The idea for the organization of the event is based on both historical and traditional elements as well as modern conditions.
The wider area is closely associated with Dionysus, god of wine and viticulture. Archaeological findings, which link the area with Dionysus and wine, are on display at the Archaeological Museum of Drama (such as busts of Dionysus and a red-shaped crater). Archaeological excavations in two prehistoric settlements in the wider area, also support this connection. In the Neolithic settlement in Sitagroi (a village near Drama in the Municipality of Prosotsani, Regional Unit of Drama) grape remains have been found while in Dikili Tash (located in the south-eastern part of the plain of Drama, near the ancient city of Philippi, and administratively belonging to the Municipality of Kavala, Regional Unit of Kavala) probably the oldest, so far, indication of wine making in Europe has been found. Also, a temple dedicated to Dionysus has been found in Kali Vrysi, Protsotsani.
Over the years, the traditional production of wine has been maintained in the area. In the last 30 years, some large wineries (with several distinctions) have been created in the area, which are located close to each other.
Moreover, some Dionysian events are organized in the area after Christmas.
The event was initiated by the employees of the Regional Unit of Drama
(along with the contribution of winemakers) who wanted to highlight the historical, cultural and wine/culinary tradition of the area to enhance its attractiveness and tourism. The organization of the event was and continues to be a collective effort.
The event was organized for the first time in October 2014 and lasted four (4) days. The recent years, the event takes place in May (as in October in the wineries the production starts after the harvest).
The aim of the event is not only the promotion of wineries and wine but also of the traditional local products of Drama (e.g. cold cuts and cheese products), as the Regional Unit would like in the future to establish a local quality pact for these products.
The Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and the Regional Unit of Drama would want to include wineries from the wider area, such as Kavala, thus creating a route of wineries throughout the Region.
The name of the event summarizes the main message, i.e. Dramoinognosia = Drama (the name of the place) + oinos (wine) + geusignosia (tasting).
Thus, the objective is people to discover Drama and the wider area, through wine, local flavors, history and culture.
Every year the activities of the event are different and are organized/ implemented by various stakeholders. Some typical examples of activities are: tastings where participants learn to recognize the flavors and aromas of each wine, local product exhibitions / presentation of local dishes, tasting of local products and dishes, food and wine pairing events, creation of traditional food and sweets, music/dance events and concerts, musical-theatrical performances, races, horse riding, cycling, photography exhibitions and seminars, lost treasure hunting, mushroom picking, book presentations, training seminars, workshops, presentations and lectures on viticulture and wine, presentations and speeches with an architectural theme, art exhibitions, screening of documentaries and films, poetry evenings, observation of planets with special telescopes, activities exclusively for children. During the last weekend of the event the wineries are open for visitors offering guided tours, concerts, exhibitions and wine at special prices (wine at special prices is also offered throughout the duration of the event in restaurants and bars).
Experiential and interactive activities
There are experiential/interactive activities organized/ implemented by different stakeholders that may vary every year, some of which are: creation of traditional foods and sweets, mushroom picking, wine tasting where participants learn to recognize the flavors and aromas of each wine, photography seminars with practical application, lost treasure hunt.
Vine harvest could be organized but May is not the right period.
We try to use products (paper or glasses) from recycled material during the event.
We do not have any technological innovation and there is not much funding potential. There is a possibility that this year’s seminar/meeting will be broadcast online.
Main features and services that attract public
It is a week of celebration and joy not only for the visitors but also for the residents. Also, visitors and residents get to discover and know better the city and the wider area and its natural environment.
Key partners and supporters
The event is based on synergies among different stakeholders:
- Wine production companies/wineries;
- Food production companies of every sector and level;
- Catering businesses of all kinds;
- Entertainment businesses;
- Tourism companies of all sizes and objects;
- Commercial enterprises of all kinds;
- Food and beverage export companies;
- Professionals directly or indirectly related to tourism;
- Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Oenology (at least 140 students-volunteers);
- Professional Bodies;
- Cultural associations;
- Volunteers and residents.
The event is funded by the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the Municipalities and the wineries.
Participants, local community and customer segment
The event is attended mainly by people from the local community and the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region but also from other areas of Northern Greece. People from Bulgaria also attend the event. However there is no research and recording (e.g. with questionnaires in wineries) about the place of origin and the duration of the stay.
One problem is that the event takes place at the same time as the “Open Doors” event (wineries open for visitors) and thus many people choose to go to other wineries that are not located in the Regional Unit of Drama.
Communication and dissemination channels
Through social media (facebook, instagram). Press presentations are sometimes held in Athens, Thessaloniki and at tourism fairs. There is promotion via radio and TV spots in local stations of the Region. Also, posters are made and leaflets are distributed at the toll booths.
Specific elements and features
Managerial and organizational specifics
There are two organizing committees. One is the formal committee and the other is the organizing committee consisting of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region employees, which organizes the program of the Festival (that is then carried out by the contractor).
For the best and most efficient organization and management of the event, an independent body should undertake it.
All areas are accessible to people with disabilities. Also, every year on a particular day the “Market Celebration” takes place. During this activity the city center is pedestrianized for a few hours.
However, the Regional Unit of Drama faces accessibility problems as there is no direct connection with Egnatia Odos.
We are also examining the possibility to create a connection among the wineries, a winery route, e.g. by bike path.
Liaison with other activities and events of the Black Sea Basin region
There are no links to other similar events in other areas, to some extent because there is no will from the stakeholders (partners and supporters) as they perceive these events as competitive, rather than complementary. However, there could be a connection with other similar events/celebrations organized in different periods.
The activities of the event take place in various locations, both indoor and outdoor, throughout the Regional Unit of Drama. Every year the locations and venues may vary. In the Municipality of Drama, the activities usually take place in squares, on the streets, in the archeological museum, in the Administration’s building, in the Town Hall, in the railway station, etc. Events are held in other Municipalities too, such as the Municipality of Prosotsani and the Municipality of Doxato. The event culminates with the activities in the wineries. At the present time seven (7) wineries participate in the event, but their list could be enriched.
The event takes place in May and usually lasts for one (1) week.
In 2020 the event did not take place and this year (2021) there will be a seminar/meeting in December in relation to gastronomy and wine (also an album will be published that will refer to the entire area of the plain of Drama in relation to wine and Dionysus). The normal implementation of the event depends on the evolution of the pandemic.
Organizer and contact information
The main organizers of the event are the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, together with the Regional Unit of Drama (Development Directorate) and the Municipalities of the RU.
Address: Regional Unit of Drama Administration’s building, 1st of July 1, P.C. 66133,
Telephone number: 2521351417,