- Place of origin: Amyndeo or Naousa, Macedonia (northern Greece)
- Name: Originally called “Popolka” or “Xini Popolka” (“sour” Popolka), officially changed to “Xinomavro” in the ’60s to hellenize its Slavic name. It is also known as Mavro Naoussis, Xinostafilo, Xinokaltso etc.
- History: Xinomavro’s history is unknown, as there are few old records. The first references are from 16th century Ottoman Empire, which mentions the “Black wine of Naoussa”, praising its color, and sour and acidic flavor, recommended for consumption after its 4th of 5th year. There are references to the same grape from Amyndeo, Goumenissa, Rapsani, and Siatista, all of which are traditionally linked to the Xinomavro grape. There are anecdotal myths about Philip of Macedon, with Xinomavro from Goumenissa being his favorite wine.
- Appellations: PDO Amyndeo (100% for dry red, rosé, white, and sparkling), PDO Naousa (100% for red), PDO Goumenissa (80% or less, with Negoska), PDO Rapsani (1/3 with Krasato and Stavroto).
- Areas of cultivation: Central and Western Macedonia, Thessaly, Thrace. Amyndeo has the most Xinmavro plantings (both today and historically), where Xinomavro also presents ideal adaptation to the alpine and lake terroir, allowing its poly dynamic expression (dry red, dry rosé, dry white, dry to sec sparkling white and rosé). Xinomavro has 2.1K hectares of cultivation throughout Greece, making it the 6th most planted Greek variety (and 4th most planted red Greek variety).
- Known for: demanding character in the vineyard and the winery, unique aromatic character, powerful tannins, high acidity, ageability
Xinomavro is considered the “king of red Greek grapes”, due to its uniqueness and ageability. Together with Agiorgitiko, it is one of the two noblest red Greek varieties.
- Bunches: Big
- Grape size: Medium
- Skin: Thick
- Grape size: Medium
- Clones: Polyclonal with great adaptability
- Ideal, climatic conditions: Poor sandy soils, high altitude, cold Winters
- Color: Light to medium light. Purple hues in younger wines, brick hues in aged ones, with a gradual loss of pigmentation as time evolves.
- Nose: A very unique personality that distinguishes Xinomavro from any other variety. Characteristic vegetal notes of dried tomatoes or gooseberries (depending on the location), and olives, mixed with dried fruits, spices, and dark forest fruits, as well as an earthy minerality.
- Body: Medium, with an elegant structure, with umami and red fruit flavors
- Acidity: High
- Tannins: Powerful and rich phenolic profile; more robust in Naousa and more elegant in Amyndeo (where Xinomavro has a much more polydynamic character)
- Ageablity: High (more than 15 years)
Nemea is the largest winemaking region of Greece, and home to the most planted red grape of Greece, the indigenous Agiorgitiko. It has a PDO status (PDO Nemea) for red wines of 100% Agiorgitiko. “Agiorgitiko” means “Saint George”, which was the old name of Nemea (“Agios Georgios”).
A city in the Peloponnese, in the south of Greece, Nemea has a rich winemaking history since ancient times, when it was called “Fliasion Pedion”. Nemea was also known for “Nemia”, one of the most famous athletic competition of ancient times, along with the Olympic games.
In Nemea, one can visit the ancient town of Nemea, the monastery of “Panagia Vrahou” which is built on the cliff of the nearby mountain, the numerous wineries, or celebrate the annual wine festival.