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Xinomavro

Also known as: Mavro Naoutsiano, Popolka, Xinogaltso, Mavro of Naoussa.

The noblest of red varieties in Northern Greece, grown mainly in Naoussa, Goumenissa, Amyntaio, Rapsani, Trikomo, Siatista, Velvendos, Pella and to a smaller extent on Mount Athos, in Ossa, Ioannina, Magnesia, Castoria and Trikala, on more than 1.800 hectares.

The Xinomavro demonstrates great diversity, particularly where its oenological characteristics are concerned (sugars, colour, aromatic potential), which is augmented by the different soil and climatic conditions under which it is cultivated. It ripens after 20 September.

The Xinomavro is a multifaceted variety that can yield different types of wine. At average altitudes, where it can ripen, in the appropriate soil and at a low yield per vine, it produces wonderful dry reds with good colour, a typical bouquet, good acidity and high alcoholic strength that are rich in tannins and can benefit from ageing. At high altitudes it can yield remarkable rosés, still and sparkling wines with a distinctive aroma of red berries, especially strawberry.

It can also produce white wines (blanc de noirs) with a distinctive colour and aroma, and a crisp palate. The grapes of the Xinomavro variety produce the following Appellation of Origin wines:

-V.Q.P.R.D. `Naoussa`, dry, semi-dry and semi-sweet red wine
-V.Q.P.R.D. `Amyntaio`, dry, semi-dry and semi-sweet, red and rosé wine
-V.M.Q.P.R.D. `Amyntaio`, naturally sparkling, dry and semi-sweet, rosé wine

The Xinomavro is blended with the Negoska variety, and with the Krassato and Stavroto varieties to produce the dry red V.Q.P.R.D. `Goumenissa` and `Rapsani` respectively. It is also used in making certain Vin de Pays (Makedonikos [of Macedonia], Imathias [of Imathia], Grevenon [of Grevena], Plagies Vertiskou [Côtes de Vertiskos], Halkidikis [of Halkidiki], etc.) and Table wines.

[Text and photos taken from the book 'Wine-producing varieties of the Greek vineyard' by Haroula Spinthiropoulou - Olive Press Publications, 2000 (in Greek)]

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