The old Winery of Kos

June 04, 2021

In 1928 (during the Italian Occupation of the Dodecanese) CAIR (Compania Agricola Industriale di Rodi) was founded in Rhodes with the aim of exploiting the agricultural production of Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese, especially in the fields of winemaking and oil production. In 1930 he signed a contract with the Acquisition Government for the construction of facilities in the Industrial District of Kos. The Kos Winery was inaugurated and operated in 1931 as part of the industrial facilities. After the liberation and specifically in 1949, it is sold and transferred by CAIR to the Cooperative of Winemaking and Sale of grapes of KOS island which, under the chairmanship of G. Koutsouradis, is renamed VINCO and begins the standardization of its products. Production is increasing, sales are also, exports are achieved in countries such as Germany (grapes), France, Italy, Spain but also in Middle Eastern countries. With the Metapolitism, the company was renamed again to the Agricultural Wine Cooperative of the island of Kos. Until the 1980s the performance was excellent, and at worst satisfactory. From that decade, however, began the great and rapid transformation of the business structure of Kos into a tourism industry. In the next decade, 1990, the downward trend in the production of the winery is now evident since the farmers, to a great extent, are transformed into tourism executives (of any level) while the arable lands are abandoned. The loans are now strangling the Winery and finally, in 2001, its operation is terminated. The Municipality of Kos and local organizations tried to ensure the acquisition and management of the now abandoned facilities, by the people of Kos. The Ministry of Culture of Greece characterized the Winery and ABIKO (we will refer to it in a future article) monuments of industrial heritage of unique value for the island area but ... everything gradually turned out to be pointlessly and the facilities were handed over to wear and tear of time but, unfortunately, also in looting and further decomposition by human factor. At some point we reached the outbreak of fire which almost ended the rest. The former industrial jewelry is now starting to be an aggravating factor of the city as it functions as a source of illegal elements but also a potential health bomb through the asbestos that is poured into the surrounding area. In 2016, March, I toured the premises and photographed, in one of my first projects, the situation. It is not a happy or graphic work, but it is a photographic recording that may offer in the future material to remember the period of decay and the tragic end of an important industrial conquest of our island.
I quote a few indicative photos in this post and I refer you to the following link to see more:

Information from:
- Historical researcher, doctor Costas Kogiopoulos
- Articles in the local press
- Reports by mrs Xanthippi Agrelli and mrs Sofia Karagianni, particularly sensitized to the issues of our island.


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