the land of xinomavro
This department includes Eastern Macedonia, Western Macedonia and Central Macedonia while agriculture is very important for the whole department.
This department includes Eastern Macedonia (Kavala, Drama, Serres), Western Macedonia (Kastoria, Florina, Grevena, Kozani) and Central Macedonia (Kilkis, Pieria, Pella, Imathia, Thessaloniki, Chalkidiki) while agriculture is very important for the whole department.
Macedonia is mountainous to its biggest part including Mount Olympus (the highest altitude of Greece, 2,917 m) but we can find too many different terroirs inside. Along with the different terroirs (result of lakes, mountains, rivers and sea coast) the climate also differs a lot from region to region. Due to that, we may find totally different styles of wine, varying from crispy whites with sharp acidity, to firm reds with ripen tannins and nice body, to elegant roses and even interesting sparklings.
The most important variety that dominates is Xinomavro with its main cultivation centres being Naoussa and Amyntaio where it gives PDO wines. Xinomavro is considered to be one of the noblest red grape verieties of Greek viticulture. Apart from the PDO wines it takes part in PGI wines as well.
Its style differs a lot from the old school Xinomavro with pale colour (getting browner while aging) less fruity but more spicy aromas (sundried tomato and olive aromas are characteristic of this variety) and medium body to the most structured Xinomavro wines of the new age where tannins contribute a lot to them along with the fruitier intense aromas.
In Goumenissa (Kilkis, Central Macedonia) Xinomavro gives another PDO wine in a blend with the local Negoska. Naoussa is certainly the most interesting region of central Macedonia, where Xinomavro dominates as a single variety and gives even single vineyard wines. Quite often, Xinomavro is compared to Nebbiolo and Barolo style wines. Florina is the coldest major wine producing region in Greece with altitudes up to 750m and apart from the red Xinomavro we can find nice and crispy rose from the variety there (also PDO) plus top quality sparkling Xinomavro wines (mostly made in methode traditionelle).
Recently we get to taste some blanc de noir wines from Xinomavro from smaller producers, as well.
All the above demonstrate the polydynamic character of this variety and its high perspectives.
Apart from the Xinomavro domination, Macedonia is known for its successful Assyrtiko-Sauvignon blanc blends which distinguish, especially in Drama region. Drama is the border of Macedonia to Thrace and the region where we find big impressive wineries and large vineyards
Thessaloniki is the heart of central Macedonia and the fourth largest prefecture in northern Greece. The most famous PGI wine region is Epanomi, known for its Malagousia, an almost extinct variety that was rescued some years ago, when spotted planted in an experimental vineyard among other indigenous varieties. Its rescue and highlight constitute a big success story which contributes to the revolution of Greek wine. Malagousia is nowadays cultivated around Greece and loved by every wine lover. In times when French varieties had undertaken the local viticulture, Malagousia’s success led many producers to try and discover other local indigenous varieties, most of them forgotten as well (even extinct).
Chalkidiki, Kavala, Serres and Kozani are points of interest in this extended wine region with nice, quality wines from local varieties and great effort by their producers to point out Macedonia’s dynamic viticulture.
PDO Goumenissa, PDO Naoussa, PDO Amyndeon, PDO Slopes of Meliton
PGI Macedonia, PGI Kavala, PGI Thasos, PGI Pangeon, PGI Drama, PGI Agora, PGI Serres, PGI Slopes of Paiko, PGI Slopes of Vertiskos, Nea Mesimvria, PGI Thessaloniki, PGI Epanomi, PGI Halkidiki, PGI Sithonia, PGI Mount Athos, PGI Pella, PGI Florina, PGI Kastoria, PGI Imathia, PGI Pieria, PGI Kozani, PGI Grevena, PGI Siatista, PGI Velvento
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