Claus, Achaia Clauss and Mavrodaphne
The Bavarian Gustav Clauss, representative of the company Fels and Co. who traded raisins, settled in Patras in 1854. A highly energetic enterprising young raisin trader, he bought in 1859, the first area of 60 acres in Riganokampos and planted them with vines. A newcomer in town falls madly in love with a young Greek woman with black eyes, Maria which he became engaged to.
But life is unpredictable and black eyed Mary dies at a young age.
Gustav continued his active life and in 1861 he founded his own winery called "Achaia Clauss", which soon became the largest winery in Greece.
There he also built his summer residence, the tower of Achaia which is beside the premises of the winery and is widely visited today.
The jewel of his winery is a sweet, red wine, which will take the name of his lost love. It is the famous "Mavrodaphne".
During his life, Gustav was a highly active member of the high society of Patras, friend of the then Prime Minister Charilaos Trikoupis and also friend with several members of the Greek and the Bavarian royal court. At his house, on the street King Fereou & Zaimi, he was frequented visited by the Greek aristocracy and foreign raisin traders of the city, while he was one of the main sponsors for the construction of "Apollo", the neoclassical Municipal Theatre of Patras, by the famous Ziller.
He died on September 11th, 1908 by stroke, as he was traveling to Corfu. He was buried in the church of St. Thomas, in the premises of "Achaia Clauss".