Xinomavro wines improve with time. But is it the same with Xinomavro vines? Are wines made from old vines better in quality? And at what age can an old vine be called “old”?
A newly planted vine needs time in order to grow a strong root system. Depending on the variety and the soil, from the moment it is planted, it takes 5-7 years for a vine to grow sufficiently deep permanent roots. After this age, the vine starts to progress towards maturity, when the plant gains balance and is able, thanks to its roots that run deeper into the ground, to give fruit of stable quality, unaffected up to a point by weather variations from vintage to vintage.
When the vine is over 30 years-old, annual yields become lower, however its commercial value can grow higher thanks to the quality of its fruit. The varietal character of the aromas is enhanced, while grapes can reach higher levels of phenolic maturity.
The same is true for Xinomavro, a variety with powerful characteristics, which require a lot of effort by the producer in order to be tamed, but can improve greatly with age. Time is a friend to Xinomavro vines. Varietal aromas strengthen and acquire more depth, tannins become more refined, while they remain firm, and the wines gain more volume, an element often lacking in this variety.
In Kir-Yianni Estate (Ktima Kir-Yianni), the vines that have more than three decades of life, planted in selected vineyard blocks, are treated with care in order to give us their more valuable characteristics. Those that will add richness in blends with younger vines or shine on their own in single-vineyard wines, such as Diaporos. But there are also the old, sometimes century-old, vines of Amyndeon. Vines that are not affected by phylloxera, which hit the area in the first decades of the last century. These are plants that yield a small annual production, but have roots that go deep into the sandy soils of the Amyndeon plateau, free from any sort of grafting, offering a unique expression of Xinomavro. For some, the authentic one. A taste of the wine history of the Macedonian land.