Journey to the Land of Xinomavro

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Bench at Amynteon train station

No, I am not talking about some far off province of China but today’s post centers on Xinomavro, an ancient Greek varietal that literally translates to “sour black”. Considered the most commonly grown grape in Greece, this wild varietal is very popular with those who drink it and those who make it.

No one Xinomavro wine are the same as soil content, climate, altitude, care for the vineyard and location all play a role in what comes out of the bottle. The wines when young can be harsh but after some aging, they mellow and become true gems.

The natural territory for Xinomavro grapes are in northern Greece (Macedonia) and my friends at House of Wine organized a bus tour to the Appellations of Naoussa and Amynteon (that’s where my family is from).

In short, the group of wine afficionados toured 5 wineries, tasted nearly 50 wines, dined at local restaurants through the tour and they made some new friendships.

Visits were made to Alfa Estate, Chrisohoou Estate, Founti Estate and Argantia Winery then finally to Kir Yanni. These wineries are a mixture of small, medium and large wineries and this was intentional so as to again taste the differences in a wines made with the same grape varietal – Xinomavro.

When in Greece I often visit a winery or two and I’m aching to visit a couple more this year. Anyone else interested in joining me for a tour? Let me know.

© 2013,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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