Ouzo Matarelli owes its special flavor and characteristic aroma to the aromatic anise from Lisvori in Lesvos, which is used in the distillation process, as well as to the traditional method of production and distillation.
Each bottle of ouzo bearing the mark of Matarelli Distillery – that depicts anise leaves tied with a blue ribbon that symbolizes the coastal harvest –is the result of the endless patience of its creator and his deep expertise for the procedure of the sowing and the harvesting of the anise, as well as the production process.
The story of Ouzo Matarelli begins in Lisvori of Lesvos, where Charalambos Matarellis was born and raised. His parents were farmers, thus, from his early years he learned a lot about the cultivation of anise, to which he devoted his life. For years, Charalambos Matarellis has been cultivating and collecting anise of excellent quality from his privileged fields bordering the waters of the Gulf of Kalloni. His love and deep knowledge led him to the production of his own, handmade, 100 % distilled ouzo.
Ouzo Matarelli is a unique product with special characteristics that are strongly affected by the quality of the soil and the forces of nature. This strong connection to mother earth is what makes Ouzo Matarelli so special. At the same time, the love and rich knowledge of Charalmbos Matarellis for the “art” of distillation, guarantee the excellent quality of this distinct distillate, while the harvest of anise offers its unique characteristics to Ouzo Matarelli.
Besides the stable natural elements, such as the volcanic soil of Lisvori, which is rich in organic compounds, other uncertain factors also affect both the quantity and the quality of the harvest of anise. The microclimate of the region, which, as expected, varies from one year to another, is one of these factors that have a special impact on annual plants, like anise. The unique climatological conditions of each year leave their mark on the aromatic potential of anise, which, depending on the harvest, contains essential oils that make for 2% to 8% of its weight.
The fact that the anise used in the production of this distinct spirit is exclusively organic and comes from Charalambos Matarellis’s own coastal fields also plays a fundamental role in its characteristics. Organic farming may reduce the quantity of the harvest, but it gives Ouzo its authentic and full taste. On the other hand, the unique aroma of Ouzo Matarelli should be attributed to the coastal location of the fields, which absorb the aromas of the sea.
THE PRODUCTION PROCESS
Charalambos Matarellis is handling the sowing and cultivation of the anise in his privately owned, organic estates in Lisvori of Lesvos. The sowing starts in mid-February and the mowing takes place in July, when the anise is harvested with a special cutting tool. All of the procedures are completed by hand in order to ensure the best result.
Charalambos Matarellis’ small, finite estates as well as the seasonality of the production render the production of this particular anise and of Ouzo Matarelli, limited, while the anise that is used is always fresh.
The operating characteristics of Ouzo Matarelli
- Prior to the distillation, the sacks with the anise are sunk into the sea in order to be salted in a natural way, thus, the amount of salt added to the final product is significantly reduced.
- Then the process of distillation begins; It is carried out in small handmade pots, the copper stills, on a natural fire of olive wood. In this way the distillation proceeds at a slower pace and, as a result, the final distillate is more refined.
- Charalambos Matarellis uses the award-winning honey of Mytilene as a sweetener for his ouzo.
- Ouzo Matarelli is the only Ouzo that comes from the region of Lisvori- Polychnitos, where the best anise in the world is produced
Product: Ouzo Matarelli comes in a 200ml bottle and is available at selected outlets.