After a year when Xinomavro did not match the very high quality standards that we have set for Diaporos, in 2011 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 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.