Estate vineyards in North Greece range from the 4500 ha of Domaine Porto Carras to the 16 ha of Wine Art Estate. These estate vineyards may surround the winery or may be multiple vineyards, some of which are geographically removed. In the case of Kir-Yianni, the Naoussa vineyard (58 ha) focuses on Xinomavro and international red varieties while its Amyndeon counterpart (16.5 ha) focuses on Xinomavro and domestic and international white varieties. The Naoussa vineyard itself is divided into 40 parcels based on soil diversity.
|Slopes of Meliton, Domaine Porto Carras|
The table below shows the grape varieties planted at the wineries visited on our North Greece Press Trip. The bracketed numbers indicate the number of wineries planting a specific variety (No bracketed number indicates a frequency of one.). While the frequency should not be interpreted as relative importance (we do not have data at this point on the amount of hectares planted by variety), it is interesting to note that the international red varieties Merlot and Syrah are planted in more vineyards than the indigenous red Xinomavro and the indigenous white Assyrtiko. I will pursue additional information re the relative plantings of the leading grape varieties in order to cast greater light on the topic. Suffice it to say that North Greece viticulturists have significant experience (or practice) with (especially) French varieties.
|Indigenous White||Indigenous Red||International White||International Red|
|Assyrtiko (6)||Xinomavro (6)||Chardonnay (6)||Merlot (9)|
|Malagouzia (5)||Limnio (3)||Sauvignon Blanc (6)||Syrah (8)|
|Roditis (3)||Agiorgitiko (3)||Gewurtztraminer (3)||Cabernet Sauvignon (5)|
|Malvasia aromatico||Mavroudi||Viognier||Pinot Noir (2)|
According to data provided by the survey respondents, all of the varieties are: allowed by regulation; highly adapted, or med-high adapted, to the climate and soils; and medium disease-resistant. All varieties are reported as having balanced, or low-to-balanced, yield potential (which is good for the production of quality fruit). I was a little confused by this though as there is a lot of Merlot grown in the environment and Merlot is a pretty vigorous cultivar whose tendencies have to be countered by rootstock selection, planting in less fertile soils, and canopy management practices in order to yield the best results.
The rootstocks deployed in the North Greece environment are 1103P, 110R, 41B, 5BB, SO4, and 140RUG, with 1103P, 110R, and 41B the most utilized. The characteristics of these rootstocks can be found here and here. Kir-Yianni employs 110R and 41 B in its Amyndeon vineyard but adds 1103P and 5BB to the mix for Xinomavro in Naoussa and SO4 for Syrah in the same vineyard.
I will cover training systems and cultural practices in a subsequent post.
©Wine -- Mise en abyme