We met in Naoussa – perhaps the fastest growing wine tourism region in Greece – the owner of Ktima Kir-Yianni, Stellios Boutaris, and he presented us briefly and in detail everything about the wine tourism product of the region.
Ktima Kir-Yianni is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic wineries of the Greek wine region. It is one of the most famous wine-growing estates in Greece. Built-in one of the most important PDO zones of the country and carrying on the charismatic Xinomavro to the next level, it seems to be one of the most welcoming estates for aspiring wine tourists.
The fifty six acres of vineyards at an altitude ranging between 120m-280m, with the mountain Vermio protecting them from the cold winds, makes the Naoussa region ideal for vineyards. All the above – in combination with its Mediterranean climate and the interesting diversity of the soil, allow Naoussa to be deservedly called the «home of the Xinomavro and not just…»!
If one wants to discover Naoussa, the best thing to do is to meet the ideal ambassador of the region, which is none other than Stellios Boutaris (S.B.), owner of Ktima Kir-Yianni, with many years of experience in the wine world! Wine tourism for S.B. is inextricably linked to education. As he says: «people are no longer looking for products but for special services». This is an alternative form of tourism that maximizes the visitor’s experience. Coming to the winery, even if they know nothing about wine, they have the opportunity, through the guided tour and the overall experience, to make the wine experience more enjoyable. experience to be educated and learn certain things that will certainly interest him or her. He noted “In this way, the visitor becomes part of the experience and at the same time an ambassador of the experience, which allows him to become a communicator of the whole philosophy and to his or her loved ones.
In addition, Naoussa, as a PDO Xinomavro zone, has many other peculiarities. Discussing with S.B., he pointed out that Xinomavro, together with Assyrtiko of Santorini, are two varieties that excite consumers abroad. This is because the consumer can easily identify this coveted uniqueness in both. It is said that Xinomavro has many similarities with Nebbiolo, and they are not wrong. However, Xinomavro is a unique variety with distinct aromas and flavors. One of the few varieties in the world that you can produce everything from bold red wines to airy whites and complex sparkling wines.
The uniqueness of Xinomavro and Naoussa has been understood for years by the winemakers! It is no coincidence that Naoussa, within a radius of fewer than 30km, has more than twenty wineries, a number that makes it one of the few regions in Greece with such a big number of wineries within such a short distance. In addition to the wine-making units, Naoussa’s gastronomy is also quite developed, with restaurants with different perspectives presenting the local cuisine from different angles. Furthermore, the famous Vergina with its historical museum, allows the visitor to be a step closer to Macedonian history. Finally, the very “accessible” mountain Vermio is rapidly developing to welcome nature lovers not only in winter for skiing but also in the summer months, for walks and hiking in the beautiful landscape.
Stellios Boutaris assures us that three to four days is enough for a visitor to get a full impression of the region. This time is enough to visit several wineries, to get to the historic town of Naoussa, taste the local cuisine, visit the wine cellars, and enjoy the local cuisine, go for a tour of the archaeological sites, and enjoy the generous local nature. Activities that not only will not put tourists out of budget but are affordable and accessible to a wide range of back rounds. As he jokingly told us “Naoussa is cheaper than it should be!”
In conclusion, Naoussa is certainly ready to welcome and offer its visitors a unique experience. It is even more hospitable for those who love wine! A region that is affordable for many people and is a must-destination for everyone! Perhaps the ideal period to visit is between May and June. If again one wants to see it in the most intense-productive season, the harvest period (September-October) will certainly leave unforgettable memories.
The only guarantee is that if you ever decide to visit Naoussa, the result will justify your decision! Whether you visit in the autumn to see the whole production process in person, or in the summer months for a “refreshing” breath of fresh air, the experience will be unique. A bottle of Xinomavro in your luggage on the way back…and Naoussa will remain forever imprinted on your memory.