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Carras (Shipping company, Greece)

Last modified: 2014-02-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: carras | letter: k (white) | letter: k (red) |
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Presentation of Carras

John Carras is famous in Greece for having used his fortune in building a marina (Porto Carras) and set up there one of the best Greek vineyards (Domaine Carras). Porto Carras marina was developed on the model of the marinas built in Languedoc (South of France). As well as two hyper-hotels, the marina complex houses squash and tennis courts, a swimming pool, theatre, conference centre, casino, restaurants, bars ans an array of boutiques and other shops. When Porto Carras was built, a model farm was developed nearby in order to produce wine.

Quoting Jamal A. Rayyis (Greek Revival, September 2004, All about Greek wines website):

Tradition might not have been on John Carras's mind when he ordered the building of Domaine Carras on a peninsula in northern Greece in 1968. Applying a fortune made as a shipping magnate, Carras enlisted the help of famed French enologist Emile Peynaud to make Greece's best wine. Undeterred by news that some vineyards' slopes were the wrong shape and direction, Carras set bulldozers to the task. When they finished, Carras was given 350 hectares (800 acres) of perfectly positioned vineyards planted with international and Greek grape varieties.
Mistakes by the estate's first winemaker led to Carras' first vintage, 1972, largely being dumped down the drain. To set things in order, Peynaud recruited a former student of his, Evangelos Gerovassiliou, to take charge. It was a decision that had profound effects. Gerovassiliou's attention to detail, his studied understanding of soil and vine management and his willingness to apply modern, rather than tried-and-not-so-true techniques, proved the difference. Finally, Carras had the acclaimed wines he sought. The symbolism of the project, though, was far greater than one man's ambition. Here was a boutique winery that broke with the mold of indifferent winemaking in the country, headed by a young, French-trained though Greek-to-the-core winemaker.
Within Greece, Domaine Carras was a godsend to the growing middle and professional classes eager to break from Grecian provincialism yet still enjoy the fruits of her land. More importantly, it inspired others. While large Greek wineries supplied the masses with bulk wine, retsina, ouzo and beer (which ancient Greeks regarded as barbaric), winemaking for some became the domain of gentlemen farmers. Despite high levels of education and growing incomes, many of these professionals maintained close ties to their families' villages; viticulture never seemed too far away.
But this time it was viticulture with a difference, guided by people whose education and foreign experiences demanded something better than the status quo. Wine would soon be made by people who learned their craft in schools of enology in France and Italy rather than from the wisdom of their fathers and grandfathers.

Ivan Sache, 7 January 2006

J.M. Carras

[Carras house flag]

House flag of J.M. Carras - Image by Jarig Bakker, 10 January 2005

According to The Caltex book of flags and funnels (1959) [scx59], the house flag of J.M. Carras, a Greek company sailing under Panamanian and Liberian flags, is blue with a white K.

Jarig Bakker, 10 January 2005

[Carras house flag]

House flag of Carras - Image by António Martins, 5 September 2005

The Cabin Class website shows for Carras a white flag with a large red letter "K" (no serifs) and two thin blue lines accompanying (but not touching) the horizontal edges. Josef Nuesse's website shows the same flag.

Jan Mertens, 2 August 2005

Carras (Hellas) Ltd.

[Carras house flag]

House flag of Carras (Hellas) - Image by Jarig Bakker, 3 December 2005

According to Brown's Flags and Funnels of Shipping Companies of the World (1995) [lgr95], the house flag of Carras (Hellas) is a blue burgee with a white "K".

Jarig Bakker, 3 December 2005