Local History

Rarely the history and economy of a place have been linked so closely to an agricultural product like the western Peloponnese region was linked to grapes and especially to Black Corinth grapes (currants). The cultivation of currants began to take on impressive dimensions since the liberation of Greece in 1830 with great external demand on the European market.

Ships full of currants were leaving from ports of Peloponnese with destinations to major markets abroad. Until 1860, land with currants totalled 120,000 to 150,000 acres while in the period 1830 to 1860 the volume of dried currants was tenfold following the corresponding increase in exports.

The spread of phylloxera (insects that infest the vines) that struck the French vineyards in October 1879 has contributed to the great opening of Greek black currants to the French markets. The Greek agricultural production was adjusted to the increased demand, and ships full of currants left the Peloponnesian harbors for the major overseas markets. The entire social and economic structure of the region as well as the infrastructure of the whole country was shaped by the production and trade of currants. An example that testifies to the bloom and the importance of the grape trade was the construction of the railway.

The Pyrgos-Katakolo railway line, which operated in 1883 was the first one in Greece. Right after, the Piraeus-Kalamata railway line was constructed, linking all the important city-stations.

However, when the newly-planted French vineyards became fruitful, the French market was closed, the demand declined and the famous “Currant Crisis” broke out in 1910s in Greece. The collapse of blackcurrant trade was catalytic for all currant-producing regions of the country. The local economies and societies were directly affected and phenomena such as usury and mass migration were now commonplace.

The unsold surplus of currants created  the conditions for the creation of industrial activities of restructuring it. The raisin crisis marks the industrialization of the area and during the last decade of the 19th century begins a process of industrial takeoff by creating numerous wineries and distilleries.


Liberation of the Greek Kingdom


Max. Exportation of Black Corinth Currants


Currant's Crisis broke out following a falling demand


ASO was founded and built Dexamenes


Dexamenes was abandonded