After three consecutive years of rather average quality, it looks like in 2011 Xinomavro comes back to its very high standards. This year the weather helped the grapes to reach good levels of phenolic maturity with relatively low potential alcohol, which is one of the things that we try to achieve during the last years. After a rainy month of May, the long period that followed was dry but with no extreme temperatures. As a result, the grapes ripened well, while the absence of heat waves during summer resulted in grapes with very good levels of acidity, which, in their turn, gave wines with long aging potential. It seems that 2011, just like 1994 and 2001, will be one of these years that only come once in a decade!
The vineyards have an overall southeast exposure at an altitude of 280-330 m. The estate is divided in thirty distinct parcels of different microclimate, which is a function of varying orientation, inclination, and soil type. Silt, loam, and clay are found in equal proportion. Rainfall is abundant during the winter months, but summers are so dry that minimal drip irrigation is applied to prevent heat damage. The density of the vines ranges from 3.500 to 4.000 per hectare and the average crop yield is maintained below 2.5 kg per vine. A parcel of 1 ha is planted with various local Greek varieties for experimental reasons.
The grapes are handpicked and placed at a sorting table before destemming. After a five-day cold prefermantion at 8-10° C, the must undergoes a 12-15 day vinification at controlled temperatures. During postfermentation warm temeratures are applied, followed by malolactic fermentation in new 225 l french barrels. In early January the new wine is put into two and three year old barrels for further aging. After about a year the wine is bottled for further aging before released into the market. The winemaker's main objective is to achieve balance between the fruit, the acidity and the high but ripe tanins of the wine.