The Xinomavro grape comes from the words “xino”, meaning sour and “mavro”, meaning black; which is considered as a top-quality variety.
This dark-skinned grape variety is acknowledged as the finest, broadly planted but finicky and high-acid Greek variety.
Xinomavro is exclusively cultivated in the region of Nauosa, Goumenissa, Amyntaio, Rapsani, Trikomo, Siatista and Velventos.
Aside from the upper wine regions, on a lesser scale, Xinomavro is also cultivated in the regions of Mount Athos, Ioannina, Magnesia, Kastoria and Trikala.
In summary, there are 1971 hectares cultivated areas in 2010 and increased to 2239 hectares in 2013 with some introductory plantings in Gansu, China.
Xinomavro is known to be the most dominant red grape variety in northern Greece, described by the level of its acidity.
There were three main clones recognized in the Naoussa region originated from Galet, Manessis, Nikolau and Michos.
Some suggested a similarity between Xinomavro and Pinot Noir as well as between Xinomavro and Nebbiolo, but the DNA has shown that the grape variety is different from both.
Characteristics of Xinomavro
The grapes are blue-black and grow in compact clusters. The sizes of berries grow differently depending on the clones of Xinomavro.
The vines of Xinomavro are tough and very productive. They are mid budding and ripen late. Xinomavro is a fussy grape to grow.
It does not adapt to dry weather conditions, prone to fungal diseases and very sensitive to soil types.
Characteristics of Xinomavro Wines
Wines made from Xinomavro are jammy and fruity. Tomato, olive, spice and earthiness are the current labels included in each of the wine.
The wines produced differ in style but they have the same levels of acidity and have exceptional potential for ageing.
Some of the youthful wines are dominated by red fruits such as strawberry and plum but as the wine ages; aromas of tomato, olive and dried fruit are revealed.
Xinomavro wines are known to have firm tannic structure and crisp acidity, which calls for fat meats and protein-rich foods.
Wines of Xinomavro can also be complemented by any kind of meat stew, grilled beefsteaks, sausages, game, roasted lamb or wild mushroom risotto with Parmesan flakes, wine-flavored cheeses, aged gouda or cheddar.
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