities, the unparalleled worth and the unique opportunities encompassed in the enterprise their parents had created, eventually brought the children back home, ready and determined to engage in the running and development of the family business.
Their daughter Marina graduated as a chef from the State Institute of Vocational Training in Rhodes. This was a calling that came naturally, since Marina had spent most of her childhood helping her mother in the kitchen as she was taking care of the culinary needs of their guests. Now with all the skills and experience she gathered from working in hospitality around Greece, she is ready to successfully manage the farmhouse restaurant currently being set up.
Their daughter Ιliana has always had a different calling. Involved in the complete wine making procedure from vineyard to winery from the age of five, she was always by the side of her father. These early memories built a subconscious affection towards wine and winemaking. Inevitably, she studied Chemical Engineering at the National Metsovio Technical University followed by postgraduate studies in Oenology at the Athens Agricultural University, with the aim of taking over the winery. This happened in 2019 when her father handed the business over to her. With her drive and skills as the new manageress, the invaluable advice and the watchful eye of her father, the future of the winery is in strong hands.
Their son Vaggelis worked for many years in the wine trade and as a guide for visitors to the farm. However, his love for his Ikarian-American spouse, has led him to settling permanently in the US.
At the young age of 21, their daughter Theodosia started her own family and lives in Ikaria with her husband and their two children. She is a musician with a passion for gardening and cooking. It is this passion that keeps her busy, both with the preparation of meals, and also with looking after the plants and the gardens on the farm.