Parallel to his interest in quality wine making, Vangelis Gerovassiliou's other aspiration is to enhance the viticultural tradition: in 1976 he started collecting viticulture, winemaking, bottling and cooperage tools from around the world. Especially notable is the corkscrew collection, which he started in the 1980s and which now numbers more than 2600 exhibits, making Vangelis Gerovassiliou one of the world's greatest collectors of corkscrews. The collection includes rare and unique pieces dating back to the 18th century, true symbols of the technological advances, high aesthetics and social structures of the era.
This collection of corkscrews and wine-growing tools is housed in the Gerovassiliou Wine Museum, located at the heart of the estate's winery, next to the underground ageing cellar and the wine-tasting room. The Museum was designed and implemented by the professors at the Museology-Cultural Management Postgraduate Program at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Matoula Scaltsa (museologist) and Panos Tzonos (architect). The new museum was inaugurated by, the then-President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Karolos Papoulias.
Quality wine, its production and significance in human lives constitute the main museological axis of Gerovassiliou Wine Museum.
The stories narrated unfold through the two main Museum collections: the collection of corkscrews, bottles, vessels and utensils for an ancient Greek symposium, and the collection of viticulture, vinification, cooperage and bottling tools. Proximity to the vineyards, the winery and wine-tasting rooms, as well as the views afforded by the changing of the seasons intensify the visitors' experience.
Ground floor – Entrance
The introductory unit "Evangelos Gerovassiliou: The vine-grower, the vintner, the collector" presents the life of Vangelis Gerovassiliou, who together with Sonia Tziola-Gerovassiliou created in Epanomi a vineyard, winery and Wine Museum.
The first room, called "The corkscrew", houses the Museum unit "The wine travels...", which follows various wine routes through time and examines the vessels used for its transportation. It explains the need to make special vessels and special corking tools that would maintain the quality of the transported wine.
The unit "Stories with corkscrews" presents the corkscrew collection in three ways. Initially, the greater part of the collection is exhibited following the internationally-acknowledged classification of corkscrews into non-mechanical and mechanical ones. Texts and photographs illustrate their function and social use. There follows a small selection of exhibits, the collector's favourites, which are pieces that are either rare or unique in some way. The third method of presentation is in seven circular show cases scattered throughout the room, where corkscrews are grouped according to their use by men and women, their relation to the consumer habits, the leisure industry, and different trends and artistic movements of the 19th and the 20th centuries.
In the two sections on "The symposium in ancient Greece", unique wine consumption vessels and utensils narrate the symposium ritual and its significance in ancient Greek social and cultural life.
The glass objects in the Gerovassiliou Collection make reference to glass transport and storage vases for valuable liquids, and to glass tableware vessels for carrying and drinking liquids.
The unit "Words" on the long wall helps visitors familiarise themselves with the vine and wine glossary through the use of touch-screens.
In the second room, called "The wine", the unit "Stories about wine" touches upon the economic, social and symbolic significance of wine through the ages. The following units, "The vine", "The wine-making", "The barrel" and "The Maturation", comprise collections of tools and vessels, accompanied by text, pictures and moving three-dimensional drawings, bringing to life the whole process of wine-making.
Gerovassiliou Art Collection
The Gerovassiliou Collection has been enriched in recent years by a number of artworks which one encounters in the course of touring the estate:
- Costas Tsoclis' “A Grape Bunch”, in the garden
- Costas Varotsos; “The Moon”, in the vineyard
- Costas Varotsos' “The Horizon”, in the garden
- Costas Varotsos' “The Tree”, among the rosebushes
- Michalis Katzourakis' “Untitled A”, in the herb garden
- Michalis Katzourakis' “Untitled B”, in the reception building
- Pavlos' “Wine opener, culture channel”, in the reception building
- Yannis Gaitis' “Little Man” (To Anthropaki), in the cafe
- Yiannis Moralis’ “Erotiko”, in the garden
- George Zongolopoulos’ “Cycladic”, on the stage
- George Lappas’ “The Balancer”, in the vineyard
- Klearchos Loukopoulos’ “Untitled”, in the vineyard
- Thanasis Lalas’ “Two little people”, on the patio
- Renzo Gallo’s “Phoinix”, in the parking lot
- Gianni Fanello’s “Snail”, at the entrance of the museum
- Fabio Fornasier’s “Recycled Chandelier”, at the museum’s tasting room
- Pino Castagna’s “Canneto Rosso”, in the garden