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Naoussa Located in Macedonia in the north of Greece, approximately one hour west Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, is the wine region of Naoussa. Naoussa was one of the first regions in Greece to receive protected denomination of origin (PDO) status in 1971 and is the home to the native grape Xinomavro. Xino, which means “sour,” and mavro, which means “black,” is the single grape variety permitted under the PDO Naoussa. Xinomavro is one of two red varieties of Greek wine that puts the country on the international wine map. The vineyards of Naoussa are at 1,150 feet. Influence from the Aegean and Ionian seas has resulted in a mosaic of soils, including rocks and clay, throughout the region. The region experiences a Mediterranean climate with strong continental influences. The days reach high temperatures and the nights reach low temperatures. The climate, combined with humidity and high fog, makes Xinomavro the last grape to harvest each vintage.
Harvest 2015 is well underway in most wine regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The grapes are being picked and made into wine. After all, that's what vineyards are for. But, as we discuss the important topic of food waste and hear about chefs utilizing scraps in the kitchen, what about in the vineyard? Grapes are crushed to make wine and then the skins can be used to make grappa or can be used as compost. But, have you ever thought about the leaves or the stems? While in Greece earlier this summer, lunch in the vineyard of Elinos Winery in Naoussa, we were shown how creative one can be utilizing elements from the vineyard. Elinos Elinos is a family winery owned by the Taralas family. The name Elinos comes from the Odyssey and has multiple meanings – wine, crushing grapes, the top of the vine (helix), Greek wine. Dimitrios Taralas retired from banking and purchased the vineyard in 2006. The vineyard, situated at an altitude of 1000 feet, is located on the eastern edge of Naoussa, at the highest point of Mount Vermion, in the Imathia region of Macedonia, Greece. At 25 acres, it is the third biggest single vineyard in Naoussa. They grow Xinamavro, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malagouzia, Preknadi, Moschomavro, Negoska and Roditis.