CEO Spotlight

CEO Spotlight: Emmi Panousi – CEO of Environmental Organization Helession

Emmi Panousi Helession

“Helession” after many years of research revived the Ancient Greek wine based on tradition, utilizing today’s technology. Following the steps of Ancient Greeks who used to drink wine blended with water while dining, the Environmental Organization brought this philosophy into our glass in a way that not only the human body gains well-being but also the environment is not been harmed. Emmi Panousi, CEO of “Helession” in an interview for CEOWORLD magazine explains the vision of the company that remains unchanged since its establishment and also makes widely known how ancient Greek nutrition can prove healthy and timeless.

Q: When was the Environmental Organization “Helession” founded and what is the vision that follows its operation all these years?

Emmi Panousi: The Organization Helession is a company that aims to save, conserve and spread biodiversity and our nutrition’s heritage. It discovered in the mountains of Central Greece very old native vine varieties. After many years of research, it revived the ancient Greek wine, obtaining a patent for innovation. It produced vegetarian “honey” from 100% grapes. It also cultivates organic rice with natural farming in the “NATURA” area of the Spercheios River in Central Greece.

After many years of research, the Food and Environmental Organization “Helession” revived the Ancient Greek wine based on tradition and utilizing today’s technology.

The high-in alcohol organic “Akratos Oenos” by Helession has been made by red, natural vinification with wild/native yeast. No sulfites, taste additives, or colors have been added. It has undergone neither protein precipitation nor filtering! 

Emmi Panousi Helession

Thus almost all polyphenols (luteolin, resveratrol, OPC) have passed into the wine body. Therefore, it forms part of the Mediterranean diet and of French paradox. Helession’s products from grape proved to be a very strong shield of health

Gold prize in the international competition Organic Wine Award International 2021 in Germany – in the category Natural Organic Wines – received the red wine 2011 (click here) of Org. Helession and filled us with pride!

The Org. Helession also created “Hedylli” and “VeganHoney”, which are 100% produced from fresh organic grape juice at room temperature. They are heatless and unfiltered. No sugar, preservatives, flavorings, chemicals or colors have been added. They are free of salt, gluten and caffeine.

The Hedylli is very pleasant and delicious organic beverage that aids the immune system accelerates digestion and assimilation of food, facilitates the body to produce energy and restores the natural micro flora to the skin and to the digestive system. It gives natural health to the human body. It is 99% water without salts!

The Grape Honey, “Vegan Honey”, is natural syrup (65 Brix) of fresh organic grapes. It contains unchanged the components and aromas of the grape. Contains phenols, polyphenols (luteolin, resveratrol, OPC etc.), malic acid, 11 trace elements, 19 vitamins, 18 amino acids, Ω3 and Ω6 fatty acids, all of nature’s nutrients! Click here for more details on the nutrients.

Helession’s Akratos Oenos, when mixed with Hedylli, gives us Kekramenos Oenos, what we call wine nowadays. By using Hedylli and VeganHoney, every friend of wine can create his/her wine, as light and as sweet as he/she wants it!

Akratos Oenos + Hedylli = Wine (Kekramenos Oenos)

As light as you want the wine with Hedylli

As sweet as you want the wine with VeganHoney!

Q: Which grape varieties do you cultivate and possibly keep intact today, continuing the tradition? 

Emmi Panousi: We grow in a natural organic way the very old local traditional varieties of Greece (Vitis vinifera), which are cultivated in the highlands of mountain Kitheron at an altitude of 500 meters in Central Greece. We have discovered in our mountains native vine varieties grown on wild trees. We are now preparing a vineyard with these wild/native ancient varieties.

Our vineyards accompany cyclamens (flowers), cedars and traveller birds that they come to feed themselves from the grapes’ strength; the fragrant winds of mountains they caress them. Sleepless guards are God Dionysus, the great Pan, the Vakhes, the Nymphs, and the Satyrs with their smiling gaze.

Q: Where is your winery located?

Emmi Panousi: In the shadow of the Acropolis of the Dorians, on the heights of the imposing Giona and the proud Parnassos, in the heart of the village of the Municipality of Delphi in Central Greece, there is an impressive traditional stone building, which over the years has been a point of reference and in which we chose to house the innovative winery of Org. Helession.

In a place with clean air, long history and rare natural wealth, we decided to build our own “home” at an altitude of 500 meters.

Every stone has a story to tell. Its every breath is full of hopes, dreams, satisfaction, joy, but also toil, pain, tears and anguish. A fate you seem to share with that of Helession. That’s why we loved it doubly.

Time and weather conditions had a passionate relationship with it and so we had to work a lot to renovate it and turn it into a winery. We are moved that despite the adversities we managed to give him his youth again, while at the same time his History remained alive.

In this innovative winery, our natural and organic wines will be “born” from now on, based on ancient Greek pattern. The Hedylli and VeganHoney from organic native Greek vine varieties and wild/native vines which we will regenerate.

It is very important for us that we will now make wine in our own space, having absolute control over production and certifications.

Always under the supervision of the god Dionysus and with the background music and dances of his guardianship, this will give the final products the conditions of «good life»! 

Q: What is the production philosophy of your products?

Emmi Panousi: Our products are vivant, with wild native yeasts. No sulfate preservatives, flavourings, chemicals, sugar and colors have been added, it is 100% from grapes! They have not been filtered and have not undergone protein precipitation. They are heatless and of mild natural processing. That is why they contain all the antioxidants of the grape, polyphenols such as resveratrol, luteolin, OPC, etc. Probiotics, malic and tartaric acid and hundreds of other trace elements that produced by Mother Nature.

All our products are vegan and free of gluten, lactose, salt (Na), cholesterol, caffeine etc.

Q: What do you consider to be the milestones on your path so far?

Emmi Panousi: In 1977, the beginning of our research.

In 2008, the creation of Organization Helession.

In 2014, the awarding of the Invention – Innovation diploma.

In 2020, the beginning of the creation of our Innovative Winery.

In 2021, the awarding of the gold medal to our red 2011 in an international competition in Germany.

Q: To which countries do you export your products?

Emmi Panousi: In the USA and in European countries.

Emmi Panousi Helession

Q: Do young people drink wine or is it a pleasure for the elderly? How do you consider the future of the wine market in Greece and worldwide? 

Emmi Panousi: For many thousands of years the main meal of the people of the Mediterranean and Europe was what the ancient Greeks called “aristo” or “akratismus”. That is, bread soaked in natural akratos oenos (wine). This meal was mainly an energy breakfast and was eaten by children, young people and old people. The human body produces ethyl alcohol or as we call it “oenopnevma” means wine’s spirit. In other words, wine’s spirit is fully compatible with our body. Like all beverages, it needs to be consumed in moderation.

Wine is both pleasure and energy and strengthening of the human defence system with the 200 polyphenols it contains. After all, it is no coincidence that 2,000 years ago “Christ” blessed it, saying: “Everyone have to drink it, this is my blood”.

Q: What new trends in winemaking do you think will emerge in the coming years?

Emmi Panousi: We believe that natural organic wine “nothing put in, nothing taken out” will prevail in the future.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at