International Xinomavro Day is Established
By Yiannis Karakasis MW
The first Xinomavro International Day will be celebrated on the 1st of November; the Association of Wines of Northern Greece took the initiative to establish an International Xinomavro Day. Xinomavro is a fascinating variety, which I call the Prima Donna of the Greek vineyards, planted mainly in the northern part of Greece, particularly in Macedonia (you can read more in Xinomavro: The Prima Donna of Greek grapes).
In this Xinomavro territory, the variety excels, in not just one, but three different Macedonian appellations. Amyndeo, with its cool climate and high elevations, yields a lighter Xinomavro, full of freshness and elegance, while Naoussa, to the east, delivers robust, structured wines with excellent ageing potential. If Naoussa were Barolo from Castiglione Faletto or Seralunga d'Alba, Amyndeo would be La Morra, as it produces wines which express the more delicate, perfumed and refined side of Xinomavro. Wines that offer more immediate pleasure, but still possess the quintessential expression and depth of the variety. (you can read more in my 32 pages Amyndeo report).
Lesser-known Goumenissa, located northeast of Naoussa at the foot of Mt Paiko, blends Xinomavro with the local Negoska to create a softer and riper result. Siatista may eventually emerge as the fifth exceptional Xinomavro terroir (there is also Rapsani in Central Greece where Xinomavro is blended with Krassato and Stavroto); it is already crafting some gorgeous examples of the grape. And let's not also forget Velvendo, near Kozani, where Xinomavro has found a very pleasing expression.
On November 1st, we can pay tribute to the Greek noble "Xinomavro" variety by opening a bottle of wine or enjoying it by the glass, always in moderation, at home, or in a wine bar or restaurant. If you happen to be in Greece, why not visit a winery that produces the variety.
Illustration of Xinomavro for karakasis.mw by Marios Karystios