Climate change reared its ugly face at the very start of the year. A mild winter was followed by a warm and dry spring with just a little rain. But the weather quickly took an unexpected turn for the worse in April when freezing temperatures frost-burned groves of trees across large parts of the Macedonian plain.
Summer, by contrast, was hot and culminated at the end of July in a heat wave that hit like the sun dropped in. Vegetation suffered and some vines looked as if they were sunburned: their leaves dried and wilted, an occurrence that tends to arrests photosynthesis and berry ripening.
But, surprisingly during this last week of August, weather conditions returned to normal levels again, and this helps to stabilize the grape maturation process.
Fortunately, the all-important diurnal range in the vineyard (or the gap between the hottest day and the coolest night temperature) that determines the microclimate in Naoussa and Amyndeon has normalized as well and is expected to remain favorable during the whole of September.
If the weather pattern holds, expectations are high for an excellent harvest and a fabulous vintage for Xinomavro and wines with excellent aromas, soft tannins and great structure and backbone.
We shall wait and see!