The Kir-Yianni Estate vineyards in AOC Naoussa are located at an altitude of 120-280m at the Eastern foothills of Mt. Vermio. The appellation's microclimate is marked by abundant precipitation during the winter & spring and moderate drought during the summer. The site spans over rolling hills with medium to high slopes and panoramic exposure. Its soil type is a mixed limestone ranging from clay to loam and sandy loam. Due to this diversity and complexity of the site the vineyards are established in 42 separate blocks –each one with its own particular characteristics and viticultural practices. At the heart of the Estate three soil types and varieties meet: Syrah thrives on the low-pH sandy loam of block#19, Merlot on the loamy limestone of block #23, and the indigenous Xinomavro, shows its best on the clay limestone of block #27. All three blocks share moderate slopes facing southeast, while row orientation ranges from Northeast to East. A double vertical shoot positioning trellis and a generous vine spacing of 3,500-4,000 per hectare are in place for optimal vigor & canopy management. The resulting yield is 60 hectoliters per hectare.
The winemaking objective for Dyo Elies is to highlight the characteristics of each variety and then create a unique wine through their blending. Merlot offers the full body, Syrah adds the spice with a velvety aftertaste. Harvest dates are different for each variety starting from the end of August for Merlot, to the mid and end of September for Syrah. Grapes are hand-picked and manually selected on a sorting table prior to crush. For each variety, during the first week after crush, the must is cold soaked at 11-12οC in a reductive environment. Temperatures gradually rise for the fermentation to take place at 29-30οC for Merlot, which also undergoes a post-fermentation maceration for a few days. In contrast, the temperature for Syrah is maintained at 22-24οC throughout the fermentation and as soon as it is over the malolactic fermentation is initiated in new oak. Following fermentation the wines are aged separately in French and American 225-lt casks. About 20% of the barrels in the cellar are renowned