The 2008 vintage was difficult and unpredictable confirming the theories about climate change. Although the year began with relatively low water reserves, normal weather conditions through to July led to a regular growth procedure. However, ripening raced through the month of August, which was particularly dry. High nighttime temperatures raised sugar content at a much faster pace than phenolic concentration and ripeness in some of the vineyard blocks. Τhe harvest started on September 10 – about two weeks earlier than normal and the earliest ever remembered. In fact, Xinomavro’s veraison shrinked to 36 days! The new Xinomavro clones showed a better match of growth between sugars and phenolics and were harvested first giving exceptionally good quality. For Xinomavro, 2008 seems to be similar to 2005, better than 2006, but not as good as 2007. Rating: ****
The Yianakohori Vineyard has an overall southeast exposure at an altitude of 280-330 m. The Estate is divided into a mosaic of 33 vineyard blocks of different microclimate with varying exposure, orientation, slope, soil type, rootstock, vine density and age. Almost all exposures and soil types are encountered within the Estate demanding tailor-made viticultural practices for each vineyard block. Rainfall is abundant during the winter months, but summers are so dry that regulated drip irrigation is applied to prevent water stress. Vine density ranges from 3.500 to 4.000 per hectare and the average crop yield is maintained below 2.5 kg per vine. About 5% of the estate is planted with various rare indigenous and international varieties for experimental purposes.
The grapes for Diaporos are sourced from the "heart" of Block #5 of the Yianakohori Vineyard, just over a small lake, a Kir-Yianni landmark. The slope of Block #5 has an inclination of 20%, the soil is loam clay with a very high pH, suitable for the production of full bodied Xinomavro. The average crop yield in this block does not exceed 650 kg/ha. Grape bunches are always loose, with very small berries and quite often, like in 2005, with a complete lack of seeds.
After a seven–day pre-fermentation cold soak at 8-10°C, the must undergoes a 10-15 day fermentation at controlled temperatures in open tanks with automatic pigeage devices. Fermentation and post-fermentation temperatures lie between 23-26°C. This process aims at stabilizing the color of Xinomavro and at softening its tannins. All of the wine finishes off its malolactic fermentation in new French barrels, which offer micro-oxygenation conditions, while frequent batonnage is applied. New French oak is used throughout the whole aging process.