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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.

In the Northern Hemisphere, harvest is well underway. In many places, the grapes have already been picked and pressed, and the juice is fermenting. As the wine is being made, what happens to the skins?

In most cases, it is used as compost and in some cases it is turned into grappa. But there are so many other uses for grapes and skins as I recently experienced during my stay at the Kinsterna Hotel and Spa in Greece.

Kinsterna Hotel & Spa

Kinsterna Hotel and Spa is located in Monemvasia in the region of Laconia in the south of the Peloponnese. The hotel, a fortified manor that dates to the 12th century, sits on a hillside covered with olive trees and vineyards.

view of the vineyards and olive trees

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.